Ask an expert


I recently sold a car that had been regularly serviced and well looked after by our family mechanic.

When it came time to sell I stated it was in 'excellent mechanical condition' as I had no other reason to believe otherwise. Unfortunately five weeks after selling I was contacted by the new owner to say the car had blown a head gasket and that according to a recent AA vehicle inspection it looked as if it hadn't had the coolant replaced for quite some time.

Am I liable for the repair bill?

It would appear my advert was false, and that the engine wasn't in excellent mechanical condition, even though I thought it was.


From the "Ask Jack" archives - 28 July, 2010


Very interesting and topical question at the moment.

See attached link to a story on this topic we have just posted on another part of our website.

Saying a vehicle is in excellent mechanical condition is possibly leaving you open to misrepresentation of the vehicle.

It is better to say the engine has always been regularly serviced. As a layman relying on a mechanic to carry out the necessary servicing you are simply stating the truth and there is no comeback on you.

All you can say is you have always had the car serviced regularly which lead you to believe the engine was in excellent condition.

The buyer had some responsibility to get the whole car checked out prior to committing to purchase and most mechanical inspections would include the condition of the cooling system.

If your conscious is clear then you have the option to do nothing at all but the buyer could take this further if they wanted.