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Ask Clare Your Own Question

Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 33807
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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Before my partner and his ex split up he had purchased a car

Customer Question

Before my partner and his ex split up he had purchased a car on finance which she was using for herself and their children. When they split she asked if she could continue using the car if she paid the finance payments going forward. He agreed and once the finance payments were complete (apart from £300 she paid short) she was asked to pay the difference between what she had paid and what the car was worth if she wanted to keep it permanently, she refused. She now has a new car and refuses to give back the old one saying that it is hers. The log book has always been registered in my partners name and at his address. He has a spare key. Can he take the car?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
How much is the car actually worth now?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
We've been given a trade value of £1000 - £1500. Same make model and age on auto trader for £3500
Thank you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Also what she paid on the finance payments equated to 25% of the card purchase price. He has always maintained than when he sells it she can have 25% of the sale price.
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Just to check - were they ever married?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No they weren't married
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
when did she take over paying for the car?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
2009 ish after they split up. She was supposed to pay the last £3700 of the finance payment to keep using the car but she only paid £3400. The car cost £13000 ish+ interest to buy new and she had used it since new. He traded in his own car and paid the majority of the finance and she had agreed to pay and extra £3400 on top of what she'd already paid to buy the car as it was worth a lot more than £3400 but then she refused. He let her keep using it for the children but maintained that she had to pay the balance if she wanted it signed over to her. Now she has a new car and refuses to let him take the other and sell it even though he owns it and paid for most of it. He has always said she will get 25% of the sale price but she's put a steering lock on the car and says it's hers and he can't have it.
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
I am sorry - she paid the finance after 2009 and all bar £300 of the final payment - is that correct?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
She paid the last £3400. The car was purchased for £13000. She was supposed to pay £3700 which was the last of the finance payments out not all of the finance payments.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The £3400 was not to
Purchase the car. It was to keep using it. Once the finance was finished she was supposed to pay a further £3400 but refused and refused to give the car back.
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Could you confirm what payments your partner and his ex each made during the course of the finance agreement?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The car was purchased for £13000. The finance was for £11600 + interest over 5 years. She paid £3400 in total, he paid the rest.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
She didn't pay the payments to the finance company she paid it to him to cover the finance payments.
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Was the agreement regarding the car ever put in writing?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
How old are the children?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
8 and 9. What does that have to do with the car?
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Since your partner holds the Registration then he could go and collect the car.
However Registration is not proof of ownership and his ex can sue him for the value of the car and claim that it was given to her at the time of separation which is why she paid the finance after separation.
Given the age of the children at the time of separation I fear that the Court is more likely to believe his ex - so that is a risk he will run if he does this.
Please ask if you need further details
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I'm not sure you've fully understood the situation. He isn't trying to take anything from her, he's offered to give her a share of the sale price that is a fair percentage based on what she contributed. He has communication (texted massages) where she asked to keep using the car and would pay the test of the finance to keep using it. He paid 75% of the cost if the car and at no time agreed that she could keep it. He can prove he paid for the car and that he didn't agree to let her keep. She has another car and that one is just sitting gathering rust. They didn't make a formal agreement with regard to the car but it there in black and white. Surely the family law system isn't so unfair that he's just expected to leave the car rusting on the drive while she drives another vehicle anyway. She doesn't need it anymore and can't do anything with it because she doesn't have the logbook? It's ridiculous that as a goodwill gesture and for his he agreed to let her keep using it and she can totally abuse the system and claim she owns it when that's not the case at all! She has a car and she's just trying to get more money out of him.
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
I am sorry - I am afraid that I did understand the situation.
As I said he can indeed go and collect the car if he wishes
The issue then will be whether or not his ex choses to sue him for the full value of the car as it is now.
She may not bother.
If she does it will be up to the Court to decide what agreement was made - the fact that he has the texts will be useful - but the fact is that the court COULD find against him
Only you and he can decide if the amount involved is worth it
Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 33807
Experience: I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
Clare and 4 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your help. I'd like to think that the court would see the difference between an honest person who tried to do the right thing and got completely taken advantage of and a dishonest person who is out for what they can get. I don't think she would sue him because that would cost her money and there's a chance she wouldn't gain money from it. As beginning to discover, honest people aren't really that protected by the court system and dads who have a greedy ex girlfriend who happens to be the mother of their children are even less protected by the courts.
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
I could not agree more
Clare

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