What happens if I buy stolen goods?

If you are unlucky enough to buy stolen goods, the law will not come to your rescue, even if you have acted in good faith and did not know that the goods were stolen. This principle applies to all stolen goods including cars.

So you buy a car and it turns out to be stolen. The law returns the car to the rightful owner. However, the innocent purchaser will have a claim against the person that sold the stolen car to them. And so it goes back up the chain.

Section 21(1) of the Sale of Goods Act 1979 says:

“Subject to this act, where goods are sold by a person who is not their owner, and who does not sell them under the authority or with the consent of the owner, the buyer acquires no better title to the goods than the seller had, unless the owner of the goods is by his conduct precluded from denying the seller’s authority to sell.”

Hastings and Co Solicitors specialise in litigation and dispute resolution.

Tel: 01245 835 305

Disclaimer: this blog is only intended to give a brief overview of the law and is not intended as a substitute for independent legal advice.

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