I ordered a new car but when it arrived it was the wrong colour - what can I do?

I ordered a new BMW X3 20i in February. The dealer sent me the spec of the car on and the documentation showed the colour I wanted. I confirmed the spec by reply email and asked him to order the car. Later he sent me a 'Sales Invoice' to scan and sign, but he had made a clerical error and put the wrong colour on the document. I scanned and signed the document and sent it back without realising the dealer had input the wrong colour on it.

In June - last week - I went to the dealership to pick up the car. I immediately noticed that it was the wrong colour and said so. They said to sign the paperwork and that it could be re-sprayed. I left the dealership in the car. I sent the manager of the dealership the paper trail of emails and documents, complaining that the car I was in possession of was the wrong colour and this should be corrected, and I could not accept this new car in the colour.

The BMW manager has never acknowledged or accepted that it is their employee's fault in ordering a car in the wrong colour. I have logged a complaint to Customer Services BMW. I wish to return the car - five days after pick up - with 71 miles on it.

The manager is now saying that I should either:

1. Return the car to them and wait for a new car in the correct colour and pay a further £9000 for delivery early October.
2. Sell the vehicle outright (value now £36,000 on a car that cost me £50,000)
3. Re-paint the car completely at a cost of £11,500
4. Effect a 'painted wrap' on the car at a cost of £7000

All at my cost. They have not accepted their fault in this. I don't see why I should pay for this error. What is the legal position on this? Should I instruct solicitors?

Asked on 26 June 2019 by Sarah Holcroft

Answered by Honest John
You could take solicitors advice. But they charge £250 per hour + VAT. I think that because you signed the copy order with the wrong colour on it you might not necessarily win this one. And going to full County Court will cost you £10,000 - £20,000 that you will not necessarily get back even if you win (you may not be awarded costs). If they win you will be liable for their costs. They know all this, of course, and simply hope you will go away. If the colour is not offensive and is re-sellable, I'd live with it.
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