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How long ago did this occur?
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Many thanks for your patience. First of all it is possible to use the recording as evidence although only the judge can decide whether to allow it or not. All you can do is put it forward as evidence and ask that it is admitted as such. However, the judge could decide that they do not wish to allow it as admissible evidence and that is their decision, so you have nothing to lose by asking in the first place.
It is very unlikely that they can claim back the time for their mechanic if this was done on their insistence and not conditional on you having the work completed with them.
As to the choice of mechanic, they could have used their own mechanic, assuming they were competent to undertake the work. Whilst you assume that they may not have been that is just your opinion, they could have been fully competent to do this work. This would have kept the costs down so if you ended up paying more to get this done elsewhere they could refuse to pay for these full costs and deduct the difference. However, if they were not qualified or competent to do the work then you will have a better argument in claiming the full repair costs.
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1) Is it reasonable that I can claim my lost earnings back as it was as a direct result of not being sure if the car was roadworthy or not and dealing with registering a complaint that led to me being late and losing money?
If the car was unroadworthy and as a result there were losses then that is more likely to be compensated. But just a possibility it may have been and trying to work out if it was is unlikely to be compensated. Still, nothing stopping you from trying your luck and including it in a claim.
2) Is it ultimately the car wash's decision or my decision on where to take the car to be fixed?
Ideally a mutual decision, but ultimately there is an expectation to keep costs down as long as it is done at a place which is capable of doing it to a reasonable standard.
3) I've put the wrong date on the letter (a month out). It was a simple typo when I was writing it, but will that cause any issues when I go to small claims court or will it be accepted as a typo and not cause a major problem?
Not an issue as long as you identify it as an error
4) What is the correct way to put in statements from mechanics A & C? Can I get them to email me a statement each or will they need to come in in person for them to give evidence?
They can give a statement you can include as evidence but they should be available to attend if needed to be cross examined otherwise their evidence can only have limited effect.
5) Is there anything specific I should know about claiming this sort of case in small claims in order to improve my chances of getting a successful verdict?
It is for you to prove that damage was caused by them so try to get whatever evidence you can to back that up. The rest is really down to the judge
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Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. If this has answered your question please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars from the top of the page. I spend a lot of time and effort answering individual queries and I am not credited for my time until you leave your rating. If you still need further help please get back to me on here and I will assist as best as I can. Many thanks.
Hi there, no problem at all and thanks for getting back to me. Yes you can certainly use the information provided by the car wash as evidence and it would not be seen as admission of the work carried out.
If their costs were indeed excessive and you can show this by comparison with other quotes then you can use it as a potential argument as to why you did not have the work done there.
Finally, the typo – it does not really impact the case in any way so it is a minor issue which you can clarify at the hearing if necessary.
Hello again, it is entirely acceptable to use witness evidence without having the witness appear but I think I mentioned that in doing so it could mean that their evidence it given less wight by the court. That is because the other wide will not have an opportunity to cross examine them to pick holes in their evidence and challenge parts of it. So it may not be as effective as having someone appear in person to back up what they have said in writing but if it has to be done that way then it is certainly acceptable.