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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71031
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Good Afternoon, I recently paid a 10% deposit on a car which

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Good Afternoon,

I recently paid a 10% deposit on a car which I was quite happy to pay the whole amount and drive it away but I was then told,it did not have an MOT, even though I was permitted to test drive it on the main road.
I was told the car would be ready in 2/3 days. Having 'phoned the garage on the third day I was then told there were a number of faults and it needed mechanical repairs. This information made me a little suspicious and gave me no faith in the car. After a week had gone by I rang the garage to explain that I had been disappointed with the outcome of the MOT and I would like my deposit back as I was no longer interested. I was then told that my deposit was non-refundable. I was most certainly not told this at the time of viewing the car and this fact is not stated on the receipt I have for the deposit. I then wrote to the garage to ask them to return my deposit asap with an explanation of why I was no longer interested.
£350 is rather a lot of money to me (being an oldie !). I am wondering if there is anything I can do in order to have my deposit returned to me.
With thanks - Penelope

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

Did you agree any cooling off rights please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi, I am sorry I do not understand the question regarding the purchasing of this car .

I can't think of another way of phrasing it.

Did you agree any rights to cancel?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No nothing was agreed or mentioned about rights to cancel.

Thanks for the information. Overall, 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.
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