Credit sleaze?

In April 2005 I returned a Citroen C5, which had come to the end of a three year lease, with slightly less than the agreed 45,000 miles on the clock. The car was collected by a third party on behalf of Banque PSA Finance, and at the time of collection I was asked to sign a form agreeing to certain items of "damage" such as stone chips on paintwork, scratched bumpers and the like. I refused to sign on the grounds that the slight imperfections were fair wearand tear. I was sent a bill from Banque PSA for £385 that I have refused to pay, for the above reason. Ever since there have been numerous letters back and forth, threats of legal action from Banque PSA which have not been carried out, and in all this time I have consistently refuted their assertion that this was anything other than fair wear and tear. I recently tried to open a new bank account with my current bank and was refused because Experian Credit has a "black mark" on my account placed by Bank PSA finance saying I have defaulted on this payment. At no time was I informed by Banque PSA that they were taking this action. My question is can they blacklist a person who is in dispute over an amount like this? And what can I do to get my credit rating restored? Banque PSA has informed me that until I pay £452.38 nothing will happen and then it will show on my credit score as "resolved". I feel this is unfair and unjustified. Short of taking expensive legal advice, I don't know where to turn.

Asked on 31 January 2009 by

Answered by Honest John
It will be a condition of the lease that the car is returned in unmarked condition. If you want to dispute this then you can do so via the small claims track at the county court. But it might simply be more expedient to pay for the damage and resolve the matter that way.
Similar questions
My Fiat Panda went into the Fiat dealer for some warranty work. When I returned to pick it up, someone had scratched from the front drivers door all the way to the back wing. They admitted fault and took...
I had a reduced supercharger pulley fitted to my MINI two weeks ago. Three days ago while being 200 miles from home, it frayed the drive belt. Luckily (I thought) I was near the company that fitted the...
Inspired by recent press advertisements e.g."The New Volvo XC60 D4 with AWD", do you have any views on the merits of leasing as opposed to buying outright as a private car user? I have always bought (new...
Related models
Very comfortable, fantastic all-speed refinement, lots of interior space, well equipped from mid-range upwards.

Ask Honest John

Value my car