My understanding is that you contacted the garage to discuss certain repairs to your vehicle. You asked the garage if they would carry out the repairs and they agreed. Then came the question of getting the vehicle to the garage and the garage said that they would carry that out.
I think you have to take this as a whole. I don’t think that you can separate the transport of the vehicle from the rest of the arrangement.
I think that if this came before the courts, a judge would look at it in the same way and would not separate the elements of the agreement out.
There was clearly an agreement – either express or implied to pay for the repairs and I think that a judge would also consider that there was an agreement – probably implied – to pay for the transport of the vehicle. It is most unlikely that any professional garage would start offering to transport vehicles free of charge and I don’t think that a judge would consider that any reasonable vehicle owner would expect this service to be undertaken without any charge although this is precisely what you seem to believe.
So from that point of view I think that there was probably a contractual agreement to pay a sum of money for the transport of the vehicle.
The question is what price was agreed. I think rather foolishly neither you nor the garage actually discussed the price of the transportation and if you had done then it would have saved a lot of fuss.
Section 15 of the Supply Of Goods And Services Act 1982 says that where the price of services has not been agreed then a reasonable price will be implied. Although this Act oof Parliament has largely been superseded by the Consumer Rights Act I think it provides a good source for implying into this agreement how much should be paid for the transportation of the vehicle. You have found other means of transportation for the cost of £55 and so it seems to me that in the absence of any express agreement, £55 is probably the reasonable price and I would expect that if the matter was put before a judge in those terms, the judge would accept that.
On that basis, the garage has offered you a £45 rebate on the hundred pounds that you paid and I don’t think that you have helped yourself at all by apparently refusing it.
When I first read the original thread, I had gathered that it was the garage owner who had eventually declined to carry out the repairs. Had this been the case then it would have put you in a stronger position because effectively the garage owner would have been in breach of the contract and then I think he would have been responsible for all of the ancillary losses including the £100.
Reading this latest version of the thread, I now see that it was you who instructed the garage not to carry out the work which you had originally discussed. I think that this leaves you open to cover all the expenses which have recently been incurred to date – and that includes the £55.
Frankly I think that that by and large the garage owner seems to be acting pretty reasonably. I think that his defence is pretty persuasive but of course I’ve already said that I don’t think that he could bring a counterclaim for his costs or for any anxiety et cetera which he claims to have suffered as a result – unless he was able to support this by medical evidence and show that it had caused him pecuniary loss such as loss of business.
You’ve been here since 2010 and I think it’s a shame that you didn’t come to us before you started this. I congratulate you on having bought a legal action – many people don’t want to go that way at all. On the other hand I’m afraid that I think that in this case your legal action was ill-considered and it would have been better had you simply negotiated the return of the £45.
As it is, if the matter goes to hearing you will have to pay the hearing fee which may be over hundred pounds and I expect that the court will probably order that the garage owner should pay the £45 – which was already on offer and because you have turned down this reasonable offer I would expect that the court will make no order as to costs which means that you will have to bear the loss of your claim fee and also any hearing fee.
So my advice to you is probably to give it up as a bad job. Contact the garage owner and offer to take the £45 in return for withdrawing the claim. If the garage owner calls your bluff then I think that you are probably on a hiding to nothing and I think you should withdraw the claim anyway because I expect that the very best you will get out of it will be £45 from which you will have to deduct the claim fee and the hearing fee as I think it’s unlikely you will get these back in the circumstances.
The worst scenario for you is that the court decides that in the circumstances the garage has behaved very reasonably in trying to negotiate with you but that £100 is not unreasonable. In that case you stand to lose the £100, your claim fee and the hearing fee.
Once again, in my view there is no chance that a counterclaim would succeed and in any event, the garage repairer has not used the correct procedure for bringing a counterclaim so far.