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stueyd

HELP! I paid for a car but don't have the car!

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Hi all,

 

Not sure if this is the right place to post this really but I hope it is! I am having some trouble which I will describe as brief as I can and hopefully someone out their can advise me on this!

 

Me (Bill):

Student (20 years old), taking lessons to pass a driving test

Guy I bought car from (Bob)

His wife/girlfriend (Betty)

 

This isn't our real names, just using Bill and Bob to be anon!

 

Ok so I am Bill. I saw a car advertised about 20 yards from my house for £595. It stated it had 12 months MOT. I would be buying road tax. As I am learning to drive, I got excited and called the number up and got put through to his wife, or girlfriend, called Betty. She put me on the phone to the main guy Bob.

 

I told Bob I could pay a deposit on the Monday for the car and give the rest on Friday. This is the first time I bought a car so didn't really know what I was doing. I gave him £200 in cash and received a receipt for:

 

"1.2 Vauxhall Corsa

12 Months MOT"

 

This was Monday. On Thursday I gave him another £200 (I could only withdraw maximum £200 at a time). When I saw him on Thursday (he lives opposite me on the same street, sadly!) I did not get a receipt for this (wasn't offered and was too scared to ask, if you look at him he is very, very intimidating). He told me the clutch needed to be fixed and he was doing it so might take a bit later than Friday (this was the agreed pick up date, as advised on the receipt I have). I felt guilty and thought about giving him more money but couldn't really afford it (even though I was guilt tripped into feeling bad about it.. alas I said I would give him the rest the next day, which was Friday). He told me the car would be ready by Friday, despite this new clutch that was needed ...

 

I told my landlord about my car (with excitement) and he asked who I bought it from. When I explained the guy across the road he put his head in his hands and told me I shouldn't go near him with a bargepole. Stubborn, and wanting to be right, I ignored his advice as I believed, naively, someone who lives opposite me would not [problem] me my money, especially such a large amount of money. He said he has sold a car to him before, didn't get it for 8 weeks and it had so many problems he wrote it off. He also messed one of his friends around who also bought a car from him. When I spoke to my friend who was a mechanic, he was also notorious. This started filling me with dread!

 

So Friday came, and I gave him the final £195. I did not get a receipt for this either, I didn't ask and one wasn't offered - continued to trust that it would be obsurd I would be scammed. He told me his 'apprentice' would drop the key round in the evening. He said the clutch was in, and that he wanted to clean the car. I said I didn't need it cleaned, just wanted the car but he insisted, so I agreed. I got given the log book which he told me to sign straight away and send it off as soon as possible.

 

On Saturday I still didn't have the key. I went round and insisted I have the key which he gave me. I asked for the MOT certificate and he said he'll get it to me soon. So I waited. Later that evening he knocked and claimed his 'apprentice' "accidently forgot to put a bolt in the wheel and he didn't want it falling off", and thus needed the key. I said okay. He said he would take the car to the MOT garage on the Monday which I said okay fine on.

 

I still hadn't heard from him the following Saturday. When I went to see him, he said the 'cam belt' (forgive me, I don't know cars very well so don't know what it is!) was very old and needed replacing as it might snap at any time. He said this was for 'my' benefit as it would still pass the MOT with the cam belt. I said I would think about it and let him know. The next day (Sunday), after telling my friend about what happened I was advised "Do not give him any more money!".

 

My argument for this was I had purchased a car with 12 months MOT for £595 which is expensive for me and I don't want to pay any more...

 

So I sent him a text message telling him "Sorry, I don't want the cam belt right now as I cannot afford it. Please just take it to the MOT on Monday and I'll sort it out after". I was courteous and polite. :)

 

I got a text back basically saying he had already ordered a cam belt (and needed the £40 from me). Which put me in a tough position.

 

I decided to wait and then, the following Thursday with my friend, went to see him again. I decided to give him £40 so I could just get the car. He told me it needed a 'retest' MOT which was free and once he had done the cam belt he could book it straight away. He told me the cam belt had already been taken out the car and had been thrown away, which left me in a bit of a difficult position so had to give him the money. I did not get a receipt for this, either. He assured me it would pass it's MOT with this cam belt.

 

Alas, I didn't hear from him until the Monday (he ignored my tests asking where the car was!). His girlfriend/wife knocked on my door putting on a very well acted performance of sadness, telling me the car had failed it's re-test and they couldn't afford to pay for it as 'they took away his money' (I am assuming he was on benefits and due to reasons of fraud or suspicion froze his payments). I said I didn't have the money and needed to speak to Bob because 'she didn't really understand'. She said 'I can have the car but without MOT'

 

This is NOT what I wanted, nor paid for!

 

I was very angry and didn't want to speak to him. I sent him a very short text messages saying I would seek legal advice first before giving him any more money. He sent me abusive messages back saying it was my fault:

 

Right ile be your legal rep today you said do the cam belt so i got on with it 2 hours later you decide you want to wait i cant contact you for a week so out of time on re test your fault not mine so it only right you pay the test i done what i said your fault we were out of time if you had done the normal thing and kept in touch and there would be no problems i done more than enough to make sure that car is 100 per cent evem new clutch could left it for you
Its best you dont start arguing about it speek to who you want ime in the right your fault we ran out time so you want me to pay twice becouse you can't be contacted for a week course you got domestics going on this will be sorted befor wed thur beleive me on that you wont try make me look like a !!!!!!!!

I spoke to Consumer Direct (actually spoke to them a lot during this whole thing) and told them about what happened. They told me to NOT to pay him any more, and send him a final letter. The letter I sent reads:

 

My concerns have been lodged with the Trading Standards board in Leicester (the case number for your reference is 374036, and you can contact them on 0845 4040506). I make my request under the ‘Sale of Goods Act, 1979’ which state:-

“Any goods should be sold as described”

“Should be delivered within a reasonable amount of time”

Whether acting as a Trader or Private sale, I am protected by UK law for this purchase.

To date I have paid you a total of £635. This has been paid in four instalments:-

June 23rd 2009, a cash deposit for £200.

June 26th 2009, a cash instalment for £200.

June 27th 2009, a final cash instalment for £195.

July 4th 2009, an additional £40 agreed to replace cam belt so car passes it’s MOT.

Please provide me with delivery of the car as advertised, and with a full 12 months MOT (from the date of delivery) by the 5pm on Friday July 24h , 2009 or a full refund to the value of £595.

Should I not receive the car as advertised, and with a full 12 months MOT (from the day of delivery) by this date I will consider our contract of sale void and will take necessary steps to recover all monies from this sale, as legally reserved. This will be made in accordance with the legal advice I have sought and I will claim from you my legal costs as well. This is obviously a last resort and a step I do not wish to take, so I hope you will be able to reasonably resolve this issue by July 24th.

If you are unable to fulfil my request please inform me in writing (at the address above).

He did not reply to this letter at all and has ignored my polite texts since, trying to resolve this situation.

 

When he received the letter, he became very abusive in the street, shouting obseneties (sp?) loud so I would hear through my open window. He said I could 'get my deposit back because that's all I have a receipt for'. I was very upset and called Consumer Direct back straight away who told me I could call the police (which I didn't because I didn't want the situation escalated) and the next step, if he ignored my communication, to go to my local Trading Standards office (or Fair Trading, one of the two).

 

Would it be worth taking it to a small claims court now for consideration for a judge?

I finally got his surname (I won't say how as I don't think I acted appropriately but involved a fake competition win and 'we need to confirm your last name to send you the cheque!), and his girlfriend/wife's full name through the Electoral Register.

 

I want to go to Trading Standards but haven't had chance to date.

 

Do you know how long small claim courts take?

And where do I stand? I don't have receipts for the remainder, granted, but was always accompanied by witnesses (of goodstanding too). I also have statements showing when I took cash out, and these withdrawls stand out on my statement as they were basically £600 in one week extra withdrawn.

 

I also think one look at who they both are (known drug users for example, he has served six years in prison and recently, I assume, lost his benefits for fraud or some other dishonesty) would put me in good stead?

 

I am also moving as I can't live in the same street as him.

I think he hopes he can just take my money and ignore me and it'll go away like it has everyone else he has reportedly scammed. Perhaps court is where it is heading?

 

And, I no longer know where the car is now. I still have the log book, but against his advice HAVEN'T sent this off to be in my new name yet. Infact, the registered owner isn't even him, so I don't even know if this car is in fact stolen? And it's gone back to the original owner ..?

 

Who knows.

Please help !!!

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I would suggest contacting the police and starting the process of a crime, ie money taken under false selling of car, was the car advertised anywhere, or just sticker in the car window, u been given the log book etc, once you send that off, means you are the keeper of this motor, so any fines etc that come to force would mean you are liable, so don't send that off or put in ur name, speak to the police 1st. not having a written acceptance of handing the money to him, will be hard to prove, it would be your word against his, okay you have proof off the 1st instalment of £200 so you could presue a claim for that amount, the police will do there checks on the said motor car, and will know whom the car is registered to, ie if stolen etc. It might be worth involing the local council also, if this man is readily selling cars from his address, the odd one here and there won't make any differance, but if he's selling alot the council might get involved. Sadly this might be an lesson the be learnt from, you trusted someone and it back-fired, always get written acceptance of handing money over, no matter whom it might be to. this acts as your proof in such circumstances. Any contact with him must now be in writing, and keep copies, don't get involved in street talk with him or her, if he becomes arguementive or threatening, log this with the police, since you have already contacted them by this time hopefully, the police will know of the facts and will know how to act.

Hopefully someone will come along whom has endured such circumstances, and assist you more to recoup your money.

Looking at ur thread, it looks as if he was selling a car with NO mot which the police might be intrested in, also the dvla might be intrested if the car wasnt sorned, since it wasn't taxed also, which would mean there isn't any insurance either, which the police will be intrested in. Does'nt help you in the short term, but paints a picture of the type of person you are/was buying from.


!2 years Tesco distribution supervisor

7 years Sainsburys Transport Manager

 

4 Years housing officer ( Lettings )

Partner... 23 Years social services depts

 

All advice is given through own opition, also by seeking/searching info on behalf of poster, and own personnel dealings.

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There is no point in talking in the past tense, what is done is done, it's all about what you do in the future.

 

First go here - MOT Information - Introduction - and enter the details and see if the car was actually booked in for an MoT and if so what it failed on. All the details will be there and it is free to access.

 

When you have checked out the car with Vosa, come back and tell us what it says and we will then take it further.

 

Just as a by and by, the cambelt has no relevence to an MoT test except they recommend you do not have an old one on a diesel car (not petrol) as they take the revs to the limit a couple of time and there is a risk of breakage and consequential engine damage. Just something to keep in mind for the future. Some MoT stataions will get you to sign a waver before they test a diesel.

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.

 

First go here - MOT Information - Introduction - and enter the details and see if the car was actually booked in for an MoT and if so what it failed on. All the details will be there and it is free to access.

 

 

but you need to have V5 first to use this website

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but you need to have V5 first to use this website

 

You said he had given it to you in your first post.

 

I got given the log book which he told me to sign straight away and send it off as soon as possible
Edited by Conniff

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You said he had given it to you in your first post.

 

sorry, i didnt see that he said he got it. so, i dunno what the problem is ? if you signed the log book and send it straight away, that makes you a legal owner of the car now.

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It don't make you the legal owner, just the registered keeper. That's all DVLA is interested in the RK, the one who is responsible for tax or sorn.

 

It may be of little consequence now, it's 6 days since the original post so doesn't look like Stueyd is coming back.

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yeah, he's either got the car, or is at the bottom of a river, along with the car.

 

 

For reference, mot inspections don't include cambelts !

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If you have any witnesses as to how much you paid the seller, then take him to the small claims court.If he fails to attend, then you win by default.if he turns up and you have witnesses, then he will more than likely lose, especially as you have a receipt for the deposit you paid.save any text messages he sends you regsrding having no proof that you gave more than the deposit, any threats, etc,These will all be to your benefit in the courts.Incidentally, i took a woman driver to court at Boston, lincs. when she smashed into my car at a roundabout in Boston and refused to admit liability even though i had 3 witnesses.On the day of the court appearance, she had a barrister.i represented myself.I won the case and she had 30 days to pay all my losses.after 35 dayd, no money was received so I took out a warrant of execution.2 days later all my losses including the cost of the warrant of execution came through my letterbox.I always represent myself.

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