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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71133
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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My son put a deposit on a car at a car dealership. He then

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My son put a deposit on a car at a car dealership. He then had a change of mind the same day. The company are now saying he must complete the purchase. They won't return his deposit and say they will commence legal proceedings if he does not complete.

Some spurious sales techniques were employed and he thought he was just signing for his deposit.

Does he have the option to change his mind and at a minimum pull out of the purchase, even if he loses his deposit?

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

Did he agree cooling off rights?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

No. he didn't even get to road test the car as they said they needed to prepare it first, he thought he was just paying the deposit to hold the car until he could test drive it.

Thanks for the information. Overall, its quite good news.

Unfortunately, its not likely that he has 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 he had done the deal by distance. Then the distance selling regulations would give him unconditional rights to cancel.

If he cancels then he 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 the deposit or anything close.

If he asks for his deposit back then its likely that you would get it all back. I realise they are refusing at this stage but its not likely that they would maintain that if he sued as its not worth the manpower. He can issue 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.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.



thanks very much for this, its very helpful.


have you any advice on how we should approach the dealership. Do i just go in saying that i have taken legal advice, and whilst they can take my son to court they could only claim their losses etc as you advise above, so why bother? and then ask for the deposit back and if they refuse say i will take action to get it back?


Tony Sims

This isn't legal advice. This is a question and answer site for the purposes of information only.

I wouldnt get involved in further negotiations though. Just send them one letter giving them 14 days to pay and make clear you will sue if they do not. If they do not then issue against them. That will focus their minds fast enough.
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