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Car dealer refuses to refund £500 deposit...

Car dealer refuses to refund £500 deposit...

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nick_j007

Original Poster:

1,597 posts

128 months

Sunday 31st May 2015
quotequote all
Hi all.

It would seem that I have got myself into a difficult position with a car dealership with regard to a £500 deposit that I placed on a vehicle and I then withdrew from the sale the following day.
At this stage I am looking to establish whether somebody could advise me that I might have a case or that this could be in fact a lost cause and that I should put it down to experience?

Allow me to explain a little further:

On the Sunday 24th of May I made a £500 deposit using my Visa card against the purchase price of a used vehicle with an agreed purchase price of £27,000. At the time of placing my deposit I had every intention to pay the balance a couple of days later prior to collecting the vehicle later the following week.
Whilst at the dealership I signed a sales order form setting out the deposit that I had paid and the balance that was due. On the reverse of this order form there are 11 points making up the terms and conditions.

Upon my return home later that same day I had received an unexpected enquiry with regards to the sale and purchase of a new home. This effectively threw on its head the viability of the car purchase and so I decided that I should withdraw from the purchase of the car.

I telephoned the dealership the following morning, a bank holiday Monday and spoke with the representatives explaining my position, apologising and requesting my deposit to be returned. I was told that I would need to speak to the sales manager and I waited for a call from him which did not transpire, so I rang the dealership and spoke with the sales manager on the Wednesday. During a long conversation with the sales manager he repeatedly refused to refund me the deposit. I doggedly persisted and towards the end of the conversation he appeared to concede and would consider my case and would come back to me shortly with a suggested refund amount. I pressed him on this matter and suggested that we should agree an amount there and then. He said that he would not be pressed on the matter there and then and returned to his original stance of not offering any refund of the original deposit. He insisted that he was within his legal rights not to refund the deposit.

I have spoken with my credit card company and they were unable to assist me other than to direct me to the citizens advice bureau. When speaking to the citizens advice bureau they advised me to create a letter asking the dealership to justify the charges and to send it by recorded delivery. I was not left feeling very optimistic as a result of this conversation. I have just returned home after being away for a few days and I am at the stage of considering my next course of action.

My thinking is that if I had withdrawn from the sale a few days after the agreement to purchase the vehicle, then I could understand that the dealership would have lost opportunities to sell the vehicle to others, but given that I cancelled the sell within a 24 hour period bridging a very quiet Sunday, this does leave me feeling very hard done by. Regardless of how this leaves me feeling, I am most interested at this stage in establishing if I have a case or not?

If anyone can enlighten me on the above and offer me a reality check in the process I would be most grateful.

Thank you.

Oceanrower

28 posts

38 months

Sunday 31st May 2015
quotequote all
Surely that is the point of a deposit. A show of good faith.

By withdrawing from the deal you have breached that good faith and therefore forfeited the deposit.

agtlaw

4,545 posts

132 months

Sunday 31st May 2015
quotequote all
What terms did you agree regarding the deposit?

I note that you were present at the dealership.

Edited by agtlaw on Sunday 31st May 13:07

Vaud

27,031 posts

81 months

Sunday 31st May 2015
quotequote all
Scan the back of the order form and post it up.

nick_j007

Original Poster:

1,597 posts

128 months

Sunday 31st May 2015
quotequote all
Here are the T&C's I think point 5 covers it. I'll get my coat now shall I?


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PurpleMoonlight

10,162 posts

83 months

Sunday 31st May 2015
quotequote all
The dealer can only retain such amount to cover any losses in the sale. Given the timing of the cancellation I suspect that is £0.

It doesn't matter what the t&c's may say, if they say anything different to the above then they will likely be considered unfair.

LoonR1

26,988 posts

103 months

Sunday 31st May 2015
quotequote all
Whilst I know everyone will be fully supportive of the OP and accuse the dealer of sharp practice and quote a load of legal stuff around this, what would happen if it was the other way round? How would we react with a thread like "I paid a deposit of £500 this week and the dealer has to returned it to me today, as he's sold the car to someone else"

Would everyone then claim that the deposit suddenly became a legally binding commitment to buy and sell?

PurpleMoonlight

10,162 posts

83 months

Sunday 31st May 2015
quotequote all
LoonR1 said:
Would everyone then claim that the deposit suddenly became a legally binding commitment to buy and sell?
The redress for either party for a breach of contract is the recovery of any loss incurred.

Anything else is a penalty and not enforceable.

Edited by PurpleMoonlight on Sunday 31st May 14:04

9mm

3,128 posts

136 months

Sunday 31st May 2015
quotequote all
PurpleMoonlight said:
The dealer can only retain such amount to cover any losses in the sale. Given the timing of the cancellation I suspect that is £0.

It doesn't matter what the t&c's may say, if they say anything different to the above then they will likely be considered unfair.
That would be my view. I'd be tempted to give a recorded delivery seven days to refund in full and if no refund is forthcoming, slap in a MCOL. Maybe speak to the dealer principal first to let him/her know what yku plan to do if they don't play ball.

micky g

1,496 posts

161 months

Sunday 31st May 2015
quotequote all
PurpleMoonlight said:
The redress for either party for a breach of contract is the recovery of any loss incurred.

Anything else is a penalty and not enforceable.

Edited by PurpleMoonlight on Sunday 31st May 14:04
This is correct.

bitchstewie

15,545 posts

136 months

Sunday 31st May 2015
quotequote all
It seems rather short sighted by the dealer even if their T&Cs do allow them to do it.

"Let's make £500 and have a pissed off customer who will tell as many people as he can how we treated him, and won't go within a mile of us when he does replace his car or ever needs parts or servicing".

pingu393

2,559 posts

131 months

Sunday 31st May 2015
quotequote all
Ask him to document his incurred losses.

Ukipdefect

109 posts

34 months

Sunday 31st May 2015
quotequote all
Ask for 350 back

nick_j007

Original Poster:

1,597 posts

128 months

Sunday 31st May 2015
quotequote all
bhstewie said:
It seems rather short sighted by the dealer even if their T&Cs do allow them to do it.

"Let's make £500 and have a pissed off customer who will tell as many people as he can how we treated him, and won't go within a mile of us when he does replace his car or ever needs parts or servicing".
Couldn't agree more!
They had good stock and I would have liked to keep the option to return open. They did offer it against another vehicle within 12 months but that's not a lot of use to me really.

Ok then. I'll draft a letter tonight and call them again tomorrow.

It is a mess I know, but I can't let £500 slide under the circumstances.

cat with a hat

1,159 posts

44 months

Sunday 31st May 2015
quotequote all
nick_j007 said:
Couldn't agree more!
They had good stock and I would have liked to keep the option to return open. They did offer it against another vehicle within 12 months but that's not a lot of use to me really.

Ok then. I'll draft a letter tonight and call them again tomorrow.

It is a mess I know, but I can't let £500 slide under the circumstances.
The considerable change overnight seems bonkers to me

DocJock

4,907 posts

166 months

Sunday 31st May 2015
quotequote all
Being a non-legal type I accept the advice of more qualified posters.

However, legalities aside, what is the point of leaving a deposit if you can simply demand it's return if you change your mind or the dealer can sell to another customer?

REALIST123

8,985 posts

79 months

Sunday 31st May 2015
quotequote all
DocJock said:
Being a non-legal type I accept the advice of more qualified posters.

However, legalities aside, what is the point of leaving a deposit if you can simply demand it's return if you change your mind or the dealer can sell to another customer?
Good point IMO.

Time wasters like this must be the bane of dealers. One would think that a buyer knew what he was doing when he puts down a deposit but clearly not.




SMcP114

2,916 posts

118 months

Sunday 31st May 2015
quotequote all
If a deposit is refundable what is the point of it in the first place? I genuinely don't understand.

PurpleMoonlight

10,162 posts

83 months

Sunday 31st May 2015
quotequote all
SMcP114 said:
If a deposit is refundable what is the point of it in the first place? I genuinely don't understand.
Because it shows an intent to buy/sell that both parties prefer to see, and 99% proceed without any issue.

Life and business isn't perfect though and occasionally the contract needs to be terminated. This could be an hour after the deposit is paid, or a day or a week. Then, the party cancelling the contract is responsible for any losses incurred by the party being cancelled upon. Mostly this is next to nothing so neither party bothers to pursue it.

agtlaw

4,545 posts

132 months

Sunday 31st May 2015
quotequote all
PurpleMoonlight said:
The redress for either party for a breach of contract is the recovery of any loss incurred.

Anything else is a penalty and not enforceable.
What was the car sold for? If less than £27,000 then there's a loss.