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Dealer Ignoring CRA 2015 & ignored LBA for 15 days. Small claims or cut my losses?

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  • Dealer Ignoring CRA 2015 & ignored LBA for 15 days. Small claims or cut my losses?

    RE: Dealer Ignoring Consumer Rights Act 2015 and has ignored LBA for 15 days (Rejected car within 9 days). My question: Do I still go through the small claims or cut my losses?

    Dear Legalbeagles,

    We are currently going through a dispute with a Used Car Dealer, who is not budging on their terms even though we asked to return the car within 30 days.
    He is not accepting a full refund, his terms are that he will charge us another £260 admin fee and charge us any repairs after inspecting the car.

    We bought the car on 26th November 2021, saw the hidden damage on 29th November, began speaking to approved garages on the 30th, and after professionally checking it on 4th December, then asked for a refund from the dealer on Sunday 5th December. I have confirmed with two more body repair shops that the damage was prior to our purchase. Do I also need an engineer's report?

    Iíve spoken to Citizenís Advice, written a number of letters to the dealer, and am now going to open a case against them via money claims online tomorrow (itís been 15 days since the Letter Before Action and he has not responded). Under the consumer rights act 2015, CAB confirmed that I am entitled to a full refund as the car was not as described and not of satisfactory condition.
    My problem:
    • If we win the case, he can ignore the judgement. Heíll have a CCJ on record but this is not public and wonít affect his business.
    • If I then raise this to the High court and issue a third party debt order or charging order. If the defendant puts all the cars in his name (via DVLA) then the sheriff cannot claim any assets, as they are no longer in the company name.
    After speaking with a lawyer he has confirmed the above is possible.
    The companyís liability (77.65k) is higher than their assets (55.13k) so could they claim bankruptcy? However, he has 27 cars for sale on his website including the one we part exchanged (heís just put it up now).
    Iím completely out of pocket just under £9,000. Iíve had to rent a car (as I need a car for work Ė thatís the only reason I bought it) and canít afford it any longer.
    When this is over. I will be naming the used car dealership. But I want the full refund back before I do name the dealership in case it hinders my ability to get the money back.

    My question: Do I still go through the small claims or cut my losses?

    If anyone can help even a little, I'd really appreciate it.

    Thank you for your time.

    Kind regards,
    Yogi
    Tags: None

  • #2
    Hi Yogi

    I would get an expert witness report. Yes you still go through the small claims court. If he has social media Facebook, Twitter you should maybe leave a Review, no doubt that will help your case (just be careful what you write).

    Comment


    • #3
      < If the defendant puts all the cars in his name (via DVLA) then the sheriff cannot claim any assets, as they are no longer in the company name.>

      DVLA only records the name of the KEEPER, not the owner. and the sheriffs are aware of this.
      Just transferring registration details is unlikely to protect them

      Comment


      • #4
        Thank you for your reply DES8,

        Originally posted by des8 View Post
        DVLA only records the name of the KEEPER, not the owner. and the sheriffs are aware of this.
        Just transferring registration details is unlikely to protect them
        Please could you expand on this?
        I spoke with the Sheriff's office receptionist and she said that when taking the company to court if they refuse to pay and you need a sheriff, the sheriff will check the number plates of their cars. If they are in the director's name and not the company's name then they cannot seize these assets.

        Comment


        • #5
          Hi ECHAT11,

          Thank you for your message.

          Originally posted by echat11 View Post
          If he has social media Facebook, Twitter you should maybe leave a Review, no doubt that will help your case (just be careful what you write).
          My only worry with discrediting his company, before I claim, is if he brings the reviews to court, could he state that the company no longer has any funds, as he has no business.
          Then, if he's put all cars in his or someone else's name he can claim the company has no assets.

          Is this a possibility?

          Comment


          • #6
            It is for the HCEO to enforce the writ
            The onus of proof of ownership falls upon the debtor, but the HCEO exercises reason and judgment to decide if the proof offered is sufficient.
            If the owner of a limited company dealing in cars should claim that all the cars on his forecourt and showroom were privately owned by him and not part of his stock in trade, I would be very surprised if he was believed by the HCEO.

            There was a case investigated by the LGO who stated in their report that it was reasonable for the bailiff to check ownership with DVLA.
            However that concerned a Council Tax default where a private individual claimed a single vehicle was not his, and IMO it would not apply to your case.

            Here's an interesting link for you,https://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/...f=10&t=1733309

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by des8 View Post

              Here's an interesting link for you,https://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/...f=10&t=1733309
              Thank you DES8, I'm reading through this now. Unfortunately, we can't use a bailiff as the amount is higher than 5000 but I imagine Sheriffs have similar powers.

              I have a similar problem (mentioned byzarjaz1991) that this dealer switches companies with his brother every 4 years or so. So, I'm not sure if the dealer and his brother are doing something shady.

              Q1 Should I check on trustonline whether there is a CCJ on the dealer's name or the company name?

              Q2 Also, if he has a HCJ will it still show the history of the CCJ on trustonline?

              The past companies have been construction and plumbing ones.
              His brother normally starts the company, resigns after 4 years then he (the dealer) takes over.

              Q3 The dealer currently has two car companies in his name, the one we're claiming against and the other which is valued only at £100. I wonder if he could transfer the 27 cars to the other company?

              Q4 Please may I ask whether I should call the dealer and give him a final warning and state that the engineer's report will prove that the car was damaged before our purchase and he will have to pay almost 2000 in addition (due to consequential loss)? Whereas if he accepts the return it will only be the cost of the car + px.

              Thanks so much for your help

              Comment


              • #8
                If you do a Trustline check I think you get a report shewing CCJs, court orders, fines and high court judgements.
                Might be worth the £4

                If you have to instruct High Court Enforcement Officers let them know the complete back story,
                HCEOs have more powers than enforcement agents certificated by county court
                Bailiff is a term no longer used

                I can't say whether or not you should initiate the court process.

                However you have already sent a Letter before action , warning of impending court action.
                I do not believe you should utter such threats without the intention of implementing them.
                There is no need to write yet another letter, and it will probably be a waste of time anyway.

                Regarding an engineers report.
                You say you have already consulted two body shops and they confirm there is evidence of previous damage
                Are they prepared to give you a written report, (or have they already done so)?
                You don't say why you are rejecting the car other than to say it is unsatisfactory & not as described.
                With that little knowledge it's not possible to guess if you need an engineers report/
                Perhaps you could show the court evidence of the prior damage photographically

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by des8 View Post

                  Regarding an engineers report.
                  You say you have already consulted two body shops and they confirm there is evidence of previous damage
                  Are they prepared to give you a written report, (or have they already done so)?
                  You don't say why you are rejecting the car other than to say it is unsatisfactory & not as described.
                  With that little knowledge it's not possible to guess if you need an engineers report/
                  Perhaps you could show the court evidence of the prior damage photographically
                  Thank you DES8, here is all the evidence I have so far. 1/2

                  Attached Files

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Photographic evidence 2/2
                    Attached Files

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      With that evidence I would not be seeking any further reports.

                      Whether you win or not depends on a number of things, including especially the information you were given (by advert & verbally) prior to purchase.

                      Was this a cash purchase/bank transfer, credit or debit card or finance house?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by des8 View Post
                        With that evidence I would not be seeking any further reports.

                        Whether you win or not depends on a number of things, including especially the information you were given (by advert & verbally) prior to purchase.
                        Thank you for your message DES8. The advert info is attached below, the dealer still says that he gave us the car in "excellent condition" and that we caused this damage.

                        He's said that he'll charge us for the door and an admin fee of £260. Plus, inspect the car and charge us for cleaning, repairs, and anything else he wants. He said that the invoice we signed (conditions attached) states that the admin fee is non-refundable. When I read these terms out to CAB they immediately said that he was trying to restrict our legal rights and said they would escalate to Trading Standards. I will not know of any progress though, as TS is not available to the public anymore. I've attached his last response via Whatsapp on 13th December 2021. NB: The pictures he mentions are the same ones I attached above).

                        I've realised now that we should not have been charged an admin fee as the advert on Autotrader stated: "no admin fees" (in images below).

                        Originally posted by des8 View Post

                        Was this a cash purchase/bank transfer, credit or debit card or finance house?
                        We paid partly via debit card and the rest with a part exchanged car.

                        I spoke with the bank and they stated that I would only get the debit card amount back and would have to return the car if I was successful through chargeback. So I would lose my part-exchanged car.

                        Thank you for your time.
                        Attached Files

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Have they advertised other cars on Autotrader?

                          Autotrader might remove them if pushed as the Admin Fee breaches their T & C's of advertising cars.

                          Make a formal complaint to Autotrader with all the details, especially the 'Admin Fee'.

                          https://www.autotrader.co.uk/sell-my...about-a-dealer

                          https://www.autotrader.co.uk/contact-us#complain

                          Also you can complain to the FOS about Autotrader regarding the Admin Fee, once you get a final response and if you are still unhappy.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            So on the basis of your posts you have been subjected to a misrepresentation and purchased a vehicle not as described, and are not of satisfactory quality.

                            If you obtain a charge back from your debit card provider the dealer should collect the car at no cost to you.
                            However as you have already notified the dealer that you are rejecting the car you have to make it available for him to collect anyway.
                            If you obtain charge back the dealer still has to return your vehicle, or if he has already sold it he needs to return the difference between the purchase price and the amount you paid.

                            Having rejected the vehicle he should be making a return of your cash payment to your debit card (so getting it via charge back is no different for you)
                            and then return your p/ex if he still has it. If he has already sold it on he needs to return the difference between the purchase price and the amount you paid.

                            Either way you do not lose your p/ex

                            If I was in your position I would be making a charge back request and at the same time initiating a county court claim for the whole amount plus damages( if any).
                            If the chargeback is successful you can reduce the amount of your claim (you can't get a double payout!).
                            Neither process is fast so you don't want to delay

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by des8 View Post

                              If I was in your position I would be making a charge back request and at the same time initiating a county court claim for the whole amount plus damages( if any).
                              If the chargeback is successful you can reduce the amount of your claim (you can't get a double payout!).
                              Neither process is fast so you don't want to delay
                              Thank you DES8, I will be starting both processes asap.

                              I'm also calling TrustOnline to see whether I should check the CCJ against the company name or the director's name? Or both?

                              I'll go with the "multiple" £8 option (below), as it covers HCJ aswell as CCJ.

                              Attached Files

                              Comment

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