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We recently bought a car from a Dealer and now realise that it had a cracked tail-light which means it will fail it's next warrant.

The dealer did not inform us of this but has admitted that it was there when he sold the car.

Is the dealer legally obliged to inform us at the time of sale about defects that will make the car fail its warranty and is the dealer obliged to pay for the repairs?


From the "Ask Jack" archives - 5 December 2009


Reasons for a WoF rejection on a tail light lens are; missing, holed, cracked or other damage that allows moisture or dirt to enter.

I assume a new WoF was issued prior to sale. If this was the case the car should not have passed the inspection if the crack is obvious.

I guess what you don't know however, is whether the crack in the lens was there at the time of the WoF being issued or happened some time later before the sale or handover to you was made.

Either way not your problem, the car must be 'fit for purpose' at time of sale by a Licensed Trader (unless the buyer acknowledges and excepts the car with known problems).

If the dealer admits the car was like that at the time of the sale then they should replace the lens at no cost to you.

In many cases the fitting of a second hand lens or light assembly (in WoF condition) is perfectly acceptable.