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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
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Good afternoon... I have placed a holding deposit on a car,

Resolved Question:

Good afternoon... I have placed a holding deposit on a car, two weeks have passed due to waiting for my remortgage to go through. Now everything is ok to proceed I am now having trouble getting car finance due to two reasons; one company say mileage is too high, and another company will not trade with the dealer as they do not have a 'CCL' licence??. My only other option is a loan which is not a problem due to good credit however the time span is too long for the dealer and he wants to re advertise the car. Am I entitled to my deposit back. Many thanks!!
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Generally, when a person places an order for something and pays a deposit they enter into a legally enforceable contract with the seller. It is implied that the seller has accepted the deposit as security and as proof that the buyer wants to proceed with the contract.

Unless the seller subsequently commits a serious breach of contract, or there was a cancellation clause, the buyer would have no legal right to cancel the agreement and if they do so they will be acting in breach of contract and risk losing their deposit. This is especially true if the deposit was described as non-refundable.

If this was a business seller, they will be subject to certain consumer rules and regulations. For example, you will have some protection under Schedule 2, Regulation 1(d) of the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999. It states that if the contract has been cancelled after a deposit has been placed you are entitled to have the deposit returned in full, unless the seller has spent time, effort and money, in which case they can deduct reasonable expenses. Even if some expenses have been incurred, if these are subsequently recovered, for example by selling the item to someone else, the deposit should still be returned in full. It follows that a blanket non-refundable clause that entitles the seller to keep the deposit in all circumstances is most likely going to be unfair and unlawful.

If you are having difficulties in recovering the deposit when you believe you are entitled to have it returned, advise the seller that you will not hesitate reporting them to the Office of Fair Trading and, if necessary, pursue the matter further through the county court. Exerting such pressure could often work in changing the seller's position in this matter.

Hope this clarifies your position? If you could please let me know that would be great, thank you

Ben Jones :

Hello, I see you have accessed and read my answer to your query. Please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this? I just need to know whether to close the question or not? Thanks

Ben Jones :

Can you not see my replies?

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Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Good morning Ben, many thanks for your prompt reply.

My apologies for taking a while to come back to you and to thank you…

Since I first made contact with you I still at this point have not received my deposit back, and appears that I will not. I still have had no formal telephone conversation with the dealer since last Thursday when I explained fully my situation (Finance companies not willing to deal with them and also having to apply for a loan which would delay the purchase further), it was during this conversation I was told a conversation would be had in house about holding the vehicle for a few more days, I never received a call back. I did receive contact 3 days later via text due to a conversation I had with the third party who recommended the dealer to me (He called on my behalf to ask why there had been no contact, and to also reiterate my desire to buy the vehicle and that my funds would be available Wednesday), This text simply said ‘Busy, call you Monday’, but never received the call, again only a text on Tuesday 17th stating somebody else was viewing the car and if they bought it they would keep my deposit, if they did not buy the car then I had until Wednesday to buy the car or they would keep my deposit.

I now have my funds available, and feel they have breached their side of the contract by selling from under my feet.

A few things I am confused about, I was told via text that deposits are non-refundable if I viewed the car, which I did. This to me sounds like a completely ridiculous policy. Was also told via text that 3 weeks to hold a car is also not policy? Also I have not signed any documents and have seen nothing in writing stating these policies.

Thanks again Ben, not sure what else you can elaborate on this but this is where I am as of today.

Kind Regards

***** *****ng

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Hi Gary
It may be difficult for you to claim that they have now sold the car under your nose so to speak because you had already informed them that you were not in a position to go ahead with the transaction so they would be entitled to try and minimise their losses by looking for another buyer. However, when it comes to the deposit the situation still remains the same in that they cannot just make a profit out of your interest if they have not suffered any losses. They can still use the deposit to cover any losses they have suffered as a result of this but they would have to justify them and you can ask them to do so. If they can’t or they keep ignoring you then you can consider taking the next step in trying to recover what you are owed and that would be by making a claim in the small claims court through www.moneyclaim.gov.uk.
Hope this clarifies your position
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