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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Hi, I have been involved in a dispute with a local garage

Resolved Question:

Hi,

I have been involved in a dispute with a local garage regarding a car we bought for £7790 and I would be grateful for some legal advice. This is complicated by an additional cost of £549 for a 3 year warranty which I have been assured can be transferred.

In essence we part exchanged our old car for £1300 and bought the second hand duel fuel car. Within a couple of weeks it was into the garage because of an engine warning light. The warning light was reset but came on again a few days later and the car went back to the garage who reset the light again. The warning light has come on again and again and visits 3 and 4 resulted in replacement of an oxygen sensor and a split hose respectively. These repairs have not fixed the problem. I did accept to book the car in with them for a further week-long visit and to turn off the LPG fuel system to try and identify the problem, which it appears to have done. I made the booking on provision that we could discuss alternative ways to resolve the problem (i.e. repair, replace with an alternative or refund of money). The garage have always said that they are confident in repairing the car but after 4 visits they have been unable to find the fault and in my opinion the car is not reliable. The garage then offered a refund of an insulting £4000 for the car, half what we paid for it! At this point I lost all faith in their ability to understand the situation and was angered by their arrogance. I cancelled the week-long booking and I do not want any more to do with them. I have needed to continue to drive the car due to work and family commitments and the warning light has not come on since the LPG fuel system was switched off, but the car did refuse to start for me last week and I had to call out the breakdown service!!

The garage have relinquished a little and have now offered £6500 for the car. The case that they have made for the reduction of the cost is that I have driven it for more than 5000 miles and have had nearly six months of motoring. I am disputing the revised cost of the car as approximately £1300 seems extortionate for the 6000 miles that I have driven. It also seems a little odd that the £1300 is the part-exchange component of the deal. So the garage take the car, resell it at further profit and keep the £1300, seems unfair to me!

I am now constantly frustrated that the garage either ignore what has been discussed or change their take on things. I have met with them once but again this got me nowhere and have refused other meetings. The garage have ended up changing the offer from a refund to an offer to buy the car back.

At the moment I am seriously considering accepting the offer of £6500 just to have this over with, but fully intend to follow this up with a letter to both Vauxhall and Chevrolet Managing Directors to make them aware. Social media could also be used to warn people of the extremely low standard of service that I have experienced.

Before I accept the offer can you advise whether you think that I have a strong enough case to take to the small claims court?

Best Regards

Mike Potter
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.

Alex Watts : Hello my name is XXXXX XXXXX I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return You do not need to wait here as you will get an email when I reply.
Alex Watts : How much would you seek to claim in total please?
Customer:

I originally asked for a full refund minus a reasonable sum of £200-£300 for the additional mileage

Customer:

so, about £8000

Customer:

thats because the total cost to me was £8339. £7790 for the car and £549 for an extended warranty

Customer:

thinking about it, so long as the extended warranty is legally transferable I would be look at £7500

Customer:

but they have, in my opinion, been unreasonable so I would like all my money back

Customer:

hope that makes sense

Alex Watts :

You need to write and set out your losses and request a refund within 14 days or say you will go to Court within 14 days. You should make sure you send this recorded delivery and keep a copy.


 


If they do not refund you then you can issue proceedings in the County Court. You can either do this online at: www.moneyclaim.gov.uk or by completing form N1 http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n001-eng.pdf and take it to your local County Court.


 


The Court will then issue a claim which a copy will be sent to the Defendant who will have a limited time to defend it, if not you can enter Judgment and enforce.


 


If the matter is defended it will be set down for a trial. If the claim is for £10,000 or less it will be a small claim and you will not need representation. Given you want to claim below this amount you might as well try for it all and see what the Judge says!


 


Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer:

So you think I have a strong enough case to take this to the small claims court?

Alex Watts :

I think you certainly have a shot.

Customer:

Its just that it will cost to go to small claims and I am not sure its worth it for what is a reasonably small amount. The garage will claim that they have offered to repair the car and I have cancelled and they will claim that they have offered a reasonable price to buy the car back

Alex Watts :

If you win you will get the fees back

Alex Watts :

But you only pay Court fees

Alex Watts :

Please see:

Alex Watts :

http://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/fees

Customer:

still not sure i have reasonable grounds though

Alex Watts :

I think you have more than 50% which is all you need for a small claim

Customer:

they will also argue that the car has still been driven

Alex Watts :

Yes they may.

Alex Watts :

Litigation is never certain so you may wish to take a lower sum offered.

Alex Watts :

But you may win at Court

Customer:

sounds like a gamble

Alex Watts :

Litigation always is

Customer:

maybe I will just take the money and run

Customer:

probably cost them more in bad reputation anyway

Alex Watts :

Its a matter for you, I can only advise on the options.

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything else for you?

Alex Watts :


Its a matter for you, I can only advise on the options.







Can I clarify anything else for you?



Customer:

no, if you think that I have more than a 50% chance then I will mull it over

Alex Watts :

Yes.

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything else for you today?

Customer:

one more point

Customer:

if it goes to court?

Alex Watts :

Yes

Customer:

and I lose

Customer:

I pay their court costs?

Alex Watts :

No - you lose the Court fees you have paid - that is it

Customer:

and I am left with a lemon?

Alex Watts :

That is the whole point of a small claim

Customer:

but I would be left with a dud car

Alex Watts :

Yes

Customer:

OK, I will think on it

Customer:

thank you

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