Distance selling facts...

Having seen some common questions and incorrect information given out, here is a quick list of distance selling facts.

  1. If you do not give the correct paperwork, the customer can return the vehicle for no particular reason for up to 1 year and 14 days after they took delivery.
  2. The Regulations require the distance sale paperwork to be given or made available to a customer before they are bound by the contract. Put a copy of them on your website but also send with the confirmation of order paperwork.
  3. It is for the dealer to prove they supplied the information to the customer so make sure you have an audit trail.  
  4. The customer has the right to cancel the contract from when it is agreed up to 14 days after they take delivery.
  5. Distance sales do not apply to vehicles used for commercial purposes and so if someone is buying a car to use as a taxi, note that on the invoice with the company name as it is for the dealer to prove that the buyer was not buying as a consumer.
  6. Distance sales paperwork does not have to be given by the dealer to the consumer if the vehicle in on finance (as you are selling B2B to the finance company) but check with the finance company how they want to approach it with their consumer.  
  7. Even though distance sales paperwork does not have to be supplied by dealers for vehicles sold on finance , the finance company will have probably tied you in to a contract with them to accept returns within 14 days and so discuss with them to be clear.
  8. If you take the car to the consumer’s house and do the deal there, it will be an off-premises sale. You will still have to give them 14 days to change their mind and it is a criminal offence not to give the customer the paperwork for an off premises sale.
  9. Unless you set out terms on the 14 day paperwork, you will struggle to avoid giving a full refund or having to collect the vehicle.

Authors: Nona Bowkis

Published: 12 Nov 2020


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