How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Ash Your Own Question

Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10914
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
Type Your Law Question Here...
Ash is online now

I asked a professional car assessor opinion on my

Resolved Question:

I asked a professional car assessor for his opinion on my case, plus the costs of assessing my broken down vehicle. He is now claiming payment for his 'opinion'. Does he have a valid case that could win in court? (He is now threatening me with court action for a sum of £230).

This started with me calling him to ask if he would assess my broken down car as my warranty company were refusing to pay out. I then emailed him to thank him for his time on the phone.  I wrote: I’d be interested in your opinion, plus understanding the costs from you of seeing and assessing the car for yourself, as this is how the warranty company have advised me to progress following the denial of my claim.

He then emailed me back with some comments, and has since contacted me three times to ask for payment for this email advice (£230 plus VAT), and is now threatening to take me to court.

Would he be likely to win this in court?


Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Alex Watts :

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.

Alex Watts :

Did you formally instruct him please?

Customer: No I did not instruct him
Customer: jo
Alex Watts :

Why did he do the work?


I called him as he advertised himself as an independent assessor for cars


We spoke on the phone and he asked me to send him details


I did so and said this in the email:


Hi Chris,

Thank you very much for your time on the phone just now.

Please find attached the report on our car from the assessor at the Warranty Group. You’ll find the details of the make / model of the car on here (BMW 5 series diesel).

I’m also going to forward you a report from the garage where the garage is currently.

I’d be interested in your opinion, plus understanding the costs from you of seeing and assessing the car for yourself, as this is how the warranty company have advised me to progress following the denial of my claim.

Best regards,



He replied with this:


Good morning Jo and nice to meet you

I do not accept a lot of private work BUT am very happy to do so when I suspect a member of the public is in danger of being ripped off , which is exactly what I feel here !

Despite your kind inclusion of web comments etc. , I have had to make my own research and this confirms my own feelings : -

1. That the timing chain is completely different to a belt , the latter needing periodic renewal

2. There is no requirement to change a chain , at any time

3. Despite mention of warnings likely to he displayed within the car , This is just not the case : The chain would never stretch

to a degree where the timing was sufficiently displaced and cause a malfunction warning

4. It is very unlikely that a noise of significance would be heard when driving and leading up to the eventual failure

5. The eventual failure would effectively take place without warning

6. There is nothing that you or indeed me ! could have done to avoid this failure

My Advice :

SUE immediately

If the cost will be under £10K, Then use The County Court Small Claims ( This new higher limit came into force on 01 April last year )

You would not need a solicitor I feel

You should warn TWG that you will be calling an Expert and that is all you need

If the cost will be in excess of £10K you should use a solicitor and then costs will really rise !

Remember too that you should include claims for downtime, loss of convenience and cost of alternative car hire

I can put 1. > 6. Above into a CPR35 complaint report if you so desire ( wouldn’t take me long ) but you may feel you want to warn TWG first

You can forward my email but deleting ( editing is possible when forwarding ) the more personal aspects of what I say

I work at £154 per hour , NO VAT , plus disbursements

Call me Jo , if you want a chat but I believe I’ve pointed you the right way

Chris 07860 911347


He then contacted me some time later with this email:ANY NEWS PLEASE JOANNE ; Perhaps I should Fee you now ? So you can include that in your claim

RSVP and thanks



I replied:


Good morning Chris,

Whist your advice has been appreciated I can’t understand where I’ve agreed to pay you a fee for this? Any cost implications should have been advised of up front. Throughout this whole situation I feel that I am being ripped off by every company or individual that I come across!



He then emailed me again:


My apologies Jo for my tardy response :

I am hoping you are excluding me from your feeling of being ripped off ! a feeling I did express within my first email on 08 July

Your own first email to me did request my opinions and I presume you would realise I am not a charity :

I agree you did ask at that email of my Fees but did not halt my opinion

I am not VAT registered any more and I will leave it to your conscious to remit what you feel would be fair


His final email is the following:


I have tried to be reasonable here and left it to you to make me a reasonable offer

You have not done so

I think I shall issue for £231 , being 1.5 hours without VAT

Which Court will suit you ?

Chris Davis

Alex Watts :

Why did you ask him for advice if you did not want to instruct him?


My primary aim was to find someone to assess the car. This was what I talked about on the phone when I first spoke to this man. Whilst on the phone he volunteered to look at the information about the car.

Alex Watts :

Ok - why did you let him look at the car?

Alex Watts :

Did you sign any terms?


He didn't look at the car. I did not instruct him to look at the car, the only thing he did was reply to my email.


No, I didn't sign any terms or agree to pay any fees. I specifically asked him in my first email to outline his costs for viewing the car, as that is the only work I initially wanted to be done.

Alex Watts :

Then you do not need to worry. You did not instruct him, he did not look at the car, you did not sign any terms or conditions.

Alex Watts :

As such you had no intention to enter a contract. That means you are not liable.

Alex Watts :

Even if he pursued a small claim he would have no contractual documents.

Alex Watts :

There simply is no contract and therefore you are not liable

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?


OK that's clear thank you.

Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10914
Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
Ash and other Law Specialists are ready to help you

What Customers are Saying:

  • Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great! Maggie
< Previous | Next >
  • Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great! Maggie
  • A quick response, a succinct and helpful answer in simple English. I believe I can now confront the counter party with confidence -- worth the 30 bucks! Rick
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C.
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther

Meet The Experts:

  • Jo C.

    Jo C.


    Satisfied Customers:

    Over 5 years in practice
< Last | Next >
  • Jo C.'s Avatar

    Jo C.


    Satisfied Customers:

    Over 5 years in practice
  • Ben Jones's Avatar

    Ben Jones

    UK Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
  • Buachaill's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    Barrister 17 years experience
  • Max Lowry's Avatar

    Max Lowry


    Satisfied Customers:

    LLB, 10 years post qualification experience
  • UK_Lawyer's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    I am a qualified solicitor and an expert in UK law.
  • Kasare's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    Solicitor, 10 yrs plus experience in civil litigation, employment and family law
  • Joshua's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice