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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 77875
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I had sold my car online to a buyer. Having described the

Customer Question

Hi I had sold my car online to a buyer. Having described the car and doing video walk round the buyer agreed he really wanted the car and would pay immediately. I informed buyer that sale would be final as he wanted me to deliver car 170 miles away and I already had someone wanting to purchase the car. Buyer agreed to the sale being final and he wouldn't back out. I received the funds last night on the promise I would deliver the car on Sunday coming, fast forward to this morning and the buyer has contacted me stating he was backing out due to a family emergency. The problem I have is I have paid a non refundable deposit on a new car for myself and buyer agreed to cover this for me. His dad has since been on the phone stating he wants the full money transferred back. I am also down on loss of earnings for the Sunday I was due to deliver. I am wondering what I am legally obliged to do here please.
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer about this? In which country do you live? If different, which country is your legal question related to?
Customer: I haven't spoken with a lawyer yet, I live in Scotland
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: No steps taken as of yet
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: Can't think of anything else to add
Submitted: 16 days ago.
Category: Scots Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 16 days ago.
Hello, I’m Ben, a solicitor, and it’s my pleasure to assist you. I may ask for some preliminary information to help me determine the legal position.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 16 days ago.

I understand you have verbally agreed to sell your car and the buyer, who paid in full, now wants a refund. I am right to assume this is a private sale?

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
private sale, also was in a Facebook message he agreed to sale being final.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 16 days ago.

OK I understand and thank you for providing this information. Please do not worry and leave it with me for now. I will get back to you with my full reply on here; usually the same day. The system will notify you when this happens. Many thanks.

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Excellent thanks
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 16 days ago.

No problem at all. I will get back to you at the earliest opportunity. Many thanks

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 16 days ago.

Many thanks for your patience, it is appreciated. I am now pleased to be able to provide further assistance with your query. First of all, I am sorry to hear about the issues brought up by this. It must be a frustrating situation to be going through.

Your argument here would be that the sale was indeed final and that a legally binding contract has been created. Therefore, by backing out of the sale, the buyer is acting in breach of contract. As you have his funds, you can hold on to these for now and make it clear that the car is either available for collection, or you can still proceed with delivering it as originally agreed.

As you cannot force him to take the car, you need to decide whether to actually deliver it and leave it at his premises, or keep hold of it until this is resolved. The first would be riskier as the car may not officially transfer in his possession and if anything happens to it he can try and hold you liable as he had not accepted delivery.

Also be advised that there is nothing stopping him from making a court claim to try and recover the money he paid and whilst you have a defence, you still have to deal with the inconvenience of dealing with the whole process.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 16 days ago.

Hopefully, I have answered your query in a way that is simple and easy to understand. If anything remains unclear, I will be more than happy to clarify it for you. In the meantime, thank you once again for using our services.

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Thank you for that, that's what I was thinking of the whole situation. My only other question would be about the money I have lost as a consequence. The buyer said he would pay the deposit I have left for another car as I am now unable to complete that sale. Would I be ok granting him a refund minus this deposit amount?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 16 days ago.

That is indeed possible although you have to try and minimise such losses. For example if you can buy a similar species car elsewhere without losing as much money, but if that is not possible then you can deduct it

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 16 days ago.

I trust that everything has now been dealt with to your satisfaction and your original question has been resolved. If you have any further queries about it, please do not hesitate to get back to me on here. In the meantime, I wish you all the best.