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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I ordered a new vehicle Taxi business on 15th May

Resolved Question:

Hi. I ordered a new vehicle for my Taxi business on 15th May 2015 for 1st September delivery but the vehicle still has not been supplied due to administrative failures by the vehicle converter who was nominated by the supplying dealer. My business has suffered huge losses (earnings/damage to reputation) as a result of not having the vehicle. Can I make a claim for loss of earnings/compensation? Who do I claim against - The supplying dealer (who is not really at fault apart from nominating the vehicle converting company) or the Vehicle Converter (who has been sub-contracted by the dealer).
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you.
What do their terms and conditions say about consequential loss please?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi, I don't have a copy of their Terms & Conditions. The whole transaction has been conducted by telephone conversation but I do have an email from the supplying dealer in which he confirms that delivery was due in early September and that they failed to meet that and subsequent promised delivery dates.

Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
How much are you seeking to claim?
Did they know it was for a taxi? Is it a specialist vehicle?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I am seeking adequate recompense for the earnings I have lost due to the delay in supplying the vehicle. The supplying dealer only supplies Taxi's but because my vehicles have to be wheelchair accessible it had to be sent to a conversion company to be adapted. Ford supplied the vehicle to the dealer in August and the vehicle was immediately forwarded to the converter. This had all been pre-arranged when I placed the order in May. When the vehicle arrived at the converters they had failed to order the conversion kit (from the Czech Republic) which took another two weeks to arrive. The conversion then took another two weeks. The vehicle had been completed by 24th September and delivery was promised for Friday 25th Sept. At 18.00 on 24th Sept I received a call from the dealer advising that the vehicle did not have a Certificate of Conformity and/or Whole Vehicle Type Approval (WVTA) as this was the first vehicle to be converted with a Euro 6 engine so the previous WVTA (for Euro 5) could not be used. They applied for WVTA (also in Czech Republic) but as yet it has not been granted and they cannot say when it will be. The vehicle is booked in for an Individual Type Approval (I.V.A.) test on Monday 2nd November and if it passes should be delivered to me next week.

Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
How much are you seeking to claim please?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

As stated my losses to date amount to approx £3500.00 + the loss of an ongoing (3 year) Local Authority Contract which I lost as a result of not having the vehicle for use in September of which around £1500.00 would have been profit on sales. I have just received a phone call from the dealer who has now offered £500.00 and has forwarded an offer from the Converter of £350.00 (£850.00 in total). The Converter had originally said they would not be offering anything but having threatened Court action have obviously reconsidered. Does this set a precedent (as an admission of guilt) ? Am I likely to achieve a higher amount with a Small Claims Court claim?

Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
You need to write and set out your losses and request a payment within 14 days or say you will go to Court within 14 days. You should make sure you send this signed delivery and keep a copy.
If they do not pay you then you can issue proceedings in the County Court. You can either do this online at: www.moneyclaim.gov.uk or by completing form N1 http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n001-eng.pdf and take it to your local County Court.
The Court will then issue a claim which a copy will be sent to the Defendant who will have a limited time to defend it, if not you can enter Judgment and enforce.
If the claim is for £10,000 or less it will be a small claim so you will not need legal representation. Over this value you would need representation for trial.
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thanks. What would be the costs to me of bringing a County Court claim and do you think I would have a reasonable chance of gaining more than the £850.00 already offered?

How would the Court view the offers made to date? Would this go in their favour or mine?

Who do I make the claim against? Is it the dealer at fault (who sub-contracted the adaptation to the Converter) or should I claim against the converter even though I had no contract with them?

Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
You need to check their terms to see if they limit consequential loss - if they do take the £850.
The Court only considers offers after liability has been decided. You would issue a claim against the dealer as that is who your contract is with.
Does that help?
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Since you mentioned T&C's earlier I have looked on the company's website and they don't appear to have published any terms. I have never received an Order form for the purchase so I can't check to see if they are stated on there either. I only have a copy of the Finance agreement (from the Finance company) and a receipt (which I printed) for the BACS transfer of the £1000.00 deposit I paid when I ordered the vehicle.

Given that they haven't provided any T&C's of purchase can they introduce them at this stage or should they have made me aware of them at the point of sale?

Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Ok - then you should be able to argue even if they do have terms as they were not given highlighted to you at the point of contract.
Can I clarify anything else for you?
Alex
Ash and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Hi

I am just following up to see if there is anything else I can help with?

If you have not done so already might I ask you to rate my answer before you go today please, the button should be at the bottom of the screen.

If you need more help please click reply.

Alex