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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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BMW dealership has damaged my car whilst test driving it and

Resolved Question:

BMW dealership has damaged my car whilst test driving it and offered to repair it. Can I refuse it and demand a new car?
The damage is to the wheel and suspension where the technian lost control driving the car to fast.
The car can be repaired but will obviously be worth less than before.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Law
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Please find attached pics
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 11 months ago.

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

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 11 months ago.

How long ago was it damaged by the dealership? Had they also admitted to the damage, given that they repaired it?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
The car was damaged on Wednesday by their own technician who lost control whilst test driving the vehicle. They have admitted its their fault and will repair the car.
My worry is the car will have lost future value and could have future related mechanical problems due to possible unseen stress damage to parts because of the crash.
This is BMW franchised dealer
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
The car has not been repaired yet. I have been told it will be 1 week+ and have been given an inferior courtesy vehicle to drive.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 11 months ago.

OK thank you, ***** ***** it with me. I will be in court today so will prepare my advice during the day and get back to you at the earliest opportunity. There is no need to wait here as you will receive an email when I have responded. Thank you.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 11 months ago.

Hi there, legally you cannot ask for a replacement car unless it is impossible to repair the existing one. Whilst they are clearly guilty of negligence here, you are entitled to expect a repair to bring the car back to the condition it was in before the incident occurred. If there is going to be a considerable depreciation in value (something which you need to have formally certified and evidenced) then you could consider asking them for some additional compensation to cover that. However, you cannot outright demand that they provide you with a replacement car as this is not a legal remedy you can ask for at this stage. It is only going to be an option if repairing the car is not possible.

This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the steps you can take if you wish to pursue them for additional compensation but they refuse to pay, 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

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Expert:  Ben Jones replied 11 months ago.

Thank you. Whenever a dispute arises over compensation owed by one party to another, the party at fault can be pursued through the civil courts. 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 party at fault to voluntarily settle this matter.

2. Letter before action – if informal reminders have been sent but these have been ignored, the party at fault must be sent a formal letter asking them to resolve this amicably 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 pursue the compensation due. 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 other side 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.