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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71050
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I was in the process of purchasing a used BMW 520d 2007 model,

Customer Question

I was in the process of purchasing a used BMW 520d 2007 model, l test drived the vehicle and agreed to put a deposit on Saturday 29/6/13. In the evening I read an article about an ongoing major problem with this model's timing chain which has already damaged several cars. I contacted the dealer on Sunday morning informing him to put a hold on the purchase as I need to find out a bit more about the problem. It turn out that the vehicle that I was about to buy has been through this problem and there has been extensive repairs done on 6th April 2009. Based on this information was not prepared to buy the car but to ask for my deposit of £250. The dealer is refusing to give me my refund saying that it was my fault that I have pulled out of the deal. Had l known that the car has been repaired l would not have gone ahead with it. I believe that l am within my right to ask for my refund as the car has a hidden history which the dealer failed to find out. The goods is not what l was buying. Please advise where l stand on this matter. Thank you.
Mr M Veerasamy 03/07/13 XXXXXXXXXXX
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your question . My name is Jo and I will try to help with this.

In order to give you an answer tailored to your circumstances, I will just need to ask you some preliminary questions so that I can consider your position from all angles.

Do you have a cooling off period in the contract?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

There was no contract signed, as such, just a receipt for the deposit of £250. with the remaining amount of £ 4250. He did not even get me to sign the receipt.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
There was a contract then.

Did you agree a cooling off period please?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

FOR JOMO1972 There was no formal agreement signed.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
It doesn't make any difference.

Would it be possible to give me the information I asked for
Customer: replied 4 years ago.


There was no mention but I presume this would have been mention when I was expected to pick the car up on Tuesday 03/07/13.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.

I'm afraid my signal keeps dropping out and I would ask that you bear with me for an hour. I should then should be then be home and have a stable connection. Thank you for your patience.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.


I'll wait for your response. Thanks

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
Thanks for the information. Unfortunately you are almost certainly locked into a binding contract. Whether you signed anything or not is a non issue. If you paid a deposit he will say you agreed and the court would accept that. Overall though its quite good news.
Unfortunately, its not likely that you have rights to cancel. If you do a deal in store then you are locked in immediately. You do have automatic rights to cancel. You can agree cancellation rights under the contract which would be enforceable but commonly they have not been agreed because it wouldn’t be in the store’s interest.
It would be different if you had done the deal by distance. Then the distance selling regulations would give you unconditional rights to cancel.
If you cancel then you will be in breach of contract. However, they can still only claim the sum of their loss. They still have the car to sell and therefore have provided no consideration for this contract. The most they could claim here is some administration costs and maybe the cost of readvertising. That is very unlikely to be the sum of your deposit or anything close.
If you ask for your deposit back then its likely that you would get it all back. If they do refuse then you can always sue them at the small claims court here
While they do have a right to be compensated for some administration costs its very unlikely that they would bother to contest such a claim on this basis as it just plain wouldn’t be worth the manpower.
Hope this helps.
Please let me know if you need more information.