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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 63246
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I have written a letter to a car dealer regarding a breach

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I have written a letter to a car dealer regarding a breach of the Consumer Rights Act 2015. He has agreed to the content of the letter, but says that he can no longer help me because they have shut down their car dealership. What should I do?
JA: Because consumer protection law varies from place to place, can you tell me where this is?
Customer: England
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: Written a letter to the car dealer
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No

Hello, I’m Ben, a UK lawyer and will be dealing with your case today. I may also need to ask some questions to determine the legal position.

When did you buy the car and how long after this has he advised you that he has closed the business down?

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
I bought it towards the end of August last year. He advised me last month

Thank you. I will get back to you with my answer as soon as I can, which will be at some point today. The system will notify you when this happens. Please do not reply in the meantime as this may unnecessarily delay my response. Many thanks.

Many thanks for your patience. Can I just check if the dealership was a limited company or did he work as a sole trader?

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
It was a sole trader. I called Companies House, and they do not have them registered on their database.

ok thanks, as this was a sole trader they would be personally liable for any issues to do with the business. Had they been a limited company, then you could have only pursued the company and if they went insolvent, it would have severely limited your options. However, in the case of a sole trader, you would have the option of pursuing the person directly as they have personal responsibility for debts of their business. You may wish to contact them to remind them of that and to request that they voluntarily try and resolve the issues before you take things further legally if you had to.

 

Does this answer your query?

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
I asked him for his address so that I could start a civil dispute (I think without an address, I can't start this), but he is refusing to give me his address. Since the end of January, he has also blocked my phone number, so I can't communicate with him further.

Yes you do need an address but finding that is really up to you (i.e. not a legal matter). You can try using www.192.com which contains details of the Electoral register, or ultimately you could engage a private investigator if you want to meet these costs. Does this clarify things a bit more for you?

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
On www.192.com, how can I be sure that it is exactly him as there as multiple people on there with the same name. Is using a private investigator the only option in this case? Can I claim those costs in the end?

You cannot necessarily be sure unless you know approximately where he may live, such as locality or approximate address and chose the one that most likely matches. You could potentially claim these extra costs in a claim but it is not guaranteed they will be ordered by the court. Does this clarify things a bit more for you?

Customer: replied 6 days ago.
Ok. Apart from using a website or private investigator to get his address (both at an expense to me with no guarantee of getting the right information or my money back), is there no legal way of taking him to court or progressing this further? He has accepted what I have claimed in the letter (that he has breached the law), but it seems that if I can't get his address, then he can potentially get away with this.

you cannot take someone to court if you do not know where they live as you need to serve court papers to them, I am sorry but there is no other way around it

Customer: replied 5 days ago.
Ok, thank you Ben for explaining this.

I managed to chat to one of the owners of the business, he mentioned to me that the person who dealt with me was self employed despite being with the dealership, that is, he bought and sold cars on his own while being with the business. However, he issued the invoice for the car to me under the name of the dealership and not his personal name. The dealership is currently not operating. But I have managed to get his residential address. I just wanted to double check if I can still start a civil dispute on moneyclaimonline.gov considering the updated information above.

yes you can and in the circumstances I would suggest you make the claim personally against him

Ben Jones and 4 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 20 hours ago.
Ok thanks. And do I need to make the claim before the 6-month period from the time of purchasing the car has elapsed?
Customer: replied 20 hours ago.
Also, if I win the case, will the defendant pay for the claim / court fees?

No, for a claim you have 6 years and yes if you win they will pay the court fees as they get added on to the total owed

Customer: replied 20 hours ago.
Ok, thank you for all your advice.

All the best