How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Jo C. Your Own Question
Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71053
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
Type Your Law Question Here...
Jo C. is online now

I brought a vehicle in December from a person for spares and

This answer was rated:

I brought a vehicle in December from a person for spares and repairs, it had failed MOT with £700.00 worth of repairs needed. I have just been notified by a letter that the perious owner had finance on the vehicle which was still outstanding when I purchased the vehicle. The previous owner never said it was financed or that there is outstanding finance on the vehicle when they sold it.

I have since put £2000 pound into the vehicle and I am wondering where do I stand I paid for the vehicle in December making me the new owner, but the financing company say they have ownership of the vehicle. I have looked at the consumer credit act 1974 which says they can not reposses the vehicle as it was sold without the knowledge of it being financed however I would like a legal opinion.

Are you asking if they can make you pay or whether it can be repossessed?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I am asking if they can reposses but also who is the legal owner as it was sold as a non road worthy vehicle for spares and repairs and also without correct information about the car.

Did you get the V5C when you bought the vehicle?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Yes I did and the V5C is filled out in my name etc, which is how the finance company has managed to send me a letter in the post. The car is now fully road legal I paid £900 pound for it did the £700.00 repair work and then taxed it for £170 and have had some more work done to it for around £250. This comes to a total of around £2020.

The questions that you ask really come down to the issue of who has title to the vehicle.

The person you purchased from has represented to you that there is good title and transferred ownership to you to the extent that he can do so.

Unfortunately there was outstanding finance.

Under S12 SGA there is an implied term on the part of the seller that he has a right to sell the goods. I think you are saying that is a private seller so the SGA wouldn't apply but it doesn't really matter because there is an implied term in an all contracts that the seller has a right to sell. You can sue in contract for the value of the contract. That doesn't really assist you here though because of the remedial works you've done and anyway the reality is that sellers of vehicles that are stolen or encumbered often use false details or are not worth suing.

Goods subject to hire purchase are in law owned by the creditor. If the goods are wrongfully sold by the debtor then the law much choose between two innocents. Either the finance company gets the goods back or the buyer is free to keep them. As a rule, I'm afraid, the law protects the original owner.

There is an exception to this upon which you can rely. The Hire Purchase Act protects a person who buys in good faith and is not himself a dealer. You do have to satisfy the court that you were an innocent purchaser. You might have to account for why you didn't check to see if there was outstanding finance and also why you though the car was sold for scrap effectively. That might look suspicious.

Truth is though, unless the car was of very high value its quite unlikely the finance company would want it back and given the work you've done upon it the Court would not want to hand back a vehicle improved by you.

Hope this helps. Please rate my answer OK SERVICE or above and I can answer your related questions.
Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thank you for the reply, the reason it was sold as spares and repairs was because it was an MOT failure and therefor a non roadworthy vehicle.


I did not check the history of the car as the previous owner is a family aquatence and sold it to me in good title. The sale was a private sale between the two parties involved.

Well, that is a reasonable explanation for the price and the scrap sale.