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Jamie-Law, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 6754
Experience:  Solicitor
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I am in dispute with the local main Ford Dealer. I went to

Customer Question

I am in dispute with the local main Ford Dealer. I went to them to get a car that would tow my caravan. They said that the Ford Focus 2 litre diesel would do the job, I relied on this advice. They did not have such a car in stock but could get a second hand one in. I agreed to buy this car even though they could show me a similar model and I could not therefore test drive one. I therefore ordered this car only - I claim - on the basis of the verbal assurance by the salesman that I could not take if I did not like it when it came in, the salesman said that this would give them some risk but they were prepared to get the car in and bear the risk I would say 'no' to it. I signed an order form and paid £1,362 deposit. Subsequently it appeared that this car would not be suitable to tow my caravan. I cancelled the order 7 days later, some 3-4 weeks before they had got the car in. They now say that they gave no such verbal assurance about me being able to say 'no' and that I had a firm unbreakable contract. They are now insisting that I take the car and/or loose my deposit. What is the legal position please?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Law
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Sorry there is a typo in my text line 3 it should say "they could NOT show me a similar model". I would not have signed an order and paid a deposit without the assurance that I could reject the car when it came in. They say that I could only reject it if it did not meet their description. But this would be zero / minimal risk to them. I am a 72 old Chartered Accountant and I am not in the habit of making rash purchases. I relied on their assurance I could cancel, right up to the time the car came in and I could see and test drive it. I assumed that a verbal assurance by a main Ford Dealer was worth something 'my word is my bond' and they would not try something like this....something I would expect from an Arthur Daley second hand car dealer.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
go to line 2 of my further and better should read "They NOW say that....."
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 11 months ago.

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.

What does the contract say about cancellation please?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Hi Jamie,
It says on the back of the order form....."If the customer shall fail to take and pay for the goods within 7 days of notification as aforesaid the seller shall be at liberty to treat the contract as repudiated by the customer and therefore upon the said deposit shall be forfeited and retained by the seller without prejudice to the seller's rights to recover from the customer by way of damages any loss or expense which the seller may suffer or incur by reason of the customer's default and the seller shall be entitled to dispose of the goods as he shall think fit and shall not be under any liability to account to the customer for the price received therefore or for the said deposit or otherwise."
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Let me add one thing.....when I met with the sales manager one week after the order then he seemed to accept that I would not take the that the order was cancelled.....he showed as another car and discussed the estate car version and said that he would go and try to get a car that met my as far as I was concerned the order had been cancelled then and accepted as cancelled by them....I took my (42 year old) son with me to this meeting and he confirms that they seemed to accept that the order was cancelled and the manager did not seem unduly concerned by the fact that he would have the car on his books.
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 11 months ago.

You want to claim back the whole deposit. Is that right?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Ideally I would of course like the whole deposit but would be willing to do a deal to get something back.....I could live with them keeping say £700...what I really do fear is that they will press for 'specific performance' and insist I buy the car..or that they will try and land me with something over and above the deposit...The more I think of it the more certain I am that I cancelled that car and they accepted the cancellation. But they now have the car in stock and are asking me to come and collect it.
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 11 months ago.

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 11 months ago.
I was going to write...what do you mean by "set out my losses"...presumably the deposit money, this is my only loss......I have used the small claims court before (on a number of occasions) would be my contention that they have accepted my cancellation and that therefore specific performance is not an issue. I do have a fear that if I go down the small claims court route they will keep the car (which will depreciate in value with time) and if I loose in court they will claim the diminution in value of the this a danger?
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 11 months ago.

Yes yoe deposit loss. It's not likely they will suffer any loss in terms of values of the car.

Does that clairfy?