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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71138
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I recently agreed the sale of a used car with a buyer

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Hello; I recently agreed the sale of a used car with a buyer and accepted a deposit of £1,500 against a price of £31k, subject to an inspection. The car was subsequently inspected and we agreed a further reduction in the agreed purchase price of the car due to the recommended repairs found. 3 days later we spoke again and began arrangements for collection and payment of the balance. The following morning i receive an email from him pulling out of the sale and asking for his full deposit back. I reminded him that the deposit was to secure the car and was non returnable and I had also turned away other potential buyers. He is now threatening to sue and report me to trading standards due to me advertising the car as "immaculate". Q = am I in the right to keep the deposit..? or at least part of it..? Was I wrong to advertise the car as "immaculate"..? I am just a private seller and never been in this position before. Thanks in advance
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
On your specific points
1 No. He is in breach of the contract between you but you can only claim the sum of your loss and there has been none as you still have the car to sell. He is entitled to his deposit back.
2 No, not really. That is a case of a little knowledge being a dangerous thing. Trading standards won't be interested because you are a private seller. It would have been better if you hadn't stuck your neck out by describing it as immaculate basically because it gives people a misrepresentation argument if the car is not literally immaculate. When selling used goods it is always best to try to understate or only state facts. That doesn't matter here though because he is not buying.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo C. and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank Jo,

Can I make any reduction in the deposit for re-advertising costs and any expenses incurred... would that be reasonable.


You could probably claim readvertising costs.
You can claim any expenses that you actually incurred.