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Deposit on private car sales.
Viewed a car for sale from a private seller late evening. The owner rushed me so I didn't notice the car without Road Tax, A/C working condition, etc. The car was advertised for £775 but he reduced £100 if I pay a small deposit £50 that day and gave me a receipt for the deposit. I went to collect the car next morning and noticed the car is with out Tax. He advertised "6 moths tax, but can be arranged on request". I told him the car price include Road Tax but he refused. So we had a dispute. I requested my deposit back. He said after selling the car he will refund. After 2 weeks I went to collect the deposit, he said he can't refund because he sold the car £100 less. Is he got the rights to refuse the deposit?
Re: Deposit on private car sales.
A deposit is generally non-refundable. It is 'an earnest for the performance of the contractí and on completion of the contract the deposit is a payment towards the purchase price or on failing to complete the purchase the deposit is forfeited.
For a sum to be determined a deposit it has to be a reasonable sum when considered objectively. The larger the sum of money paid over in relation to the actual cost of the goods the more likely that it will be considered a penalty as opposed to a deposit. Penalties are not enforecable.
In the event of failure to complete the contract, it is implied the deposit is forfeited if the contract has not expressly stipulated what becomes of the deposit.
The phrase '6 months tax, but can be arranged on request' is sort of misleading and that is probably the only case you would have for arguing that the advertisement was misleading. If the he refuses to return the deposit you would have to go through small claims which is a bit of a hassle for £50.
The fact you were rushed is not a real defence. It is up to you to inspect before you agree to purchase. If you did not notice AC then that is not something you could argue easily.
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Sub (29th June 2012)
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