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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 46224
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Yesterday (sunday ) I placed a deposit on a used car in a

Customer Question

HI. Yesterday (sunday ) I placed a deposit on a used car in a porsche centre in chester. I also signed paperwork for the finance. Today i have had a change of heart and cancelled the finance agreement before it could be submitted. Porsche however, will not give me my £2000 deposit. They said they will give me £1000. There reasoning is very fluctuant and not fixed.
reasosn as follows
1. if you book a holiday and cancel then you wouldnt get deposit back
2. we spent time with you and to arrange this
3. normally we take £1000 deposit on used cars
4. its our discretion whether we return money or not
I was given the impression that I have until delivery of the car to change my mind.
we will give you £1000 but if you buy a car from us in the next 2 years we will credit it towards your car...
The paperwork doesn't state anything regarding the deposit
Im not sure what to do. Am I in the wrong?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
hi thanks
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.

To confirm, the deposit was paid to the dealer and not to the finance company?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
the dealer.
i managed to call the finance company this morning to stop them from processing it. not even on their compuuter system
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.

OK, thank you for your response. I will review the relevant information and laws and will get back to you as soon as I can. Please do not respond to this message as it will just push your question to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.

Many thanks for your patience. 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.

As 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.

This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the options you have should you have to take the matter further and make a claim for the money owed, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, there is no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you

Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 46224
Experience: Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
Ben Jones and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Thanks for the advice. I have done as you asked with the ratings.What further options are available. Am I risking getting into more of an issue if I take this further and can they come after me for the value of the car?? I have looked at the paperwork and there is no mention of deposit not being refundable, and no mention of this when I was with them. The car is used, was still present on auto trader last night even after the sale.If I accept the initial £1000 refund they are willing to give can I chase them for the remaining £1000 after? Or go for it all in one go.Could I come out of this in a worse position??
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.

Whenever a dispute arises over money owed by one party to another, the debtor can be pursued through the civil courts for recovery of the debt. As legal action should always be seen as a last resort, there are certain actions that should be taken initially to try and resolve this matter informally and without having to involve the courts. It is recommended that the process follows these steps:

1. Reminder letter – if no reminders have been sent yet, one should be sent first to allow the debtor to voluntarily pay what is due.

2. Letter before action – if informal reminders have been sent but these have been ignored, the debtor must be sent a formal letter asking them to repay the debt, or at least make arrangements for its repayment, within a specified period of time. A reasonable period to demand a response by would be 10 days. They should be advised that if they fail to do contact you in order to resolve this matter, formal legal proceedings will be commenced to recover the debt. This letter serves as a ‘final warning’ and gives the other side the opportunity to resolve this matter without the need for legal action.

3. If they fail to pay or at least make contact to try and resolve this, formal legal proceedings can be initiated. A claim can be commenced online by going to www.moneyclaim.gov.uk. Once the claim form is completed it will be sent to the debtor and they will have a limited time to defend it. If they are aware legal proceedings have commenced it could also prompt them to reconsider their position and perhaps force them to contact you to try and resolve this.

Whatever correspondence is sent, it is always advisable to keep copies and use recorded delivery so that there is proof of delivery and a paper trail. The court may need to refer to these if it gets that far.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.

They cannot come after you for the value of the car – they will not suffer the loss of the car value as it will be sold to someone else so they will not be able to do this. It I unlikely you will end up in a much worse off position, unless you make the claim and do not succeed, meaning you would have lost the court costs for claiming

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