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Advice Preparing Small Claims Court Particulars

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Hi there,

This forum has been so helpful to me in the past, and i call upon everyone again!


Back in march i purchased a car from a local second hand gargage on a a 'Sold as Seen Basis'. However, almost immedietly i noticed that the car was loosing coolent and nearly over heating...yes of you have guessed it..head gasket had gone! I contacted the garage and they advised that it was sold as seen and nothing could be done about it. I contacted consumer advice (trading standards) and they advised they despite being 'sold as seen' the purhcase under SOGA was not fit for purpose. plus there is know way i would have known the Head Gasket had gone, i could not 'see it' without dismanteling the engine...which they wouldnt let me do i am sure!


So, under there advise, i sent this letter:


Sale of Goods Act 1979 (as amended)

On 21st March 2009, I bought a Ford Escort Finesse Estate (xxx xxx) from you for £700 which is not fit for purpose made known.

The problems are:

• The head gasket has suffered catastrophic failure, rendering the vehicle unusable.

I have since had the said vehicle repaired at a reputable garage as given the circumstances regarding the said vehicles’ condition at sale I believed that any intervention by yourselves may prove to be a safety risk to myself and my family.

Whilst at the garage I instructed a 3rd Party company to inspect the vehicle. The engineers report indicated that the said vehicles’ head gasket had ‘failed a considerable amount of time prior to the vehicles’ purchase’.

I have enclosed a copy of the invoice for your perusal.

With a view to settling this matter out of court, I would be willing to accept the sum of £437.50 in full and final settlement. For the avoidance of doubt this is 50% of the amount paid on repairs of said vehicle plus an additional £100 in time and damages. This offer is NOT without prejudice and should you decide not to accept my offer I shall pursue the full amount paid for repairs plus time and damages ensuring that my legal case includes mention of this offer.

I look forward to receiving your written acceptance and payment within 14 days. Due to the nature of this correspondence can I suggest we keep our correspondence written in all cases.

I have not received any contact so today have sent this letter:


Final Notice before Legal Action

I enclose a copy of the letter I wrote to you on 26th May 2009 together with proof of receipt.

I have given you a reasonable opportunity to resolve my complaint. You have failed to do so.

I have now been left with no alternative but to seek legal redress through the courts. Unless this matter is satisfactorily resolved within the next 14 days I will instigate legal proceedings without further notice. The cost of this action will be added to my claim.


I am sure i will hear nothing, so if anyone could please be so kind as to asssit me in putting down my particulars of claim, i would be more than appreciative.


Thanks alot in advance

Edited by Rebmeced
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Why are you only going after half of the repair costs?


Sold as seen is a totally meaningless phrase when purchasing a vehicle as a private consumer. It has no basis in fact or law. Regardless of their attempt to avoid their responsibilities by use of this worthless phrase, they are liable.


The only minor issue you may have is that you didn't give them the opportunity to effect the repair. Was this

I contacted the garage and they advised that it was sold as seen and nothing could be done about it.
in writing or a witnessed/recorded telephone call
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hi, thanks for replying so quickly.


i went after half as a gesture of goodwill as i only paid 700 for the car?? and as a way of an out of court settlement.


The telephone conversation was not witnessed.

I realise now i have missed off the original post above that the garage did offer to do the repairs and i would pay for 50% but as i put in my letter i was worried that the quality of workmanship would comprimise the safety of the car, given they actually let me drive away in a car that could catch fire had it overheated that much!

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Though I have no doubt you will win in court, especially as you are only asking for 50%, there are a few things wrong with the way you have gone about this.


They have the right to be given first chance at a repair and you don't mention that you told them you will be using another garage.

The main problem is that I can't see that you even gave them the opportunity to inspect the car, tut tut.


As Pat said, sold as seen has no power in consumer purchase.

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hi thanks for reply.

no i didnt give them chance, i was genuinly concerned that and intervention by them with there own pockets in mind would be a saftey concern. i.e 'bodge job' temp fix etc etc


but i can see your point. do you think this would havea negative effect in court?


Is there any website,guides you know of about getting help with the particulars?

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