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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69250
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I have had bodywork restoration done on my car and have paid

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I have had bodywork restoration done on my car and have paid in full £2200 as agreed with the garage. According to the garage the work is completed but he is unable to arrange for me to collect the car as he is away for "personal" reasons. He will not give me a definite date despite numerous communications. I have also given deadlines which have been ignored. This has been going on for 3 weeks now and agreed deadline for work to be completed is 6 weeks overdue. What are my options for proceedings to recover my vehicle please?
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: UK - Sussex
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: Telephone calls (fobbed off with promises and excuses) text messages with deadlines which have been ignored
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.

Is the vehicle easily accessible? Please note I am mobile at present so may not be able to reply immediately, thanks

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
No, it is locked within the garage workshop and he is a sole trader and not onsite

Many thanks for your patience. The issue is that the vehicle is not readily accessible so you will have to be allowed on to the premises to recover it, You cannot just break in even if your car is there. So the obvious difficulty is if no one is there, or they do not allow you access on to their premises, you may not b able to get the car back, at least not until you find a way to get around this.

It does mean that if it eventually transpires that you will not get your car back, and the police cannot assist you, your only option may be to make a claim for compensation for the value of the vehicle.

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 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.

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Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thanks for the info and advice, much apprdciated

All the best

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