Cinch website 90-day warranty screenshotCinch website 90-day warranty screenshot


Used car dealer Cinch finally gives in over Fiesta fiasco and refunds buyer £9,500 sale price

  • Victory by Sunday Times columnist in customer’s clash with Cinch
  • Buyer had been sold faulty Ford Fiesta but was getting nowhere despite months of trying
  • Cinch finally apologised for taking so long over matter and refunded full amount paid

Time 11:01 am, January 29, 2024

Online used car dealer Cinch has backed down and refunded a buyer £9,500 for selling them a Ford Fiesta that had been damaged in an undeclared accident.

Cinch, whose motto is ‘the faff-free way to buy a car online’, performed the U-turn after the buyer contacted The Sunday Times’ Question of Money column, following months of getting nowhere fast over the frustrating issue.

The second-hand car was bought in February 2023 but soon afterwards the buyer saw that water gathered in the boot whenever the weather was wet.

The problem arose during the three-month warranty period and after repeated phone calls over a number of months, a repair was arranged at the buyer’s local garage, with Cinch eventually footing the bill, said The Sunday Times.

However, the leak reared its unwelcome head again in November so as well as carrying out another repair, the garage investigated further – and discovered that the Fiesta had been involved in an accident before being bought.

The accident had caused a strut beneath the back window to bend, damaging the seal, which had led to the water coming in.

Citizens Advice then told the buyer that it was a consumer issue as opposed to a warranty issue, as the Fiesta had been repaired unofficially, meaning there was no accident record.

The buyer told The Sunday Times that despite contacting Cinch – which is owned by Constellation Automotive Group – a number of times during the past month, the dealer had failed to get back in touch to resolve things, despite vowing that it would.

They then turned to The Sunday Times, whose money columnist Jill Insley then intervened. In her report, she said the buyer had been sold faulty goods and had tried to have it repaired.

‘Having been damaged in an undeclared accident the car was not as described to you on purchase, so I asked Cinch to refund you the price you paid,’ she wrote.

‘Cinch told me that it had tried to get your car back so it could confirm your garage’s diagnosis, but wasn’t able to confirm a date with you.

‘It apologised for taking so long to resolve your complaint “and that the vehicle did not match our high standards on this occasion”. It has taken the car back and refunded you the full £9,500.’

Image via Cinch website

John Bowman's avatar

John has been with Car Dealer since 2013 after spending 25 years in the newspaper industry as a reporter then a sub-editor/assistant chief sub-editor on regional and national titles. John is chief sub-editor in the editorial department, working on Car Dealer, as well as handling social media.

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