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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 26069
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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I have contracted a garage business to transfer an engine from

Customer Question

I have contracted a garage business to transfer an engine from one vehicle to another vehicle. I believe the vehicles are the same type/model. The self employed mechanics supplied by the garage business found that components were different on the two engines so they swapped these over so that the engine to be used as a running unit would fit the vehicle that is to be restored to running condition.
On Friday 9th May the garage informed me that the bill was now some £2500 plus VAT but the self employed men they were using needed another two days to finish the transfer. I agreed over the phone to one more day to let me test the level of competence. After 3 hours further work the garage phoned me to say that the good engine could not be fitted into the vehicle as it was essentially a different type of engine to the one originally fitted to that vehicle. I am now faced with a bill of some £3000 plus Vat and two engines on the floor that are unsaleable as in modified form the good engine will not fit any vehicle. By the way the faulty engine had already been remove from the vehicle by others so there has been no benefit to me from the work carried out.
What is my position woith regard to paying for this service provided by the garage
XXXXX XXXXX
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 3 years ago.

Joshua :

Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

Joshua :

May I ask if the garage advised that investigation would be required to confirm whether it was possible first and the costs associated with the investigation or did it simply confirm it would carry out the work you requested and swap over the engines with no mention of having to ascertain if it were possible?

Joshua :

Is there any form of written agreement or exchange of emails or has everything been verbal to date?

Customer:

The garage did not advise that investigation would be required as to the viability of the the engine swap. Everything has been verbal to date although I have had an email detailing the hours undertaken so far and the total amount therefore owing. This was the position on Friday9th May.

Joshua :

Thanks.

Joshua :

The position in law from what you say is that you have instructed the garage to carry out an exchange of your engines as you describe for which they quoted an estimated figure which subsequently increased and which increased figure you agreed to

Joshua :

accordingly, a contractual agreement exists between you and the garage for the garage to carry out the work agreed between you. The agreement has provisions implied into it by virtue of the supply of goods and services act which provides that the work must be carried out with reasonable skill and care, using appropriate parts where applicable of satisfactory quality, and within the timeframe agreed or failing which within a reasonable timeframe

Joshua :

from what you say, the garage has failed to carry out the work it contracted to undertake and accordingly is in breach of contract for failure to perform

Joshua :

the garage is offering a professional service and if there was a question as to whether it would be able to carry out the work then this should have been made clear at the outset whereby the garage confirmed that it may be able to carry out the work but would first need to investigate and further advise that such investigation may incur charges in its own right. if it had confirmed as such, and you had agreed for them to proceed on this basis, it would be well within its rights to make a charge for the investigation work carried out however from what you say, none of this was the case but rather the garage simply agreed to carry out the work

Joshua :

accordingly, the garage would appear to be in breach of contract. The garage should be looking to return your vehicles to you as they were when you provided them to the garage. If they are unable to do so, you may have a claim for damages against them for at least the restoration of the cars to their state and condition when you left them with the garage.

Joshua :

the difficulty here may be the lack of any written agreement or exchange of emails confirming the work agreed to be carried out and therefore there is the possibility for there to be one person's word against another as to what was actually agreed. Accordingly, before you raise any formal complaint of dispute, it may be worthwhile attempting to secure a record of what was agreed by emailing the garage in the relatively casual manner setting out what was agreed and asking for confirmation of the charges they wish you to pay and confirmation that they have been unable to complete the work or something of that nature seller you have something in written form detailing what was originally agreed and the amounts you agreed to pay for it

Joshua :

this having been established, you can consider a request that they restore your vehicles and return them to you failing which she will consider a claim in the County Court to secure the return of the same together with the costs associated with restoring the vehicles. the simplest way to issue a claim if necessary is by using www.moneyclaim.gov.uk

Joshua :

is there anything above I can clarify for you?

Customer:

Good so far. Thanks

Joshua :

If I can assist any further as the situation develops please do no hesitate to let me know.

Customer:

To add a little more. The garage have said that they can finish the job if they can totally rebuild the internals of the engine including new crank shaft. I believe this would cost at least an extra £6000. This initiative was offered on the phone.

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