I was sold a car that still had outstanding finance - what can I do?

I purchased a Jaguar XJS Cabriolet from a private seller via eBay. Before collecting and paying for the vehicle £15,000 I checked with an online company to ensure there was no outstanding finance on the vehicle and it came back clear. I paid for and collected the vehicle and obtained a letter signed by the vendor saying that I had paid for the vehicle and the full ownership of the vehicle had passed to me.

Several months later I recived a letter from a company called Mobile Finance saying that they had a financial interest in the car due to Bill of Sale loan the vendor had taken out before he sold the vehicle. An amount of £2700 was owed and it was my responsibility to pay this. Unless I didn't the car would be repossesed and sold. After being visited by ballifs I eventually agreed to pay £2300 and the car is now clear of any finance. I wish to take the vendor to the small claims court to recover the amount I had to pay to retain ownership of the vehicle. What are my chances of succeeding?

The vendor is saying that he assumed I knew of the outstanding finance and I should have had added the loan to the amount I paid.

Asked on 11 August 2018 by Jeff Stewart

Answered by Honest John
Definitely take this to Small Claims. The judge will not be in the least sympathetic to the vendor. He took out what is called a "chattel mortgage" on the car then dishonestly and fraudulently sold you a car he did not own. You showed "due diligence" in checking the finance history, but, unfortunately, the companies that keep these records do not necessarily have records for all "chattel mortgage" lenders. Small Claims here: www.gov.uk/make-court-claim-for-money / Once you get a ruling in your favour, pay extra for a High Court Sheriff's Enforcement order, then you will stand a better chance of getting the money from the vendor having the vendor's property seized and sold to the value of your claim plus the Sheriff's fees.
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