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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 48209
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I was looking car to buy, I found one and decided

Customer Question

Hello,
I was looking for a car to buy, I found one and decided to buy it, got an invoice from the seller which is signed by me.
I've paid 150 pounds as deposit but I've changed my mind and wanna cancel the invoice (i don't wanna pay or receive the car anymore, car is not delivered yet).
When I informed the seller that I don't want it anymore, he got advice from a lawyer/friend that he has the right to not refund the deposit or even he has the right to not even accept my cancellation request (nothing is mentioned about cancellation on the invoice).
I just wanna know, as per the UK law, who is right, can i get my deposit back and cancel the invoice (even when is signed by both parties) or seller is right and it's up to him to accept or reject my request?
Thank you.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a solicitor on this site and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Why did you change your mind?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for quick reply.

i don't like the car and not sure to deal with this particular seller anymore.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
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. I trust this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page). If for any reason you are unhappy with my response or if you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for your advice.

Yes, the invoice is issued by a company not an individual.

So:

- I have the right to get my deposit back and cancel the invoice/agreement.

- The seller doesn't have the right to reject my cancellation request.

Is that right?

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
You can cancel as you can't be forced to go ahead with the transaction but they could keep the deposit if they have lost out as a result of this cancellation, such as if they can't sell the car for the same amount or they have incurred other expenses such as admin or advertising costs. Hope this clarifies?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Awesome support, thank you.

Last clarifications:

- Is it cost-effective if I take it to the Office of Fair Trading or even county court?

does it all worth 150 pounds? or I will end up paying more if I take it to government offices!

- Should I get the original signed invoice back from the seller and does it have any legal responsibility (since it's signed and will never be paid)?

Regards,

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
the OFT is free so nothing to lose there. Court - I would think twice about it. You will have to pay court fees and for the amount concerned probably not worth it. You can threaten to go there and maybe use that as a negotiating tactic but I am not sure it is worthwhile actually making a claim. You can get the invoice back but does not entitle you to a refund it is just there as evidence you paid the money
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

so the signed invoice doesn't have any legal responsibility for me and cannot be used against me in future, right?

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
No as mentioned they cannot force you to buy the car so they can't really use it, it is more for you to show that you had aid a deposit
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for great support and quick replies, just rated "Excellent Service".

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Many thanks all the best