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    • Ruthious
    • By Ruthious 12th Feb 19, 3:20 PM
    • 4Posts
    • 0Thanks
    Ruthious
    Help with deposit return for car purchase
    • #1
    • 12th Feb 19, 3:20 PM
    Help with deposit return for car purchase 12th Feb 19 at 3:20 PM
    Hi, I'm new to the forum and wondered if I can get some help. I had a test drive in a used car and after a long drawn out time with the salesman I told him I had to was in a rush to pick up my child so I ended up handing over 500 to 'secure the car' so I could return the following day to sort everything out. I did sign a form which I stupidly didn't read which said deposit is non refundable, I thought it was a receipt for the money. I went home and after much thought decided against the car so called the car company (Very large dealer - not a small company) within 8 hours of handing over money and they refuse to return it. I spoke to my bank who were very surprised when they saw who I was dealing with that such a renown company wouldn't return the money. They advised me to continue to pursue those higher up in the company to try to settle this. I have tried and as yet not been able to speak to the owner - have just had middlemen palming me off. This has been 4 days now and I wonder if I could have any advice - my next step would be to ask my bank to start a 'dispute proceedings' but they advised this as last resort. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks
Page 1
    • bluphoto
    • By bluphoto 12th Feb 19, 3:40 PM
    • 7 Posts
    • 10 Thanks
    bluphoto
    • #2
    • 12th Feb 19, 3:40 PM
    • #2
    • 12th Feb 19, 3:40 PM
    Isn't the whole point of a deposit that it is a commitment to buy a product?
    • Aylesbury Duck
    • By Aylesbury Duck 12th Feb 19, 3:47 PM
    • 3,469 Posts
    • 4,682 Thanks
    Aylesbury Duck
    • #3
    • 12th Feb 19, 3:47 PM
    • #3
    • 12th Feb 19, 3:47 PM
    Hi, I'm new to the forum and wondered if I can get some help. I had a test drive in a used car and after a long drawn out time with the salesman I told him I had to was in a rush to pick up my child so I ended up handing over 500 to 'secure the car' so I could return the following day to sort everything out. I did sign a form which I stupidly didn't read which said deposit is non refundable, I thought it was a receipt for the money. I went home and after much thought decided against the car so called the car company (Very large dealer - not a small company) within 8 hours of handing over money and they refuse to return it. I spoke to my bank who were very surprised when they saw who I was dealing with that such a renown company wouldn't return the money. They advised me to continue to pursue those higher up in the company to try to settle this. I have tried and as yet not been able to speak to the owner - have just had middlemen palming me off. This has been 4 days now and I wonder if I could have any advice - my next step would be to ask my bank to start a 'dispute proceedings' but they advised this as last resort. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks
    Originally posted by Ruthious
    What does your copy of the signed agreement say you are committed to?

    Your bank are probably telling you what you want to hear rather than giving an informed view. If you committed to buying the car and put down a non-refundable deposit, why should the dealer refund you, even if they are "renowned"? Why can't you proceed and buy the car anyway? Presumably you need a car or was it an impulsive thing to go and spend ages at the dealer?
    • chili1496
    • By chili1496 12th Feb 19, 3:51 PM
    • 113 Posts
    • 67 Thanks
    chili1496
    • #4
    • 12th Feb 19, 3:51 PM
    • #4
    • 12th Feb 19, 3:51 PM
    So went to negotiate a car purchase at a time you knew you would be rushed,and to top it all

    I did sign a form which I stupidly didn't read which said deposit is non refundable
    i think that say's it all, am on the side of the salesman this time
    • Ruthious
    • By Ruthious 12th Feb 19, 3:56 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Ruthious
    • #5
    • 12th Feb 19, 3:56 PM
    • #5
    • 12th Feb 19, 3:56 PM
    Thanks for points of view. I know it was impulsive and stupid but I put the money down thinking I wanted the car but changed my mind and prefer a car from another dealer. I suppose I feel like it is unfair as I let them know very quickly and am I supposed to just walk away having handed over 500 for nothing. I can't change my impulsive decision but obviously don't want to just walk away putting it down to stupidity...
    • Aylesbury Duck
    • By Aylesbury Duck 12th Feb 19, 4:02 PM
    • 3,469 Posts
    • 4,682 Thanks
    Aylesbury Duck
    • #6
    • 12th Feb 19, 4:02 PM
    • #6
    • 12th Feb 19, 4:02 PM
    What makes you think the other car is better? Are you sure it is? You may have secured the right car after all, especially now that the other one is effectively 500 more expensive!

    There are lots of people on here with good car knowledge (I'm not one of them) so post a few details of the two options side by side, give a summary of what sort of use/mileage you have and perhaps people will give you some views on which is the better fit to your circumstances and which therefore is the better deal.
    • Ruthious
    • By Ruthious 12th Feb 19, 4:06 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Ruthious
    • #7
    • 12th Feb 19, 4:06 PM
    • #7
    • 12th Feb 19, 4:06 PM
    Thanks, it's hard to put into a quick post all the ins and outs, whys and wherefores. I guess I found out my answer and am devastated to be in this position. I guess I came on here to see if I could find some help but thanks anyway for taking the trouble to reply...
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 12th Feb 19, 4:12 PM
    • 10,879 Posts
    • 11,962 Thanks
    davidmcn
    • #8
    • 12th Feb 19, 4:12 PM
    • #8
    • 12th Feb 19, 4:12 PM
    What would the point of the deposit be if it were refundable due to you changing your mind?
    • Aylesbury Duck
    • By Aylesbury Duck 12th Feb 19, 4:45 PM
    • 3,469 Posts
    • 4,682 Thanks
    Aylesbury Duck
    • #9
    • 12th Feb 19, 4:45 PM
    • #9
    • 12th Feb 19, 4:45 PM
    Thanks, it's hard to put into a quick post all the ins and outs, whys and wherefores. I guess I found out my answer and am devastated to be in this position. I guess I came on here to see if I could find some help but thanks anyway for taking the trouble to reply...
    Originally posted by Ruthious
    What is it about the other car that makes it so much better though? I think you're perhaps unnecessarily devastated and going through with the original purchase might be the right thing to do after all. No one is going to be able to say definitively whether you can get your deposit back without knowing precisely what you signed up to. People might be able to help but you have to give them something more to work with that "I've been daft, how do I get my non-refundable deposit refunded?"
    • JJ Egan
    • By JJ Egan 12th Feb 19, 5:27 PM
    • 12,115 Posts
    • 5,450 Thanks
    JJ Egan
    Thanks, it's hard to put into a quick post all the ins and outs, whys and wherefores. I guess I found out my answer and am devastated to be in this position. I guess I came on here to see if I could find some help but thanks anyway for taking the trouble to reply...
    Originally posted by Ruthious



    The key is what was the deposit for .
    To reserve the car and if they sold it to someone else you would be more than upset.


    However rather than ask on a forum i would seek proper legal opinion for any get out .
    Salesman can usually transfer deposit to another car they are selling .
    • unholyangel
    • By unholyangel 12th Feb 19, 5:50 PM
    • 13,389 Posts
    • 10,730 Thanks
    unholyangel
    Isn't the whole point of a deposit that it is a commitment to buy a product?
    Originally posted by bluphoto
    No, payment isn't a necessary element to a legally binding contract and never has been.

    A true deposit is a reservation fee. However we also use it to describe prepayments/advance payments - which cannot be retained unless the "deposit" is an accurate pre-estimate of losses incurred by the breach of contract.

    5.13.3 Where customers bring the contract to an end without any justification, and
    the trader suffers loss as a result, they cannot expect a full refund of all prepayments. But a term under which they always lose everything they
    have paid in advance, regardless of the amount of any costs and losses
    caused by the termination, is at risk of being considered an unfair financial
    sanction see paragraph 6 of the Grey List, discussed in paragraphs
    5.14.1 of the guidance onwards.

    5.13.5 Fairness is more likely to be achieved for such a term by ensuring that it
    does not go beyond the ordinary legal position. Generally, where the
    contract comes to an end because of the fault of the consumer, the
    business is entitled to hold back from any refund of prepayments what is
    likely to be reasonably needed to cover either its net costs or the net loss of
    profit resulting directly from the default (see paragraph 5.14.3 below on the
    need to avoid double counting). There is no entitlement to any sum that
    could reasonably be saved by, for example, finding another customer.

    5.14.4 Potentially penal terms. A disproportionate financial sanction involving
    requirement to pay a fixed or minimum sum, in all circumstances, will be
    open to challenge if the sum could be too high in some cases.
    Money doesn't solve poverty.....it creates it.
    • bris
    • By bris 12th Feb 19, 6:18 PM
    • 8,610 Posts
    • 7,518 Thanks
    bris
    No deposit is truly non refundable. It is however a commitment to buy something so yes OP you have entered a legally binding contract.


    Now the problem you have is fighting it. They can't force you to buy the car but they can force you to cover their losses.


    They need to mitigate those losses. By reselling the car at the at the same price you paid they do that and you would be entitled to the return of the deposit. They can deduct any expenses, if any, such as advertising from that deposit.


    If they can't re sell the car for the same price and they get less then it all eats into the deposit.
    Basically what the above post is saying is that the trader can't benefit from the breach of contract, but neither should they lose out.
    • CardinalWolsey
    • By CardinalWolsey 13th Feb 19, 8:21 AM
    • 425 Posts
    • 436 Thanks
    CardinalWolsey
    They can't force you to buy the car but they can force you to cover their losses.
    Originally posted by bris
    And consider what all of those losses may add up to, that you would have to contest.

    Some examples (non-exhaustive):
    - Cost of space on the forecourt
    - Dealer financing (i.e. additional interest on the finance the dealer will have on the car)
    - Cost of salesman (e.g. how many hours did the salesman spend with you, how many may they have to spend with future potential purchasers)
    - Cost of maintenance (e.g. additional cleaning of the car)
    - Cost of administration (the dealer may well have initiated internal administration processes on the basis that the car had been committed for sale)
    - Cost of delivery preparation (the dealer may have initiated final sales prep of the car - perhaps a fresh MOT, fluids etc).
    A clever dealer could easily demonstrate that they have lost the majority of that 500 that you paid as a deposit.

    In ascending order, this falls under the same banner as:

    a) I booked a non-refundable hotel room and want to cancel. Why won't the hotel give me my money back?
    b) I booked a non-changeable flight and now the dates don't work. Why won't the airline refund me?
    c) I booked a cottage for a long weekend with a low deposit. I want to cancel it but the cottage owners are telling me I now have to pay the full deposit.
    d) I booked a package holiday for a friend and I, but now the friend doesn't want to go. Why won't the holiday company give my friend their money?
    e) I bought a car on PCP and misstated my mileage to keep the monthly cost down. Do I have to pay the mileage excess at the end of the contract?

    And so on.

    The moral of the story is always read what you are signing, whether or not you are handing over money at the time.

    You will be dependent upon the dealer's goodwill. As others have suggested, consider another vehicle from the same dealer, and ask if they will transfer the deposit over. If that doesn't work, you could try calling their bluff and issue an LBA, but your fate is in the hands of the imaginary gods.
    • Ruthious
    • By Ruthious 13th Feb 19, 2:21 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Ruthious
    Thank you for the reply. Great help. I think the dealer's goodwill is what I'm aiming for on this.
    • wesleyad
    • By wesleyad 14th Feb 19, 9:54 AM
    • 465 Posts
    • 448 Thanks
    wesleyad
    Thank you for the reply. Great help. I think the dealer's goodwill is what I'm aiming for on this.
    Originally posted by Ruthious
    I'd go back to dealer (face to face, much more personal) and use a combination of some good old "please help me, you guys are so nice and I made a huge error" and follow it up with some "I've been told you can only keep the deposit to cover your losses".

    As Cardinal says, if they really wanted to, they could probably justify their losses, but you are hoping they fall for "is it worth our time"

    Just to add, this probably sounds patronising as hell, but these things are definitely learning experiences, and what might cost you 500 now, might save you a lot more the next time you are asked to sign something, so try to take that positive from this.
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