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Money Moral Dilemma: Should I ask my friend for money after he sold the car we gave him?

edited 11 October 2022 at 2:08PM in Marriage, relationships & families
51 replies 36.9K views


  • BoodicaBoodica Forumite
    1 Post
    Fourth Anniversary First Post
    I'm sorry this could spoil your friendship. I agree with others that as the car was a gift, your friend had every right to sell it and you can't ask for money. On the lie he told  it would be worth considering that he may have really needed money at the time and was too embarassed to tell you.  As someone who went through bankruptcy I can tell you it can be hard to talk about how bad things really are - even to your friends. Might be worth talking to him about it. 
  • Ed264Ed264 Forumite
    66 Posts
    10 Posts First Anniversary
    You were very generous gifting your car to a friend in need. And I suspect you may have also helped him out with the cost of the repairs had you been aware of that situation. But you weren't, because you say the car had no problems. The bottom line of this dilemma is that your friend lied to you, after taking advantage of your kindness. If I was in your position, I would drop him, don't pursue him for the money, and put it all down to being a nasty experience. Then forget it, and move onwards. You don't deserve or want friends like this.
  • LBurnandLBurnand Forumite
    1 Post
    First Post
    Do you want to try to continue the friendship?  If so then best to have a conversation with the initial intention of listening and trying to understand it from his point of view, before you say anything.  Asking for the money back without having an exploratory conversation first is like starting the conversation at the end rather than the beginning and not likely to get you the money or the friendship.  And if you don't have the conversation will you be able to put it behind you and remain friends?  If so, maybe that will work for you, but given that you've posted it here, I imagine the friendship will suffer?  It's a tricky conversation to have, but if you go in with the intention of hearing what he has to say, trying to understand it from his angle, and looking for ways to move forward together, rather than having a specific outcome in mind, you may recoup the money, or retain the friendship, or possibly both, or at the very least learn something about yourself (and him) that helps you in the future.
  • edited 12 October 2022 at 9:53AM
    k_k_k_katyk_k_k_katy Forumite
    25 Posts
    Third Anniversary 10 Posts
    edited 12 October 2022 at 9:53AM
    You treated the recipient of your gift like a friend, he treated you like a sucker to be taken advantage of.  The car was offered to enable him to go further afield to find work, if he wasn't that keen to find work he should have declined it, but he took it, lied about it and made a profit from it.  Heaven help us all from friends like that.  It isn't relevant that he could legally sell it, that doesn't justify bad behaviour.  It was a gift between friends for a specific purpose, morally he owed you honesty, and the car.  He doesn't know what friendship is, and certainly didn't value yours, move on to those who do.
  • Mr5MicawberMr5Micawber Forumite
    12 Posts
    Seventh Anniversary 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    You say you gave him the car.  If you give something the recipient can do what they like with it.  It was a kind gesture and you wanted to help out but as he is still unemployed he probably needs help financially.

    On the other hand he lied to you about the fact he scrapped the car.  It could be that he was advised that it needed repair which would have been costly but he didn't want to tell you that the car was a 'white elephant' instead of a generous gift.  So, was it a deliberate attempt to deceive and make money out of your goodness or was he embarrassed that he'd sold it, maybe had to, and didn't want to admit that to his kind friends.

    You know his personality and which of these is likely.  Maybe you need to reconsider your friendship?  Either way you need to move on.  You made a gift after which it wasn't your car any more.

  • NeilOHigginsNeilOHiggins Forumite
    7 Posts
    Eighth Anniversary First Post Combo Breaker
    Someone wiser than me once said - 'you discover friends when good deeds are fruitfully returned' - it seems you now have one less 'friend' to concern yourself with, think of the money you'll save on Christmas presents. 
  • trickyricktrickyrick Forumite
    5 Posts
    Seventh Anniversary First Post Combo Breaker
    ChilliBob said:
    Surely the point is that he lied by saying he had scrapped it. Why not just tell the truth if it was a mate? Yeah, fine to do whatever with something gifted, but lying sbout it isn't cool! 
    Might have sold it spares or repair. I've bought a couple in the past like that if I know I can repair them.
  • Owlman45Owlman45 Forumite
    39 Posts
    Ninth Anniversary 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    The dilema seems to be more related to the relationship as a friend, he should have been truthful as to why he sold it on.
    The fact it was a car that was working fine when gifted means it had a value in your mind and you feel cheated that he profited from your kindness.
  • Jools84Jools84 Forumite
    2 Posts
    First Post
    The friend could only sell the car if they had the registration document in their name - therefore they own the car and it's theirs to sell. If they somehow sold the car when it was still registered to the original owner then it's theft and they should return all the money.
  • SiencynSiencyn Forumite
    1 Post
    First Post
    Maybe friends need to talk more.
    It is conceivable that he both scrapped it and that it has appeared for sale - not unheard of.
    Or he may also just be too embarrassed about his financial situation to admit it.
    A conversation with him might help clear up a lot of things.
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