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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71130
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Previously I'm interested in a second-hand car, and gave 1000

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Previously I'm interested in a second-hand car, and gave 1000 deposit to a dealer due to his request. After a snap shot and test drive it, answered some questionnaire and insurance issue I went back home. Then I found similar cars on the market with a more reasonable price. But the dealer keep urging me to transfer the full price of the car, coz he insists that the deal is settled. But I've never actually signed a contract to guarantee that i will buy that car. In this case above, if eventually i decides not to buy this car, can I get my deposit back?
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
Did you agree a cooling off period?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

what is a cooling off period?I am not quite sure the staff mentioned it to me?

He said like keeping the car for me is incurring a fee to them, but I never said that they cannot sell this car to other potential buyers

This is the latest email he sent me:


We have a binding agreement that you are purchasing the car. Based on your signing of the vehicle order we have physically purchased this vehicle into our stock. Please organise for the funds to be transferred into our account immediately.

I presume this is a cash purchase rather than a finance deal?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes, it is. I am an oversea student here in UK. I do not have a job so I am financially supported by my parents.

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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