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Dealership is refusing to give back my deposit  
Dealership is refusing to give back my deposit - scotthunter
Hello all,

I put a £500 deposit down on a car over the telephone. I haven't seen the car because it's almost new and was a very good price at £12,300). I told the dealer before paying the deposit that I didn't have the cash to pay for the car outright, and explained that I would require finance to pay for the outstanding amount (about £2,700). I asked the dealer to arrange finance but the finance was rejected based on my credit score.

Because this was a verbal / telephone contract I have no written T&C's, but I do have a voicemail message from a secretary asking me to call with my details for the finance proposal.

Please help as I don't want to loose £500! I've written a letter to the dealership threatening court action but need some legal advice first on whether I have a good case.

I have written two letters to the dealership, copies of which are below. Any further legal advice would be much appreciated.

Thank you so much for any help by the way - this issue has so far cost me £500 plus over £20 in calls to CAB, TS etc. and is causing me a great deal of stress, especially since the dealer in question is basically being an arrogant, uncooperative, dishonest and sly ba*tard (this isn't a generalisation of car salesmen by the way, just the manager of Cars R Us in Bridgend).



Scott Hunter
***********
***********
***********
***********

Trade Price Cars Ltd (Cars R Us)
Maesteg Rd
Tondu
Bridgend
Mid Glamorgan
CF32 9BT


12 August 2012

To the Manager of Cars R Us,

Please arrange for the immediate return of my £500 deposit for the Ford Fiesta Metal that I was unable to purchase. The reason I was unable to complete the purchase is because finance was not agreed by the Third Party. I made my position very clear at the time of paying the deposit that I would require finance in the order of £2790 to pay the balance of the vehicle and I asked you to organise a finance proposal on my behalf, which was subsequently rejected by the finance company. The finance proposal is recorded on my credit profile.

I have been in contact with Trading Standards, Consumer Direct and several experienced professionals within the motor trade industry who all confirm that your non-returnable deposit policy is not enforceable because I agreed to purchase the vehicle without face to face contact subject to satisfactory viewing and agreement of finance by the third party. Distance Selling Regulations states that either party can withdraw from the agreement at any time without financial penalty for withdrawal from the agreement. Any contract that was entered is therefore unenforceable and you must by law provide a full refund under these circumstances. You also failed to provide written conditions of contract which is in breach of the Sale of Good Act.

Before I gave you my bank card details I asked you if the deposit was refundable should the finance proposal be rejected and you said yes. You have broken our verbal agreement and are now holding my deposit illegally. I also do not agree that you have incurred any losses since you admitted yourself that this particular vehicle “is the cheapest in the country right now” and would sell again easily.

Please comply with your legal obligations and return my deposit in full, otherwise I will have no hesitation in enforcing my consumer rights through the Small Claims Court.

My bank details for a direct bank transfer are as follows:

Account holder’s name: ***********
Account number: ***********
Sort code: ***********

Please note that I have agreed to purchase a vehicle from elsewhere and require this money immediately for payment of the vehicle.

Yours faithfully,




Scott Hunter





Scott Hunter
***********
***********
***********
***********


Trade Price Cars Ltd (Cars R Us)
Maesteg Rd
Tondu
Bridgend
Mid Glamorgan
CF32 9BT


14 August 2012

To the Manager of Cars R Us,

Further to our conversation today and my letter dated 12 August 2012 I still haven’t received any indication from you that you intend to refund my £500 deposit which you are currently withholding from me illegally. Your position is really quite astonishing and you leave me with no option but to file for redress with the Small Claims Court. I have been advised that this will be successful. I am prepared to do this.

May I remind you that where a deal is dependent on finance being obtained through the dealership (Three Party finance agreements) and for any reason the finance deal does not proceed and the intended sale collapses, the prospective buyer is then entitled to withdraw from the deal without loss of the deposit. You are in no way absolved of your legal obligations within the context of this deal under applicable UK law.

The sale was also based on the need to complete a regulated consumer credit agreement, which would only become “executed” when signed by the debtor and creditor. As I have not received any paperwork or signed anything I am entitled to withdraw from the prospective agreement under Section 57 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974. Under Section 57 my notice to withdraw from the sale on 11th August 2012 cancelled the credit agreement which means that any linked transaction to buy the car should be treated in the same way as a cancellable agreement i.e. I am entitled to a refund of the deposit.

The following extract is from a Lincolnshire Trading standards report about Motor Trade Sales.

“Deposits are usually considered to be non-refundable. However, if you are in breach of contract, or if you agreed that the deposit would be refundable as an express term of the contract, then you should return the customer’s deposit. You would also be under a duty to mitigate your losses - i.e. only take from the deposit any losses that you have actually made. If the deposit was taken as part of a sale which was to be completed via a finance agreement, then the deposit must be refunded if the finance agreement is cancelled.”

I would also like you to demonstrate your losses and how you can justifiably claim that you are acting reasonable and fair by withholding £500 of my money because a deal subject to finance did not proceed.

You deny that the sale was subject to finance despite me explicitly stating my financial situation to you and requesting you to undertake a finance proposal on my behalf prior to taking payment of my deposit. I even have an answerphone message recorded on my Apple iPhone from your assistant Bethan Richards, whom I understand no longer works for Cars R Us, recorded on 31st July 2012 at 11:27—the same day as the transaction took place—asking me to contact her in order to provide personal details for the finance proposal.

If a positive outcome to this dispute has not been reached by Wednesday 22nd August (one week from when you received my first letter) then I shall inform Trading Standards of my intention to escalate the matter to the Small Claims Court. I will request that the hearing will be held at my local county court in Torquay.

Yours faithfully,




Scott Hunter

Tags: legal legal and consumer advice consumer rights legal advice

Dealership is refusing to give back my deposit - RT

The whole point of placing a deposit is to put a contract in place with obligations on both sides.

Refundable "deposits" are just loans really if there's no contractual obligation involved.

You may find the dealer suing you for the outstanding £11,800.

Dealership is refusing to give back my deposit - scotthunter

Sorry but I think that is rubbish - what you are basically saying is that I have absolutely no protection through the Distance Selling Regulations, the Consumer Credit Agreement or Sale of Goods Act, and that the Court would side with the Dealership and not the Individual in this matter even though the Dealer is clearly being dishonest, sly and very unreasonable.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought that if the purchase was reliant on finance and it is rejected based on your credit history, then the garage must return the holding deposit. It's not like I changed my mind about the car, I simply couldn't raise the funds to pay for it. I was willing to part with a total cash deposit of £8500 and a £1000 trade-in so the finance I required was minimal. I even told the dealer that my credit history wasn't great, but he reassured me saying that it would be highly unlikely that I would not qualify for finance because I was paying a a high deposit. He told me verbally that the deposit was refundable, but I have no way of proving this.

Dealership is refusing to give back my deposit - tony g
Hi Scott,
Given that you asked the dealer to apply for finance on your behalf ,I believe that the provision of finance by the dealer formed a material part of your contract to purchase .

The dealer was unable to provide the finance ,therefore the contract becomes null and void ,I believe that simple contract law applies in your case . If you pursue the dealer in the small claims court you should win .

However I see that you paid the deposit by credit or debit card . Try contacting your card provider ,if you explain the situation to them it's likely that they will withdraw the deposit from the dealers account and refund it to your account .Card providers are under a legal obligation to protect thier customers from fraudulent transactions .

Good luck

Tony g
Dealership is refusing to give back my deposit - scotthunter

Thank you Tony for your useful reply and I totally agree with your opinion.

I have already spoken to Natwest regarding this but they say that because I willingly provided the dealer with my debit card details the transaction isn't considered fradulent, but they agreed that it is a breach of civil law and the matter should be pursued in the Small Claims Court.

Are Natwest fobbing me off or can I enforce a chargeback by the Consumer Credit Act 1974, Section 75?

Dealership is refusing to give back my deposit - tony g
Hi Scott ,
I would try both avenues at the same time ,simply because it takes 6 weeks to process a small claims court case .

First get the application form from your local court ,fill all the details in and send a copy to the dealer ,enclose a letter that states they will be paying the court fees of £200 ,plus your £500 ,when you win your case .

In addition go back to nat west ,they have the ability to recover the money .Do they really want to be party to someone breaching civil law ?

I worked for many years in main dealers ,I've seen this many times ,the dealer is hoping you will walk away if he makes it difficult for you .dont do it .

I would be ringing the sales manager ,the salesman ,and the dealer principal of the garage every day .waste thier time ,aggravate them .I would make sure it becomes easier for them to pay you ,than to take your phone calls .

Good luck


Tony g
Dealership is refusing to give back my deposit - concrete

Good advice tony g. I had cause to invoke the distance selling regulations, not against the motor trade, but I believe the regulations cover most goods and services. My credit card provider, through M&S Money were very helpful. When they learned the circumstances they credited my account with the sum involved and recovered it from the seller. A lot easier than going to court. However the small claims court is still an option, albeit a long winded one. It just begs the question- why does a dealer attempt this sort of thing. Trying to get £500 from someone for nothing. I am sure he has had many a sale fall through in the past, but their is no need to profit from it. His reputation, if he cares about it, is now in shreds. I hope scotthunter lets us know how he gets on. Cheers Concrete

Dealership is refusing to give back my deposit - scotthunter

I received a reply to my letter yesterday, saying:

"Without prejudice, I refer to your letter on 14th August with respect I would like to clarify our position and refute any suggestion that you deposit (none refundable) is being illegally withheld from you.

The deposit was subject to the car being in good order and I did agree to refund the deposit should there be any faults on the car. At no point did I agree to refund your deposit should you fail to get finance by ourselves.

The purchase of the car and obtaining funds are sole responsibility and at no point was it agreed that should you fail to get motor finance that this deposit would be refunded.

We did however offer as a gesture of good will the 500 pounds off any other vehicle that you may be interested in for the present and future. I hope this clarifies the matter.

Yours faithfully,

Nasser Asfi"

Dealership is refusing to give back my deposit - tony g
( At no point did I agree to refund your deposit should you fail to get finance by ourselves.)

Hi Scott ,
Strong smell of bs here ,I'm guessing that you gave details to apply for finance at the same time that you agreed to buy the car . To me that means you agreed to buy the car subject to provision of finance by the garage .

They are unable to supply the finance and therefore are in breach of contract ,the provision of finance was an integral part of your agreement to buy ,they can't supply, therefore the contract is null and void .

I've worked in the car trade for many years ,I would always keep a deposit if a buyer simply changed his mind ,the buyer would be in breach of contract .However I never kept a deposit where a buyer failed finance .

I don't think I would get to excited about the distance selling act ,I think it's a simple breach of contract issue .send a copy of the application you make to the garage before you pay the two hundred pounds ,give them two weeks to pay before you complete the action . At the same time speak again to nat west ,they have the ability to recover your money .

Regards

Tony g


Dealership is refusing to give back my deposit - thunderbird

Its not the garages fault that they cannot get the OP finance, its the OP's poor credit rating.

OP, take up their offer and have a cheaper car that needs no finance to top up the purchase, simples.

Dealership is refusing to give back my deposit - tony g
Hi thunderbird ,
The op says he told the garage he had a poor credit history when he agreed to buy the car ,he gave them his details for finance when he paid a deposit .

The deposit and the transaction were subject to the garage obtaining finance on his behalf .

Why would anybody want to buy from a garage that behaves like this ?

Tony g
Dealership is refusing to give back my deposit - skidpan

I would suggest that this is just a case of the OP not listening when the s]dealer gave hin the facts or now when the deal has gone bad refusing to accept the the original T & C which the dealer set out.

Accept his offer of a cheaper car and rebuild your credit rating.

Dealership is refusing to give back my deposit - scotthunter

Sorry but that's rubbish. The dealer didn't give me any facts and did NOT state that the deposit was non-refundable. This is simply his word against mine.

I also made it clear that my credit rating was poor but the dealer reassured me saying that because I was paying such a large deposit it would be very unlikely for me to be refused finance. I asked the dealer to arrange finance at the same time as paying the deposit and he said he would have to get his assistant to call me back to arrange the finance proposal, which she did later that day.

He is now trying to use bully tactics to coerce me into choosing another car from his small dealership instead of doing the decent thing and handing the money back. Why should I be made to feel that I have any moral obligation to buy again from a dealership who are trying to get something for nothing from of me? At the end of the day they still have a very sellable car and have incurred no significant losses, whereas I am £500 out of pocket. This is a disgusing way to treat a would-be customer.

Dealership is refusing to give back my deposit - thunderbird

The dealer didn't give me any facts and did NOT state that the deposit was non-refundable.

If that is true then the dealer has broken the law. As far as I am aware they must provide paperwork staing T & C. This should be a matter for Trading Standards and the Financial Onbudsman if they did not.

But as usual it will be your word against theirs.

Dealership is refusing to give back my deposit - bonzo dog

The deposit and the transaction were subject to the garage obtaining finance on his behalf .

Agreed, Tony.

I've dealt with some pretty horrible dealers in the car trade but I've never come across a dealer who wouldn't give the deposit back in these circumstances.

If the customer had first sought & then been refused finance from another source & THEN asked the dealer to arrange funds, this would be diffferent; but this does not appear to be the case

Dealership is refusing to give back my deposit - scotthunter

Replied yesterday as below;

Cars R Us (Bridgend) Ltd

Maesteg Rd

Tondu

Bridgend

Mid Glamorgan

CF32 9BT

20th August 2012

Dear Mr Asfi,

LETTER BEFORE ACTION – NON-RETURN OF DEPOSIT FOR FORD FIESTA METAL

I acknowledge receipt of your letter dated 16th August 2012.

There has been a breach of contract as the contract was based on a prospective credit agreement and was subject to the condition of finance being arranged as an expressed term of the contract. Because this prospective credit agreement wasn’t executed at any point the contract will automatically revert to the pre-contractual status and so a full refund should be given at this time.

You knew the purchase was reliant on credit being arranged. I have sought legal advice from Trading Standards and I am entitled to a full refund. Please adhere to your legal obligations. Your potential losses are not my burden to bear.

Yours sincerely,

Scott Hunter

Dealership is refusing to give back my deposit - TedCrilly

Talk about airing dirty laundry!!

Do you really need to make all this available for public consumption?

The motor trade are as thick as thieves. If Mr Asfi isnt following this thread I am sure it wont be long before someone tips him off about it. He is probably reading your letters in here before he even recieves them at his plot!

Dealership is refusing to give back my deposit - Avant

I quite agree, Ted.

Could posters in future not quote the whole of a letter they've written: much better just to summarise briefly what you've said.

Dealership is refusing to give back my deposit - tony g
(Talk about airing dirty laundry!!

Do you really need to make all this available for public consumption?

The motor trade are as thick as thieves. If Mr Asfi isnt following this thread I am sure it wont be long before someone tips him off about it. He is probably reading your letters in here before he even recieves them at his plot!)

Is this a spoof post ? From craggy island .

Anyway taking it at face value ,I can only applaud the ops determination to recover his money ,shining a light on car dealers like this is the best way to discourage thier sharp practices ,they get us all a bad name .

,(the motor trade are as thick as thieves )if you took the time to read the posts you would see that I'm in the trade and have tried to help the op recover his deposit , Then what's the final paragraph about ,what does it matter when the individual reads the letter .

Finally ,perhaps this is a spoof ,a dyslexic one (before he receives them at his plot ).?




Dealership is refusing to give back my deposit - scotthunter
(Then what's the final paragraph about ,what does it matter when the individual reads the letter . Finally ,perhaps this is a spoof ,a dyslexic one (before he receives them at his plot ).?

What are you trying to say, Tony? What's Craggy Island? I don't really understand your post. Who are you accusing of being dyslexic?

(Edit: Potentially libellous comments removed)

Edited by Avant on 22/08/2012 at 22:57

Dealership is refusing to give back my deposit - tony g
Hi Scott ,you've jumped to the wrong conclusion on this one ,if you look back to previous posts ,about 4 ,you will see a nonsense post from ted crilly .My post was in response to that post .

To explain further ,Ted Crilly was the eccentric Irish priest from the series father ted.Craggy island was the place where he lived .

In addition I took exception to his comment that car dealers are as thick as thieves ,as you can see from my previous posts I'm a car dealer and have offered support several times to your problem .before he receives them at his plot ? ,perhaps he meant to say in the post ,who knows .

Hope that makes it clear for you .

Regards

Tony g
Dealership is refusing to give back my deposit - scotthunter

Ok sorry and thank you for all your advice, I really appreciate it.

As a car dealer yourself then, could you tell me why a dealer would trade under so many different names?

www.carsrusbarry.co.uk/

(Refers to Trade Price Cars)

www.tradecarsofbridgend.co.uk/

Refers to Auto Solutions and Cars R Us)

www.cars-r-us.net/

(Similar name and site layout as above sites)

Their invoice states Cars R Us and their letter states Cars R Us (Barry) Ltd. I saw the car advertised on the Trade Cars of Bridgend site.

This is giving me a massive headache as I'm not even sure what company name to put on the court forms!

Dealership is refusing to give back my deposit - tony g
(Their invoice states Cars R Us trading as Trade Cars of Bridgend site.)

That would be the place to address the court documents .

From reading your post it seems that they operate businesses in Barry ,Bridgend and an Internet business .

Regards

Tony g

Dealership is refusing to give back my deposit - focussed

The company Cars R Us (Barry) Ltd is noted at Companies House as :-

Active-proposal to strike off.

No accounts filed

Company return overdue

I'd get in quick if I were you.

Dealership is refusing to give back my deposit - scotthunter

I've just found out the following information from Trading Standards.

Mr Asfi was not entitled to sell the Ford Fiesta Metal as it had outstanding finance.

He has ripped off 16 other victims by illegally withholding their deposits. Statements are being given to Trading Standards one by one.

Trading Standards executed a search warrant at the company's premises in Feb 2012 for missing paperwork.

The company will be prosecuted and due to the seriousness of the offences it will be dealt with at the crown court.

Trading Standards has blocked Cars R Us (Barry) Ltd from being dissolved. His current "assets" would appear to include a Ferrari F430 and a Audio R8 but I wouldn't be surprised if these had outstanding finance too.

There you have it. If you're thinking about buying a used car from Mr Nasser Asfi of Cars R Us, don't!

Dealership is refusing to give back my deposit - tony g
Hi Scott ,it sounds like a business that at best goes in for dubious practices ,if not outright fraud .However you now have a very strong case to present to your bank to recover your deposit.

Just a small point ,offering the fiesta for sale that has outstanding finance is not illegal in itself .It does become a major problem for the person that buys it though.The person that buys it would have problems in proving clear title to the vehicle ,usually the finance company would have title and could seize the car.
The buyer would then be faced with prospect of suing the seller for the return of the money.No hope of that with Asfi !

Regards

Tony g
Dealership is refusing to give back my deposit - scotthunter
Hi Scott ,it sounds like a business that at best goes in for dubious practices ,if not outright fraud .However you now have a very strong case to present to your bank to recover your deposit. Just a small point ,offering the fiesta for sale that has outstanding finance is not illegal in itself .It does become a major problem for the person that buys it though.The person that buys it would have problems in proving clear title to the vehicle ,usually the finance company would have title and could seize the car. The buyer would then be faced with prospect of suing the seller for the return of the money.No hope of that with Asfi ! Regards Tony g

The bank still won't do a chargeback because under Visa rules this isn't considered fraud.

Dealership is refusing to give back my deposit - concrete

If Trading Standards are taking this company to court for various offences surely your credit/debit card company cannot possibly ignore the fact that illegal activity has taken place. Whether it be Fraud, Theft or Deception they are jointly liable along with the trader to ensure you are not disadvantaged by any breach of contract. Ask them in writing to define what they consider to be 'Fraud'. And also how they interpret the actions of this obviously dishonest trader. They cannot escape the fact you have been disadvantaged by illegal practices. If it smells like a pig, looks like a pig and grunts like a pig, it must be a pig! Best of luck. Concrete

Dealership is refusing to give back my deposit - angie tj

I'm in the small claims court against these... since March. Mr Asfi has used every legal loophole to extend the time in the hope company house stike off Cars R Us (Barry( Ltd before I can issue a warrent. Luckuy for me the courts have set a final hearing for Nov BUT added his name as the 2nd defendant holding him personally accoutable regadless of the company status.

I have track his compnay's a deraling even his facebook page - OK so losing almost 3k made me little obsessive! If you paid deposit after 11th June 2012 then you need to be taking Auto Solutions (if done via Tondu branch Bridgend or Trade Price Cars Limited (if done via Barry branch) The next director is Nazia Sethi - her facebook profile claims to be working for Admiral insurance she also lives in Barry area - as far as I'm aware Mr Asfi lives at 94 Pontypridd Road Barry CF62 7LT.

I'm also part of Trading Standard Bridgend court case and hope to see him in front of a criminal judge soon!

Hope that helps

Regards

Angela Turner-Jones

Dealership is refusing to give back my deposit - bathtub tom

Stay in there gal!

I'm rooting for you!

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