How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Jamie-Law Your Own Question
Jamie-Law, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 6726
Experience:  Solicitor
Type Your Law Question Here...
Jamie-Law is online now

To whom it may concern, During August 2015. I (now very

Customer Question

To whom it may concern,
During August 2015. I (now very reluctantly) had my car piggybacked to a so called reputable dealer/franchaise, to and as instructed by myself to visually strip down and assess a slight tapping noise that had developed under the bonnet.
Prior to this I had called the AA out to divulge their view point. The patrolman asked me to turn the engine over and immediately turn it back off once he had heard the symptoms.
He said now I know Your not going to start it again until it has been stripped down for a visual only inspection, but I have to put this sticker on the centre of the steering wheel.
This read, big bold black lettering on a yellow warning background, ..."DO NOT START ENGINE"! repairer must check this! This sticker is still in place today incidentally!
The man I was initially in discussions with at the front of house of the garage once I had transported my car there, asked if they could start my car? I said a definite no to this drawing their attentions to the sticker on the centre of my steering wheel! Subsequently adding, unless of course any damage You so cause by carrying out such an act would be solely Your responsibility of which You would compensate me for in full!
The reply I received was that, "Oh well we can't do that due to the age of the car"! To which I then replied, ..."Then DO NOT start my car"!
At this point my car had already been delivered in to the workshop where I was assured every care would be taken to find out what the tapping noise was with a visual only inspection for which I agreed to (and subsequently paid for) three hours labour at £90 an hour and not a reduced rate of £75 an hour as the garage have since said they have charged me! (Evidence available.)
The following day I received a voicemail from the man with whom I was initially in conversation with to disclose to me that (and I quote) "The findings of the damage to my car was not good news and it was pretty terminal, there were all sorts of other issues and the bill would be well in excess of £5,500 plus VAT ect ect ect, ...and he thought my hard earned cash (his own words) would be far better invested in a new or later vehicle" of which they subsequently tried to sell me! At this point, he went on to say that, (and again I quote) "We started the car"! Something of which they now profusely continue to deny to this day!
They asked me to get a taxi ride back home after I had returned a weekend courtesy car to them, and said that I would have to pay my bill or the car was going nowhere, and I would be liable to have to pay their daily storage charges of £12:50 per day plus VAT, ...(of course it couldn't anyway because they had renered it completely undriveable) also in one of their so called engineers words it is now completely shattered to pieces! ...I wonder why?!!!
I was left with no choice but to arrange alternative transport by means of a much smaller make & model of car on a lease hire basis which is costing me £221 per month from an alternative dealership as I most certainly did not want to give them any more business for their totally incompetent unprofessional and all round arrogant approach to customer care!
During the past 12months plus, I have written several letters (each time to more senior staff there) expressing my experience with them and asked for the appropriate compensations in full to get my car repaired. My last advice from the head of business there was as previous denying any responsibility for the damage they had caused! Simply by not following mine nor the AA's instructions!!! I was then advised that if I was not happy with their final decision (which of course I am most definitely not) that I should make contact with motor codes in respect of my claims. This I did and after waiting months for their response (of which they did apologise for the back log delays) they still seemed rather vague and suggested I approach an independent engineer for a report. This I had already looked in to anyway, and was advised they may have a difficult case to prove having not seen the car prior.
However, this born in mind I do now have a letter (although brief) from the AA and the initial engineer stating the facts that although not running as it should was during their visit, still intact hence the sticker ect on the centre of my steering wheel!
The AA's legal advice team have also stated that my car was left in a much worse condition (fact) than how I took it in to them! This can still be clearly now seen by lifting the bonnet!
My intension now is to pursue said garage through the small claims court for compensation in full which I believe would currently estimate a total of some £8,457:00. This is currently made up of their declaration of £5,500+ vehicle damage (of which they without doubt caused through their sheer arrogance & incompetence!) £2,873 (currently) which are my car lease hire fees, and £84:00 recovery charges to get my car back home. Plus stress levels!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 1 year ago.

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.
What is it you want to achieve please?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I should like to know of my chances of a successful outcome by taking said garage to the small claims court to recover all of my costs and inconvenience that their customer negligence caused me!
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 1 year ago.

I think you have a valid case.

You need to write and set out your losses and request a refund within 14 days or say you will go to Court within 14 days. You should make sure you send this signed delivery and keep a copy.
If they do not refund you then you can issue proceedings in the County Court. You can either do this online at: or by completing form N1 and take it to your local County Court.
The Court will then issue a claim which a copy will be sent to the Defendant who will have a limited time to defend it, if not you can enter Judgment and enforce.
If the claim is for £10,000 or less it will be a small claim so you will not need legal representation. Over this value you would need representation for trial.
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanking You for Your response, I shall now definitely take this up via the small claims court with immediate effect!
As far as I am concerned they have had more than I would normally allow to reimburse me, as over the past 13 months several letters have gone to & fro to the garage and subsequently motor codes all with negative outcomes. I take it there is now cut off period for the time taken (largely due to the back log at motor codes) thus far?
Please do let me know also on this matter if so!Many thanks,Mr. D. A. Critchlow.
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 1 year ago.

You have six years to break by a claim.

Does that clairfy?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Dear Jamie, many thanks again for Your reply and letting me know that I have a total of six years in which to launch my claim.
I shall be commencing proceedings against the garage concerned, and previously sent them a letter giving them time to respond favourably, which of course they did not.
I have had many other things to tend to during this time, so I wonder could You tell me whether or not I have to rewrite my letter to them again bearing in mind now that (and as explained to them previously) the longer they leave me dissatisfied with this case, the higher the compensation I shall be looking for due to the fact that I continue to pay for my lease hire car brought on by their total incompetence and negligence, amongst other facts such as the stress of the whole matter having made me quite out of sorts at times! Or will the letter I wrote stating all the above suffice saving time now and so immediately issue my claim against them, whilst they had previously been warned that my compensation claim would without doubt just keep escalating!Kindest Regards,Mr. D. A. Critchlow.
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 1 year ago.

All the very best Mr Critchlow. If I could ask you to rate my answer before you go today, by clicking on the 5 stars or happy face, otherwise the site does not pay me for the time spent with you today. Thank you in advance and good luck!