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Keeping a cherished car

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  • Keeping a cherished car

    Hi everyone,

    My wife and I are separating from a 5 year marriage. Most of the dividing of possessions etc has been going well all things considered, except for the 2 cars which we "own".

    The first car (my realistic dream car) we bought 2nd hand in 2018 on a contract purchase deal, the amount of credit being 12,000 over 36 months which has been continuously paid from our joint account, the car and finance was registered in my wife's name, as I already had a car on finance from VW at the time.

    The second car (her realistic dream car) we purchased new back in August 2020 on a personal contract hire over 48 months, paid a deposit from our joint account and pay the monthly invoice from our joint account. This car was put in my name as I no longer had the VW financed vehicle.

    She now, what I only put down to being spiteful, wants to keep the first car (my dream car) as she says it's in her name and she has the right to it, therefore me being lumbered with the second car which I would rather not be stuck with.

    Other than the fact that we paid the deposit jointly, and pay for the finance jointly, the car has been mine to run and maintain. All servicing, repairs and upkeep have been organised and looked after by me (of which I have receipts to prove), again though, paid from our joint account.

    Do I have any way of keeping this car? Or at least putting forward a good legal argument?

    Many thanks in advance for you help.

    Tags: None

  • #2

    Based on what you've described, I'm afraid neither of you "own" the cars.

    Your realistic dream car: The contract is on PCP deal and your wife is the named person on the contract. Unless you are named jointly on the PCP agreement (as far as I understand this never happens), the contract is personal between your wife and the finance company. Irrespective of whether you drive the car or not, you have no rights at all, nor do you or your wife own it.

    Your wife's realistic dream car: As above but the position is reversed, although it's a PCH contract so it is purely a hire arrangement. No option to purchase, simply hire the car for the contract period and then return back to the finance company and the end of the hire period.

    I would suggest you do some research on two points to help you understand the legal position - "privity of contract" and the "nemo dat rule" which translates roughly to one cannot give what they do not own.
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    • #3
      Many thanks for the reply Rob, I thought this may be the case.


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