Feedback on a deal and a question about insurance excess

After many years reading your column and "asking HJ" once and receiving a handwritten reply (back in the day, thanks), may I now contribute and agree with you about premium car discounts?

A year ago I set out to buy a premium German car without paying the VAT. I was politely tolerated until I went to a second dealership. They both started fighting for the business.

The pounds rolled off and the extras piled on until 20% was reached. I was happy and one of the dealers was happy. It was a run out model built to our precise specification with the options we required. A hat trick thanks for your invaluable advice.

May I now ask a question about reclaiming uninsured losses? I was recently hit by an insured driver who came over my side of the road and raked the side of our car from drivers door to rear quarter with the rear of their car. Photos and witnesses will indicate that I was not at fault.

I do not have Legal Cover and my insurance company will not refer me to their panel of solicitors nor will their solicitors take on my case to recover the excess. Two Customer Service Advisors (one of whom worked for the solicitors and was employed by the insurance company on their out of hours service!) said they would but apparently the law has changed so that referrals cannot be made by insurance companies to solicitors.

Interestingly if there had been any personal injury then they would have taken on the case. Your previous advice has been a small claims track in the County Court. Against whom should I claim? The driver or their insurance company?

Asked on 9 May 2013 by dephead2004

Answered by Honest John
If you bought a car in the UK to use in the UK you could not have bought it without paying the VAT. You may have achieved a discount equivalent to the VAT, but you still paid the VAT.

As for question two: You use to claim against the other driver directly. His insurer may end up paying, but your claim is against him.
Dear Honest John,

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