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Stuart J
Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 22400
Experience:  PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street Practice
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We have a received a small claim (£6000) against us for a second

Customer Question

We have a received a small claim (£6000) against us for a second hand car. We have offered to provide a full refund, even though we do not agree the claim, but simply cannot handle the stress.
The claimant now tells us that the car was stolen. They still expect to receive the £6000 but there is no car to return to us.
What's the legal position?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Stuart J replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your question here on Just answer. It is my pleasure to try and assist you with this today. Please bear with me if I need to ask for any further information from you in order for me to be able to advise you fully. My name isXXXXX and I am a practising solicitor. I have been an expert on this website in UK law since 2008. During that time, as you appreciate, I have answered thousands of questions from satisfied users on a variety of subjects.

Because we are all in practice with clients and court and other users, I might not always respond in minutes, particularly evenings and weekends. Please bear with me in that case. I will be online and off-line all day most weekdays and weekends.

What was the sale price of the car?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

£5450

The car was a category C car, deemed repairable by the insurance company. The claimant was given the HPI report and an independent AA approved inspection report, both of which stated the category of the car.

The claim is that they were not told the car was a Cat C car. As I said in previous email, we do not intend to defend the claim - I can't take the stress - hence our decision to offer to refund their money.

 

I finally managed to contact them today and they told me the car was stolen on Saturday night but the Citizens Advice Bureau tells them that the claim against us still stands.

 

Seems like we pay them the money but get no car in return. In parallel they claim on their insurance for the theft? WHere does that leave us, and, more importantly, how should I now deal with the claim form? My 14 days to respond expires on 4 September.

 

 

Expert:  Stuart J replied 3 years ago.

What is the difference between Cat c and non cat C in £? Arent they insured for this? They cannot recover twice. The CAB are not entirley correct, typically!

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Retail price for the car would have been £6500.


We sold it to them for £5450.


When we sell cars, we explain that the vehicle has been subject to a total loss claim, deemed repairable by the insurance company, and that the selling price reflects that status.


 


They are insured. Insurance companies re-sell damaged vehicles in the full knowledge that they will re-enter the retail market. We reduce the price to reflect the fact that the vehicle is worth less as a Cat C. Normally, insurance companies pay out trade value for a previously damaged car which is why we price them the way we do. They tell me that they told the insurance company that the value of the vehicle was the £5450 they paid for it.


 


My dilemma is that I have only until 4 September to pay the money they are claiming £6000 (including £199 for a second AA report, £180 for the repair and court costs) or I need to tell the court that we will defend the claim. By the way, we give a 3 month all parts and labour warranty and would have repaired the car free of charge but they chose not to bring it back but revert immediately to court action.


 

Expert:  Stuart J replied 3 years ago.
I am away from my desk at the moment. I have seen your reply and I will get back to you as soon as I have a keyboard in front of me. No need to reply to this post. Thanks
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Are you back at your desk yet? I'm really keen to get an answer pleaase.


 

Expert:  Stuart J replied 3 years ago.

This is remarkably suspicious, the evidence having been nicked!

I know how cats C and D work. I have bought a couple of motor bikes on same basis. Provided you didn’t misrepresent the car, I cannot see that they have a claim.

I would be off to court.

Even if they win the worst that can happen is that you pay up.

However…

Assuming that the car was total junk..(and you sed it was excellent apart from cat C) they had control of it and they are under duty to take care of it. They didn’t do that. They should claim on their insurance and their loss is the difference between what the value (not what the insurance co pays out) and what they paid.

If they claim on their insurance and the insurance co says they will give what they paid, I cannot see what they are claiming for.

If you tell me the substance of their claim I can expand my answer, but I would be off to court based on the facts so far.

I think that their legal adviser should read some more law books or go back to law school BASED ON THESE FACTS

Please bera with me over weeknd as I am on and offline. Thanks

Does that answer the question? I am happy to answer specific points.

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