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Know Your Rights July 2020 –Shopping online refunds & Learner permit renewal

Know your rights: Shopping online refunds

I bought something online. Can I change my mind and get a refund even though it’s not faulty?

You are not automatically entitled to a refund when returning an item you bought in a shop because you have simply changed your mind. If there is nothing wrong with the item (for example, there isn’t a fault) then you have no legal right to return the goods.

The situation is different for purchases made online. When you buy online you are entering into a contract called a distance contract. With this type of contract, you do not enter the contract in person and you cannot check the products before you buy. Because of this, you have additional protections under EU law.

Your cancellation rights

Under the Consumer Rights Directive, you have 14 calendar days to change your mind without having to give a reason. This right to cancel is also known as the ‘cooling-off period’.

For products bought online, your right to cancel the order starts the moment you receive the product. You have 14 days to tell the seller you want to cancel and then a further 14 days to return the item. You may have to pay for the cost of returning the item.

Right to a refund with 14 days of cancellation

You must be refunded within 14 days of cancellation, including standard delivery costs. A seller may not process the refund until they have proof that goods have been sent back.

Does my right to cancel apply to all online purchases?

The cooling-off period does not apply to certain purchases. Examples are personalised products or leisure services such as hotel bookings, car rental or concert tickets.

The Consumer Rights Directive does not apply:

  • If you buy something online from a trader who is based outside the EU, for example you buy an item from a Chinese website
  • To consumer-to-consumer deals, that is where you buy from a private individual

Brexit and buying online from a UK business

The UK left the European Union on 31 January 2020 and is now in a transition period while the UK and EU negotiate additional arrangements.  If you are buying online from a UK trader, your consumer rights remain the same during the transition period (until 31 December 2020).

You can find out more on your consumer rights by visiting citizensinformation.ie.

Know your rights: Learner permit renewal

This news item was posted on July 16, 2020

My learner permit is due to expire soon, what do I need to do?

You must hold a valid learner permit to learn to drive on public roads in Ireland. You must always have the learner permit with you when you are driving and adhere to certain driving restrictions.

Your first or second learner permit usually lasts for two years while a third and subsequent permit lasts for one year. You need to hold your first learner permit for at least 6 months before you take a driving test.  If you are applying for a third or subsequent permit you must show evidence that you have taken a driving test in the previous 2 years or have an appointment for a forthcoming driving test.

How do I renew my permit?

In most cases, you can renew your learner permit online if you have a Public Services Card (PSC) and a verified MyGovID account. This option is not available if:

  • You hold a bus or truck category on your licence
  • You are over 70
  • You are applying for your third or subsequent learner permit
  • You have a medical condition that requires a medical report (see the driving licence form (pdf) for a list of applicable medical conditions)

If you cannot renew your licence online, you will have to apply to a National Driver Licence Service (NDLS) office in person. 

You must bring your completed application form and the following documentation with you when renewing your driving licence:

  • Your current or most recently issued driving licence
  • The application fee of €35
  • Documentation to prove your identity
  • A Driving Licence Medical Report Form, if required
  • A Driving Licence Eyesight Report Form, if required

COVID-19 and renewing your learner permit

During the COVID-19 public health emergency, if your learner permit is due to expire between 1 March 2020 and 31 October 2020 it will automatically be renewed for 4 months. This means that if your learner permit was due to expire 1 July, your permit will expire on 1 November 2020.

You will not receive a new licence or permit during this time, but your driver record will be updated to show that your licence or learner permit is still valid.

NDLS offices reopened on a phased basis from 8 June 2020. You can find details of which NDLS offices are open on the Road Safety Authority website. NDLS offices will not operate a drop-in service. You can book an appointment to attend an office in person.

You can find out more about learner permits by visiting citizensinformation.ie. You can get the application form on the National Driver Licence Service website

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