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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71130
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I sold a car in good faith 3 months ago- i didnt puick up on

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I sold a car in good faith 3 months ago- i didnt puick up on the fact that it has been substansially damaged at all. THe buyer review allthe paperwork adn bought the car. We have since has two threatening letters saying we lied that it was a write off and demanding compensation..
Apparently the wording has been changed on the DVLA forms and what is on his form ifs different from what was on ours... we didnt do an HPI check so genuinely didnt know about this.
What should I do? We haven't replied to any letters and he is threatening (im not sure what) which will'damage our credit rating'

Are you a private seller?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Ok. In what way has the wording been changed?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I didnt do a HPI check ( studpidly)
and when i got theV 5 I didnt notice the clause that said:
Substantially repaired and/or accident damaged: Identity checked on 30.5.12.
This was shown to the seller - nothing was hidden and when he asked if it had been written off, of course I answered no be thats what I belived.His copy of the V5 now states: This vechile has been salvaged because the estimated cost of commercial repair was more than the valueDLVLA confirm that they changed the wording about a year ago.By the way it is a 1986 classic mini.. so insurance value would not match retail value

Does that mean it has been written off?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have today done an HPI check and it is a CAT c write off... but doesnt clearly say it :(
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My husband wants to write and say we sold it in good faith and never lied but as a good will gesture we will reimburse £250 (half f fthe £500 hes asking) if he will put in writing that no further action will be taken and that no charges of fraud are brought against me.But I think thats admitting we did something wrong? And whats to sop him coming back? and if we were to do that would we need to have something legally drawn up?


In that case you are liable. Whether you are a private seller or not, there was a misrepresentation. It might well have been innocent but that is not the issue.

You are entitled to the vehicle back if you do offer him his money back.

Realistically though, if this is a Cat C write off then there isn't really much chance of anything but recession of the contract being ordered at court. There is no much point even in offering the diminution value unless you think he would accept it.

I'm very sorry but that is the reality.

Can I clarify anything for you?


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
what do we do.. offer him the £500 he asked for? but can we say that thats the end of it - he cant come back for more later?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
can I go back to the person I bought it from... (alhtoughthat was march 2015?)

He does have a claim for the full amount he paid in return for the car.

But if he is willing to accept the diminution value then that would be a very good deal

If he is willing to accept that then you can always get him to sign a full and final settlement undertaking.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
How would i word that?

Just send him a cheque with an accompanying letter saying that this is in full and final settlement of any claim.

You might want to write full and final settlement on both sides of the cheque and take photographs of it.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
OKI bought the car in March 2015 and she never declared it had been a write off.. can i go back and claim compensation from her?

Yes, but after this passage of time you would only get the diminution value. Not least because you can't return the car.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
what sort of value would that be?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Also.. if the buyer rejcts the compensation value.. would i have to offer a full refund but could i request teh car back?

It depends on the car. It is not really possible to assess remotely.

With Cat Cs and Ds it is not usually huge unless the car is unsafe.

You have to research what the going rate for the car would have been if it had been known that it was a Cat C write off. It does have an impact upon value but not usually upon safety.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
OK and just to clarify - if he doesnt accept compensation and want the full amount back, can i get the car back ( i know he has done work on it so this would be a sticky point)

Yes, you could ask for the car back.

If he has worked on it then he will just want compensation for the diminution value.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry - just need to clarify - i would have to give him the money back, get the car back and potentially pay him for any work done?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Why would he do work on a car he knows is a cat c and he wants to return? could i argue this?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
to clarifyI would have to give him the money back, get the car back and potentially pay him for any work done?Would I have any recourse in saying why did he do the work if he wanted to return the car?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Are you still there?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Oh.. what a shame.... just 2 final questions...So to clarifyI would have to give him the money back, get the car back and potentially pay him for any work done?Would I have any recourse in saying why did he do the work if he wanted to return the car?

No, you would give him the £500 for which he asks?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry corssed wires. If he doesnt accept teh £500. do i have to get teh car back, repay the full amount and then pay for work he has done?

If there is work done upon it already then the court would probably look at diminution value rather than recession of the contract.

I'm happy to continue with this but please rate my answer.

Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
ok. i think i have all the answers i need. thank you

No problem

All the best.