UCTA law essay Essay

This essay has a total of 960 words and 5 pages.

UCTA law essay

C. THE UNFAIR CONTRACT TERMS ACT 1977
The basic purpose of UCTA 1977 is to restrict the extent to which liability in a contract
can be excluded for breach of contract and negligence, largely by reference to a
reasonableness requirement, but in some cases by a specific prohibition.

S.6(2) states that as against a person dealing as consumer, liability for breach of the
obligations arising from ss.13, 14 or 15 of the Sale of Goods Act 1979 (seller's implied
undertakings as to conformity of goods with description or sample, or as to their quality
or fitness for a particular purpose) cannot be excluded or restricted by reference to any
contract term.

Exclusion clauses subject to reasonableness
S.6(3) states that as against a person dealing otherwise than as consumer liability for
breach of the obligations arising from ss.13, 14 or 15 of the Sale of Goods Act 1979 can
be excluded or restricted by reference to a contract term, but only in so far as the term
satisfies the requirement of reasonableness.

The Act gives the greatest protection to consumers. Under s12(1)
(1) A party to a contract 'deals as consumer' in relation to another party if -
(a) he neither makes the contract in the course of a business nor holds himself out as doing so; and
(b) the other party does make the contract in the course of a business; and
(c) in the case of a contract governed by the law of sale of goods or hire-purchase, or by
section 7 of this Act, the goods passing under or in pursuance of the contract are of a
type ordinarily supplied for private use or consumption.

(1A) But if the first party mentioned in subsection (1) is an individual paragraph (c) of
that subsection must be ignored.


Peter Symmons & Co v Cook [1981] 131 NLJ 758
R & B Customs Brokers v United Dominions Trust Ltd [1988] 1 WLR 321.
Peter Symmons & Co v Cook (1981) 131 NLJ 758
The plaintiff firm of surveyors bought a second-hand Rolls Royce from the defendants which
developed serious defects after 2,000. It was held that the firm was acting as a consumer
and that to buy in the course of a business 'the buying of cars must form at the very
least an integral part of the buyer's business or a necessary incidental thereto'. It was
emphasised that only in those circumstances could the buyer be said to be on equal footing
with his seller in terms of bargaining strength.

R & B Customs Brokers v United Dominion Trusts Ltd [1988] 1 WLR 321
The plaintiff company, which was a shipping agency, bought a car for a director to be used
in business and private use. It had bought cars once or twice before. The sale was
arranged by the defendant finance company. The contract excluded the implied conditions
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