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.
  • Go back-and-forth until satisfied
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Ben Jones Your Own Question
Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 61655
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
Type Your Law Question Here...
Ben Jones is online now

My husband & I went to see a van advertised on Gumtree, it

Customer Question

Hi my husband & I went to see a van advertised on Gumtree, it was in Coventry & we were in Somerset. We wanted a van to take furniture to Spain. When we got there we couldn’t test drive it as it was completely blocked in but the advert said it had a 12 month MOT, we looked all around it & in it & decided it would suit our needs so we put a refundable deposit on it subject to a Test drive. When they got all the paperwork out they realised it hadn’t been MOT’d so they said they would have the van ready for us when we came back from holiday in 3weeks time.
When we got back we checked the MOT status only to find it had not been done & had now actually run out. We contacted the garage to ask what was happening & they were extremely apologetic & said it had been overlooked & that they would get it done as soon as possible, a week later it still wasn’t done & now they were not answering our calls.
We had to make other arrangements with regards ***** ***** furniture, & have just got back & the Van is still not MOT’d we now want our £500 deposit back & I intend to call into the garage on my way back from Nottingham tomorrow to ask for it back.
The copy of our receipt state that the deposit is refundable as we were unable to test drive it.
We have now bought another Van
What should I do if they refuse to give me our money back?
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 5 months ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 5 months ago.

So this was a business seller?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
It was a second hand car & van garage who use both eBay & Gumtree to advertise their cars & Vans
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
No I just want to know where we stand legally on getting our deposit back
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I am planning to call into the garage tomorrow to ask for it back, as it is obvious that they didn’t want to sell it to us
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Hello are you still there?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 5 months ago.

Yes just finalising my reply

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 5 months ago.

Generally, when a person places an order for something and pays a deposit they enter into a legally enforceable contract with the other side. It is implied that they have accepted the deposit as security and as proof that the customer wants to proceed with the contract.

Unless the provider subsequently commits a serious breach of contract, such as failing to supply the goods or services, or satisfy any of the sale conditions, the customer would have no legal right to cancel the agreement.

In this case they had committed a serious breach by failing to honour the condition that I had a valid MOT, which is a fundamental part of the sale.

If they refuse to return the deposit you can pursue them further for it. If a party wishes to pursue another for a debt arising out of a dispute between them, they can do so by making a claim in the civil courts. As legal action should ideally be used as a last resort, there are certain steps that should be taken initially to try and resolve this matter informally and without having to involve lawyers or the courts. These can be summarised below and it is recommended the following procedure is followed to try and progress this matter further:

1. Reminder letter – if no informal reminders have been sent yet, one should be sent first to allow the other party to voluntarily settle this matter.

2. Letter before action – if informal reminders have been sent but have been ignored, the other party must be sent a formal ‘letter before action’ asking them to resolve this amicably within a specified period of time, usually 7 to 14 days. They should be advised that if they fail to do contact you in order to resolve this matter, formal legal proceedings will be commenced to pursue them for the debt in question. This letter serves as a ‘final warning’ and gives the other side the opportunity to resolve this matter without the need for legal action.

3. If they fail to pay or at least make contact to try and resolve this, formal legal proceedings can be initiated. A claim can be commenced online by going to Once the claim form is completed a copy will be sent to the other side and they will have a limited time to defend it. Once they are aware that legal proceedings have commenced it may also force them to reconsider their position and perhaps prompt them to contact you to try and resolve this.

As a final tip, it is always advisable to keep copies of any correspondence sent and received as the courts would like to refer to it if it ever gets that far.

Does this answer your query?

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 5 months ago.

My response to your query should be visible on this page. Could you please let me know if it has answered your original question or whether you need me to clarify anything else in relation to it? If your query has been answered I would be grateful if you could please take a second to confirm this by replying on here. Thank you

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 5 months ago.

Hello, not sure if you are having trouble seeing my posts? I have not heard back from you since posting my answer and just need to know if your query has been resolved. If you could please post a quick reply to confirm I would be very grateful. Thank you