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Ask Jo C. Your Own Question
Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71053
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Customer Question

Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
-Could you explain your situation a little more?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Dear Jo,

I sold a damaged repaired car on autotrader to a customer. After 10 days the customer called to me say there are numerous faults with the vehicle such as brakes faulty, gearbox not good and engine smokes. He also complained there are big gaps around headlights.

To my surprise, the car was a low mileage good condition vehicle with only a slight wing damage. Even in its damage form the vehicle was being moved without any faults.

He asked me to refund his money without allowing me to inspect the car and without even showing a garage or professional inspection report.

He sent me a recorded tracked letter and I have explained :

1. I have sold the car without any guarantee and as trade sale as signed by me and him on sales invoice

2. How he drove the car 100 miles with all these faults

3. If the car was faulty why did he not contact me within 24 hours

4. He acknowledged in one of this correspondence he acquired the car on the 17 and he actually got the vehicle insured on the 24th. Does that mean he has done anything in between because this also means he illegally drove the car from London to Birmingham without any insurance.

He has now filled the small claims against me and I have mentioned all the above in my deference. I have received a letter from court today for mediation and need to signed it and return to them.

I don't know where I stand now. Can you please help.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Are you a private seller?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

i am a trader , trading from home. I sold the car at £3,220 without any guarantee and under trade terms all outlined in the sale invoice we both signed x 2 copies. Valuation for a similar car is £6000

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Whatever is in the sale invoice matters not I'm afraid.
You are bound by the Sale of Goods Act if you are a trader from which you cannot contract out.
Go to mediation. If there are faults then you will lose at court.
You can always challenge on the basis that there are no faults. I'm afraid that the fact that he drove 100 miles and didn't make contact until 24 hours later had passed are not challenges though realistically. the only thing that might have been obvious was engine smoke. Nothing else would have been immediately obvious and anyway he is not under a duty to contact you immediately.
To be wholly honest, I would have told you to admit the claim and pay and recover the car. If it is too late to do that now then try to resolve it through mediation where at least there is no risk of costs on the basis that your defence is frivolous.
I'm very sorry but that is your position.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

But when he collected the car, he said :

He trade with cars hence I drafted trade sale and sold without any guarantee.

He failed to bring the car for us to check

Without any garage or professional inspection of the car, how can he support his claim?

He drove the car without any insurance, does that not reveal his personality to the court

If he has caused malicious damage to the vehicle ?

There must be a way out as a trader, how can a small business like me suffer just because someone has bought a car and abused it only to ask for an outright refund.

Please help

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Yes, but you are still bound by the SGA.
The no insurance is a non issue. The SGA applies. You are a trader.
I'm afraid a court is not going to accept that he caused damage to the car for malicious reasons. Apart from anything else there is no motivation and even if there were he has had very little time to achieve that.
I'm afraid you should settle. You will lose and have to pay his costs.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

But what if he gives me that car with faults that were not there. Why should I be penalised. Where do I stand if there are problems no known to us. Should I bear the costs and lose?

any luck

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
If the car has no faults then the claim is not made out.
However, you have not suffered loss really because you will have the car to sell.
I suppose there will be costs of a small sum and interest but that has arisen because you defended the action I'm afraid.