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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69364
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I own a classic car project which has been stored in my friends

Customer Question

I own a classic car project which has been stored in my friends rented garage. I saw my car on ebay last week and my friend phoned the police to report the car stolen.
The owners of the land decided to knock down the garages and apparently sent letters to the renters. My friend didn't get the letter as he rents out his house and the renters did not pass the letter on. The builder paid to clear the site apparently held the car in his compound. He had been instructed to do this by the land owner. The builder then apparently spoke to a pcso who checked with dvla for an owner. The pcso apparently informed him they couldn't trace one. The builder then sold my car to the party advertising it on ebay. myself and a couple of friends traced the car through the advert and informed the police. They visited the person selling the car and said he could not sell or damage or move the car. They also told the seller and the builder to sort out the money, but that I couldn't have the car back until the finance between the 2 persons was sorted. This has still not been done and I believe I cannot get my car back. Th eseller wants compensation from the builder plus his purchase amount. Surely legally I can go and ollect my car. It is registerd in my name with dvla and I have the v5. I am the innocent party here and appear to be powerless to get my car back. can you please advise. The police constable says this is not a legal matter but civil, I don't see how. The builder knew the car wasn't his to sell and the ebay seller knows the car has been reported stolen so is holding stolen property. please advise how I stand.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 11 months ago.
Hi.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
What would you like to know about this ?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I want to know if I can legally reclaim my car from the person holding it. Is this a legal matter as the constable says not. How do I get the police to back me up?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Hi have you received my question?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
my card has just been charged and I havnt had an answer from you? why?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 11 months ago.
Your post above doesn't contain a question?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
original question
I own a classic car project which has been stored in my friends rented garage. I saw my car on ebay last week and my friend phoned the police to report the car stolen. The owners of the land decided to knock down the garages and apparently sent letters to the renters. My friend didn't get the letter as he rents out his house and the renters did not pass the letter on. The builder paid to clear the site apparently held the car in his compound. He had been instructed to do this by the land owner. The builder then apparently spoke to a pcso who checked with dvla for an owner. The pcso apparently informed him they couldn't trace one. The builder then sold my car to the party advertising it on ebay. myself and a couple of friends traced the car through the advert and informed the police. They visited the person selling the car and said he could not sell or damage or move the car. They also told the seller and the builder to sort out the money, but that I couldn't have the car back until the finance between the 2 persons was sorted. This has still not been done and I believe I cannot get my car back. Th eseller wants compensation from the builder plus his purchase amount. Surely legally I can go and ollect my car. It is registerd in my name with dvla and I have the v5. I am the innocent party here and appear to be powerless to get my car back. can you please advise. The police constable says this is not a legal matter but civil, I don't see how. The builder knew the car wasn't his to sell and the ebay seller knows the car has been reported stolen so is holding stolen property. please advise how I stand legally
Expert:  Jo C. replied 11 months ago.
Yes, I've read the facts.
What is your question about this?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I want to know if I can legally take my car back? Is this a legal matter as the constable says it isn't. The police have not charged anyone and don't appear to be interested in helping me get my car back, they have told the 2 parties to sort the money out but not said I can have my car.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Hi. did you get my questions. The site appears very slow.
I want to know if I can legally take my car back? Is this a legal matter as the constable says it isn't. The police have not charged anyone and don't appear to be interested in helping me get my car back, they have told the 2 parties to sort the money out but not said I can have my car.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 11 months ago.
The reason the police will not become involved is that they are saying it is not a criminal offence which would seem to be correct. Come what may, nobody has stolen anything. It might well be that there is a property dispute but that doesn't make it a criminal matter.
In principle, if a vehicle is registered to you then you are entitled to physical possession of it at least until any disputes are resolved. The practical reality though is that unless the current possessor tells you where the car is it cannot be achieved.
You can always write to him threatening an injunction forcing him to hand the car back or you could sue for the value of the car.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Hi
surely the car has been taken without my consent (twoc) which I believe is an offence. Also withholding property when you know it is stolen, (isn't that taken without consent/permission). I know where the car is as we found it ourselves and informed the police. So if I know where it is and I am legally entitled to have it in my possession how do I enforce the person who has it to let me take it?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 11 months ago.
It may have been taken without consent but it doesn't meet the test for the criminal law because it lacks dishonesty.
This is not stolen property for the above reason.
Therefore it is not handling or theft.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I really don't understand that taking without consent is not dishonesty. If you take an item without informing the owner or taking due diligence to trace the owner and then selling the item on, isn't that dishonesty?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 11 months ago.
No.
Taking without consent is when you hop wire a car, for instance, and remove it but never intend to deprive the owner permanently.
Here he checked with a PCSO who told him he couldn't trace an owner. It is just plain not dishonesty.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Can I take my car back legally if I know where it is? Can the person who currently has it stop me taking it?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 11 months ago.
I wouldn't advise it.
There is an argument that you could but it is dangerous.
In principle, if a vehicle is registered to you then you are entitled to physical possession of it at least until any disputes are resolved but the trouble is that is an action that gives rise to other allegations.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
so from your answers I have no way of getting my car back without paying for a solicitor letter and or taking him to court?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 11 months ago.
Or you could write a letter before action yourself.
The risk is that he is more likely to ignore it than if it were from a solicitor but they don't always.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
to summarise then
My car has been removed from its storage and sold without my knowledge. I did not consent to this but these acts are not classed as twoc or theft. The person who has it now doesn't have to let me have it back een though he knows it wasn't the builders to sell?. There have been no laws broken here.
yet I am out of pocket and without my car.!
comment
if this is the case this is a very sad state this country is in and I am totally dissillusioned.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 11 months ago.
As I have said, it is not a criminal offence.
You do have the options I mentioned above to recover.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
if the person who has the car decides he wont let me have it, I cant take him t court because he hasn't broken any laws?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 11 months ago.
No.
In fact, he has the innocent purchaser defence so may yet get to keep the car.
Your claim would be against the builder.

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