What are my chances in small claims court? Used ca - happyAl

I purchased a ford focus c-max 2.0 tdci, 42,000 miles seen on auto trader from a dealer about 100 miles away from me. I agreed a price on the promise that the car was sound and it was delivered to me at a mutually convenient location. As soon as I received the car I noticed an alarming knocking sound from the car and I immediately informed the seller via text message that I was going to have the noise checked out by a garage local to myself for an opinion.

I received no reply to this message so I phoned him the next day and his advice was to keep driving the car in the hope that the noise would go away or make itself more obvious. When I had the car checked out by a local garage I was simply told that there was a serious issue with the car and that I should return it without delay. I informed the seller of this and he again told me that he would only fix it when I could say exactly what was wrong with the car. To diagnose would have cost me many hours labour according to my local garage and this was something which I couldn’t afford.

Over the following weekend I went into various local garages and although they couldn’t say exactly what the problem was without further investigation they all said the problem sounded very serious.

In my investigation of the matter I phoned the garage which had given the car an MOT the day before it was delivered to me and I was informed that the worrying noise was noticed by him during the test and that he had informed the seller, this warning was obviously ignored. When I discussed the noise with the seller he denied all knowledge

After seeking advice I decided that the car was obviously not of satisfactory quality and so I phoned to advise him that as we were well within the 7 day cooling off period I was rejecting the car and that I would like my money back. I was told that there was no way he would give me my money back and that I would have to pursue him through the courts. Trying to be reasonable and given the fact that he was not willing to give me my legal right of a refund I offered to give him the opportunity to repair the car under the warranty and he agreed.

The car was returned there it remained for 5 weeks. After this significant period of time, where no courtesy car was provided, the mechanic (the seller’s brother) said that although there was a noise, he couldn’t diagnose it or fix it. I was told I could pick the car up and bring it back to them if it got worse.

I picked the car up and immediately phoned the seller to tell him again that I wanted a refund, he again refused.

Since then countless attempts to contact them, letters, phone calls and text messages have been ignored.

With court looming I was advised by a friend to let Ford have a look at it which they did and told me that there were 8 faults with the car and the noise was being caused by the dual mass flywheel. The total to repair all of the problems was £1,775; I obviously have a written report and quote from Ford to back up my case.

In conclusion, how do you lovely people rate my chances? I would be willing to accept £1,775 for the repairs to the car or a full refund. No doubt he will offer to repair the car but I feel I have given him more than ample opportunity to do this and I don’t trust him to have my car any more as I feel he has been dishonest. Also, his brother can’t be much of a mechanic if he wasn’t able to find what was wrong in 5 weeks when Ford found it in 10 minutes!

Thanks!

What are my chances in small claims court? Used ca - bonzo dog

Hi Al, your chances in court are very high.

Most of the information you supply (with all due respect) is meaningless - there is no 7 day cooling off period, a garage saying "it sounds serious" is about as much use as me saying it & I guess the "advice" you sought was from some guy down the pub!

But as you have now obtained a written report from a Ford dealer telling you exactly what is wrong with the car & how much it will cost to put right, the courts should side with you.

You have given him both the opportunity & more than ample time to rectify the fault so I would stick with a refund

Good luck

What are my chances in small claims court? Used ca - tony g
7 day cooling off period may well apply ,distance selling issues ,goods not seen before purchase?

Also posted on motoring discussion .
What are my chances in small claims court? Used ca - focussed

In order to encourage the toe-rag who sold you the car to pay up before court proceedings start, it is worth reminding him that all your court costs and reasonable expenses will be added to the cost of repairing the dog he sold you.

What are my chances in small claims court? Used ca - happyAl
Thanks everyone, feeling much better about the situation thanks to your replies, wish I'd come here sooner!
What are my chances in small claims court? Used ca - bonzo dog

Hi Tony

7 day cooling off period may well apply ,distance selling issues

You could well be right

http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Governmentcitizensandrights/Consumerrights/Buyingacar-yourconsumerrights/DG_183047

Especially:

If you buy a car from a trader online or over the phone, you also have the right to a 'cooling off' period. This gives you seven working days after the car has been delivered to cancel your order for any reason and get your money back

I was reading Al's thread as if he discussed the purchase ove the phone but agreed the purchase having seen the car ....... which of course he doesn't state!

Edited by bonzo dog on 12/03/2012 at 22:29

What are my chances in small claims court? Used ca - tony g
(If you buy a car from a trader online or over the phone, you also have the right to a 'cooling off' period. This gives you seven working days after the car has been delivered to cancel your order for any reason and get your money back.)

Hi bonzo ,Thankyou for the link ,it's an interesting clause ,in that it doesnt specify that the car has to be faulty for the buyer to return the car .If that's the case a dealer would be mad to supply a car in this way ,don't you think ?
What are my chances in small claims court? Used ca - Intelaken

I think your chances are very good. I am a small claims court regular unfortunately on Landlord/Tenant issues.

A couple of tips:-

If there is time - say a week before the hearing date write again to vendor with the price you will accept as an offer. Detail your breakdown of these costs. Send letter from 2 different post offices 1st class and get 'proof of posting' from the counter staff. It's free.

You can then demonstate to the judge by showing a copy of that letter that you have tried up until the last minute to resolve the issue out of court. This should get you points.

Have a schedule of your costs ready to hand.

Always use big f******** 14+ - it makes text easier to read for judges I have noticed.

In front of the judge always address him as Sir or Madam if a woman. ie when challenging a point ' with respect Sir/Madam'.

Apologies if you already know this.

What are my chances in small claims court? Used ca - happyAl

Thank you so much everyone! The only bad point about this site is that I didn't find/join it sooner!

This is all invaluable information and I can assure you that I will keep you all informed so maybe I can help someone in a similar situation in the future.

Thanks again!

What are my chances in small claims court? Used ca - focussed

"Send letter from 2 different post offices 1st class and get 'proof of posting' from the counter staff. It's free."

I am intrigued as to why send from two different post offices?

What are my chances in small claims court? Used ca - concrete

I think your chances are very good. I am a small claims court regular unfortunately on Landlord/Tenant issues.

A couple of tips:-

If there is time - say a week before the hearing date write again to vendor with the price you will accept as an offer. Detail your breakdown of these costs. Send letter from 2 different post offices 1st class and get 'proof of posting' from the counter staff. It's free.

You can then demonstate to the judge by showing a copy of that letter that you have tried up until the last minute to resolve the issue out of court. This should get you points.

Have a schedule of your costs ready to hand.

Always use big f******** 14+ - it makes text easier to read for judges I have noticed.

In front of the judge always address him as Sir or Madam if a woman. ie when challenging a point ' with respect Sir/Madam'.

Apologies if you already know this.

Never challenge a point until the defendant has stopped speaking. Make a note, then when appropriate ask the Judge if you can answer that specific point. keep it short, sharp and concise. If the Judge doesn't get it he/she will ask you to elaborate. Good advice about large print. Also keep your documents in chronological order and numbered with a number index and seperate them into see through plastic folders. Looks like you have a very good case.The only trouble is: will the defendant show up? If he doesn't you win, or if he does and you win, will he pay up? Has he any money? You cannot get blood from a stone. Several times we have won and still got no money. I hope this doesn't happen to you. Best of luck and let us know the result. Concrete

What are my chances in small claims court? Used ca - happyAl

Hi everyone,

Well, it's been a long process and I'm afraid I haven't got much news. I filed the claim at the court and he didn't respond so judgment was awarded in default.

I am still waiting for the money but I have now obtained a high court writ and the bailiffs will be paying him a visit very soon!

Thanks for all of your help!

Al

What are my chances in small claims court? Used ca - tony g
Hi al ,

Well done for having the courage and patience to pursue the guy ,hopefully if he doesn't have the cash to pay the bailiffs ,they will seize some of his stock .

Good luck and do keep the forum informed ,your experiences are invaluable information for other members who experience similair problems .

Regards

Tony g
What are my chances in small claims court? Used ca - concrete

Hello happy Al, good result for you. Well done for persevering with the process. I shows it can work. Like tony g I hope he has some assets for the Bailiffs to sieze. Keep us posted. Good luck. Concrete

What are my chances in small claims court? Used ca - happyAl

Still waiting I'm afraid, but not worried. The transfer up to a high court writ can take up to 5 weeks sosit tight and as soon as anything happens, the forum will be the first to know!

What are my chances in small claims court? Used ca - Armitage Shanks {p}

t the judgement you have obtained gets you your cash or that the man owns enough stuff for the bailffs can take to cover the debt. Here is a guide to what they are allwed to remove.

Bailiffs can take any household goods up to the value of the debt you owe, except for goods that are necessary for a basic standard of living. So, they cannot take:

  • Essential furniture and appliances such as your oven, fridge or bed
  • Clothing
  • Children`s toys
  • Anything that doesn`t belong to you (rented or other people`s property)

However, in some circumstances they can take items such as TVs, computers/laptops and stereo systems, as long as they belong to you. They can also take items that you jointly own with someone else.

They should not take anything that is essential for your work - so, for example, if you work from home, they shouldn`t take your work computer.

 

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