Unroadworthy classic Mercedes advice needed

oldguy57

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That's the sort of phrasing used at auctions to indicate that the engine starts and the car can move under its own power. It doesn't imply (to me, anyway) that the car is safe or road-legal.
Yes exactly - the wording always suggests to me that the car is neither safe nor road legal. There are exceptions of course.
 

oldguy57

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If the car in question is UK registered did you check the Gov.uk check mot history site prior to purchase? Generally the infomation on this site will paint a true picture of condition one way or another.
The problem is that the car won't have required an MOT for many years.
 

ChipChop

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The problem is that the car won't have required an MOT for many years.
Quite possible if the car is nearing 50 years of age. However if a car has had rust mentioned in say 2005 on an MOT and is for sale today largely unrestored and without photographic proof of restoration it is safe to assume that the car has not restored itself in the last 16 years. Buyer beware. There are so many people out there now trying to flip any old car for profit potential buyers need to practice due dilligence. Take a magnet, a screwdriver, a good LED torch, wear scruffy clothes and a foam mat to lie on under your prospective purchase.

Used to be a big fan of BMW 2002's back in the mid 1990's. Had three of them. They rotted like no other car i have ever owned and today people are paying £20,000+ for these cars when most will be a patchwork of metal, hopefully welded not just pop rivetted, under a thick skim of filler and shiny paint.
 

E55BOF

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OP, if you can't agree a return deal with the vendor, in view of the age of the car I'd seek independent legal advice on the prospect of success if you go to law. If you do, thanks to Covid you're looking at a lengthy period waiting for your case to be heard; I filed last October against the trader who sold me the E500, and I'm not expecting a hearing before 2022, if then.
 

flowrider

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Sorry but based on your posts 12 and 18 I would read that as you were expecting the car to need a lot of work but now you have bought it you have been surprised at how much, its more like buyers remorse and a lack of proper inspection before agreeing the purchase. The sellers description would have made most people get an inspection before purchase not after. I don't think a court will find I'm your favour unfortunately. An expensive lesson learnt. :(
 

Darrell

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Not sure how to answer all those comments, but thanks.

In the UK there are two legal points here I believe;

1) Misrepresetation - Has the seller misrepresented the car?

2) Selling a car that is unroadworthy is a criminal offence.

Yes it is taxed by the seller (no charge as per age).

I went to see it but couldn't possibly work out how bad it was from that without seeing underneath, also im no mechanic.

Private sale although the owner seems to have 3 others for sale and has sold others in past so not sure about that status.

Yes of course I should of have it checked by a mechanic and not after but I trusted this guy and ive owned and sold a few classic cars over the years and have always made sure they are good cars, safe and sound etc so made the mistake of thinking others were the same as me...

The car was described as thus:

'The car is running and drives. Just had service and tuning. Exhaust replaced. The interior is very good. So are the tires and wheels. The Chrome work is good.'

No mention of spares or repairs or any other similar thing, if it was it would have been a lot cheaper.

But the interior all needs to replaced and/or fixed and the tires are cracked and dangerous. And the other stuff is just awful.

And this is the Classic Mercedes inspection report:

  1. Various coolant hoses worn
  2. Module box bracket just lying in inner wing
  3. Battery insecure
  4. Poor wiring throughout
  5. Various suspension bushes perished/cracked
  6. Coolant leak from radiator/oil cooler union
  7. Gearbox oil leak- Sump pan is bent
  8. Oil cooler has been by-passed
  9. Engine earth strap broken
  10. Indicator switch faulty
  11. Dash panel lights not working
  12. Front side lights not working
  13. Wiper blade is split
  14. Washer jets not working
  15. Tyres ALL cracked
  16. Rear springs have an assistor fitted (Non-standard)
  17. Exhaust gearbox bracket not fitted to gearbox
  18. Brake pipes and and fuel pipes are new but fitted very badly
  19. Horn & Number plate bracket is lose
  20. Fuel breather broken
  21. Leak from gearbox
  22. Seats belts insecure (DANGEROUS)
  23. Washer pipe not connected
  24. Front cross member is badly corroded and replacement is required
  25. Corrosion to front inner wings under wheel arch
  26. Floor pan badly repaired- suspect using fibre glass
  27. OS&NS sill covers badly tack welded on would require removing to explore full extent of damage/condition
  28. Corrosion to floor plan
  29. Rear NS wing not attached at bottom
  30. Rear wings heavily filled with filler
Based on all of the information above, this vehicle is NOT road worthy and deemed as dangerous.
If you require any further assistance please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Its pretty bad I think you will all agree, I asked him again today to refund me and he hasn't responded, to court we go I feel.
I’m certainly no expert on buying used cars but many of the 30 defects you’ve pointed out can actually be seen!!
Surely enough reasons to either negotiate a strong discount or walk away.
 

Cabriomat

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The ad reads like what it is.
A running and driving car.
The condition of interior/tyres/chrome etc is only opinion. It doesn't say the exhaust is replaced with new.
All the faults stated are what would be expected for a 50 year old car(and as stated mostly visable).

There is no mention of it being roadworthy, as its mot and tax exempt that is up to the owner to make sure the vehicle is in roadworthy condition, running and driving doesn't mean its road worthy.....you can buy a 50 year old vw beetle without a body that runs and drives.

As for it being taxed, it needs to be taxed or sornd, as its free anyway why not tax it? Doesn't mean anything Regards roadworthiness.
 

pmcgsmurf

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Have to agree with most of the other comments.

Buying a 40~50 year old car without a proper inspection then not being happy with the condition and from a private seller all go against you.

You had the option to inspect the car or walk away, you choose to pay for and and "drive it away". WOW.

Vehicle tax cannot be transferred, at the point you did the change of ownership (or with the V5 new owner form) you yourself should have licensed the vehicle even though this is free.
 

Bellow

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No mention of rust being present or absent (in a 50 year old car notorious for corrosion) and no one thought to ask.
Welder not solicitor required methinks.
 

tonysmb

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Oh dear, this doesn't read well. The description is limited and would have rung alarm bells for me; the description of the interior is largely irrelevant re roadworthiness. Other than mentioning the tyres, little is mentioned about condition; good tread but cracking sidewalls perhaps?

Much of the specialist's report does not relate to material issues and is not conclusive re the cills, ie requires further inspection.

You could potentially run up large legal and specialist fees if you go down the court route and rely on others; trading standards are often reluctant to prosecute private individuals but you might be able to prove seller was a trader, which would assist.

It might be worth seeing if any local solicitors offer free 30-minute consultations, or even just pay for an initial meeting. You'd need to have all the documentation ready. The best solution, obviously, would be an amicable solution with the seller, if at possible. Legal procedures can be very costly and don't always end the way wished for.

The court would consider what is reasonable for a 50-year old car, how it was desrcibed etc..
 

oldguy57

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OP, if you can't agree a return deal with the vendor, in view of the age of the car I'd seek independent legal advice on the prospect of success if you go to law. If you do, thanks to Covid you're looking at a lengthy period waiting for your case to be heard; I filed last October against the trader who sold me the E500, and I'm not expecting a hearing before 2022, if then.
Would that still be the case in small claims court as it is now?
 

oldguy57

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from a private seller
The seller smacks of being a trade seller in disguise and the law is somewhat different if that is the case. As I said above, the advert was carefully worded which should have raised red flags on it's own.
 

colinallcars

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The seller smacks of being a trade seller in disguise and the law is somewhat different if that is the case. As I said above, the advert was carefully worded which should have raised red flags on it's own.
There used to be a number of sales (can’t remember the number but something like six) that an individual could make in a twelve month period before the authorities would regard them as a trader. Don’t know if this still applies but I think it’s your only (somewhat tenuous and difficult to prove) hope.
 

E55BOF

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Would that still be the case in small claims court as it is now?
They're trying hard to catch up, but there's a limit to how much they can do that. Might be later this year, but more likely 2022.

There used to be a number of sales (can’t remember the number but something like six) that an individual could make in a twelve month period before the authorities would regard them as a trader. Don’t know if this still applies but I think it’s your only (somewhat tenuous and difficult to prove) hope.
From The Motor Ombudsman website: "There is no minimum number of cars an individual can sell before they are deemed to be a trader. A person will only be considered a trader if they buy cars mainly for the purpose of reselling them at a profit, regardless of the number of vehicles sold each year."
 

pmcgsmurf

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The seller smacks of being a trade seller in disguise and the law is somewhat different if that is the case. As I said above, the advert was carefully worded which should have raised red flags on it's own.

From The Motor Ombudsman website: "There is no minimum number of cars an individual can sell before they are deemed to be a trader. A person will only be considered a trader if they buy cars mainly for the purpose of reselling them at a profit, regardless of the number of vehicles sold each year."

I realise many of these "dodgy" sellers hide behind the private seller tag.
Confirming the seller is a trade seller may not be that simple though.

If I was the OP I would either just sell the car as is, fix it or scrap it.

Hard lesson but I wouldn't believe anything a salesperson in a main dealer told me let alone some unkwown bloke selling a 50 year old car.

Car should have been checked before purchase and certainly well checked before driving it.
 

Tuercas viejas

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We do a 42 point pre-purchase inspections for $175 in the shop on a hoist like an MOT test but more!.
Regrettably they are often performed as post purchase inspections emulating the OP's original post!
Its sad, but many are found to be polished turds . Seriously!
Simply put, if the perspective buyer would just simply engage someone who knows the potential repair scenarios, faults .and corrosion tendencies then a lot of this grief can be avoided.

Many Independent shops who specialize in the marque will happily give you some verbal's on what to go looking for as a "cursory shopping", and then do a PRE purchase inspection if you find perspective "ride" you want.
Don't succumb to the fear of loss, nor lose your head as I have done so at times with women in my lurid past !! (Lessons learned)

Going to court is the last option, its like going to war and there are usually losers on both sides .
Charles Dickens one of my most favorite novelist wrote his works based upon Greek tragedies in a Victorian theme !
Hating attorneys and courts, (since he worked for them) this should always be in your mind!

Quote:-
From Pickwick Papers” trial — one of the great comic scenes in literature — innocence is irrelevant, the lawyers are thugs, and the judge is asleep. (Yes, again Dickens hated lawyers for the same reason your neighbor does:) every lawsuit leaves (at least) one side unhappyyet the bar always wins. He invoked every known indictment of the profession: sorcerers who command the law to harm others, nitpicking complicators of life (“red tape,” in Dickens’s time, still bound legal papers), chicaners who exploit procedure to free the guilty, and prolix corrupters of the English tongue.

Beware if this when buying bent used iron!
Because you might find yourself fighting windmills like Don Quixote !


Tuercas viejas
 
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