Many thanks for your patience. When the car went in for any repairs, they should have only performed those repairs which you had instructed them to. If they had found any other, unrelated problems, they should have contacted you to get your instructions on whether you wanted them done or not.
The issue is that without paying them you may not be able to get your car back, even if you are in the right. So what you may have to do is pay them under protest, making it clear that you are not agreeing with the work they did or the costs incurred. Once you have done so and taken possession of your car, you can then consider taking this further to try and recover the money you had to pay, which you may do by making a claim for compensation.
If a party wishes to pursue another for financial compensation 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 compensation 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 www.moneyclaim.gov.uk. 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?