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Help pls. Garage fixed my car without my consent now a massive bill!


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Hi all,

 

I really need some help here. I have a 05 ford Focus 1.6 Ghia Auto. My steering pump was leaking, which caused a visable belt to slip when I was driving. The engine management light came on and I drove it another 2 miles to Kwik fit who said it might be the cambelt and pistines.

 

I got it towed to my home and went to my local garage who are part of the Motor Industry Code to get a quote, they said they needed to bring the car in to look at it and then will get back to me. That was 22nd Dec 09. I got a phone call early Jan from them to say that my car was repaired. I went round there and confronted him as to why he had fixed it. He was giving me time to save money and would it be cash or credit card!!! The Bill was over £1621.86 + Vat, £825.36 for parts and £796.50 for labour. I told him I only wanted a quote and I did not have that sort of money. He then told me I had until the 20th March to pay or he'll back charge me storage at £25 + Vat per day from Jan!

 

I actually still don't know what was wrong with the car but from his invoice:

 

Power steering pump

Power steering pipe

water pump

Anti freeze

2 x fan belt

Bracket

Timing Belt

Spark plugs (which where only changed two month proir)

Power steerign fluid

 

I can only assume worst case scenario of a power steering and cambelt change. I called Ford and asked for a qoute based on his invoice and they quoted just over £500!

 

I've already written to him quoting The Supply of goods and services act 1982, where authorisation is needed before any work can be carried out and a fair and reasonable price given.

 

He has broken both these codes and I'm still stuck without my vehicle. What can I do? Can I take him to court? I don't have the money to pay under protest..

 

Thank you

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Court is your only option - but there may be a chance certain fees are waived in you fall into certain benefit groups. Because this is a contractural dispute (rather than one for money) there is little point trying to sue him for the money for the repairs.

 

He would have to show your written agreement for the work to proceed, and without this his claims and threats are meaningless.

 

However if he took his parts back, you;d still have a car that cannot be driven. You may find a local solicitor better placed to send a letter and enforce your rights.

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Hey Raymond,

 

Thanks for that...I told him to remove the parts and I'll arrange for pick up and take it to a Ford dealer who has quoted £500 for the repairs. Thing is as I don't know what was actually wrong with the vehicle, I can't determine other than anothe costly bill for a AA guy to oversee it.

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Ford would have listed the works involved in their quotation. Also if he intends on trying to charge you for works carried out and parts fitted then he'll have to detail what exactly he's done.

 

He needs a written contract for ease of winning a case, but that doesn't rule out verbal contracts which is what the majority of garages do. I've never signed or written anything to have a car repaired... If you feel at any point you need to get legal advice, I personally would. Also he can't keep your car until you pay, he can remove his parts or give you an invoice which states that the parts remain his property until the invoice is satisfied- but he can't keep the whole thing!

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