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Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 3844
Experience:  Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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motorhome advertised on line

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I saw a motorhome advertised on line. I phoned the guy about it and we agreed a price. The same day I found out I could not get Fully comprehensive insurance and I told him sorry I don't want it. No money has exchanged hands. He agreed but now he has emailed me saying I have broken his verbal contract and he will charge me as yet unspecified costs. Can he do this?


Thank you for your question and welcome.

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will assist you.

This is a difficult factual situation as it boils down to an argument over the formation of a contract. His advertisement amounts to an invitation to treat and you then calling him to agree a price could amount to acceptance of that.

The question is by agreeing a price over the phone have you at that point agreed to be bound by the contract. I think you have grounds to argue no, because it would be assumed that before entering into a contract to buy a motor home you would be entitled and want an opportunity to inspect it. Therefore I do not think he has an argument to say that the contract was formed on the phone. The contract would only be formed when the money or at least a deposit was paid.

I would also note, that even if you were found to be in breach of contract, the only costs he could really claim would be the cost of re listing the advert and at worst if he had lost the opportunity of another buyer.

Also if this individual conducts business through an online store you may also have grounds to claim the Distance Selling regulations apply and you are entitled to therefore cancel the order.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards

Alex J. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hello Alex J

Thank you so much for your answer. Here is a copy of the email he sent after I told him I didn't want the vehicle. On the phone he appeared to understand I didn't want the vehicle because I couldn't insure it properly.

He then becomes persistent by email and he then becomes threatening.

email 1 ;

* paul gurteen
* Feb 17 at 6:29 PM
* Chris Barnes
I've found at least 2 options for insuring if you're still keen. Call me when you can.

Sent from Paul Gurteens' iPhone

On 17 Feb 2014, at 15:06, Chris Barnes <[email protected]> wrote:

I wasn't still keen all the insurance companies I checked couldn't insure me and he couldn't know my circumstances. It would have cost me heavily to escape my present insurer in any case.

email 2 :
* paul gurteen
* Feb 17 at 10:05 PM
* Chris Barnes
Having given a great deal of thought to our situation, I consider we had a verbal contract and due to the inconvenience and expense caused I must look for compensation. Either you honour our agreement or I think it only fair you cover my costs.
I would appreciate your comments within 24 hours. I will forward our correspondence to my solicitors tomorrow who will take matters forward from here.
I will forward details of my costs tomorrow and am prepared to wait until 10pm for a reply.

Sent from my iPad. Apologies for any typo's.

Do I respond to these emails please or do I just ignore them???

Kind regards


Thank you.

Has he actually sent you details of his costs?

What loss does he allege to have suffered?

Bare in mind time and inconvenience are not a contractual cost.

Kind regards

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Thank you so much for this!


No problem.

Please let me know the further information and I will see if I can assist you further.

Kind regards