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Used Car Refund Issue


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Me and my husband recently sold a vehicle privately to a buyer and they left a deposit. They then called (after ignoring our calls for about 3 weeks) to say they no longer wanted the vehicle and wanted their deposit money back. They had brought a mechanic with them to view the car, signed a contract which was also witnessed by the mechanic.


In the meantime, we bought a new car and were waiting on the outstanding balance from them to cover the costs. We did not get the money from them so had to source this elsewhere.


We then had to re-advertise to sell the car, and insure it under temporary insurance until it was re-sold. It was eventually resold for £200 less than the original buyers had agreed to pay, as we needed to get rid of the car quickly as it was costing a lot of money to keep.


We sent a letter to the original buyers to say they could have the majority of their money back as it had re-sold but we would not refund the money it had cost us to re-sell it. Legally, I believe they are not entitled to anything so we did this as good will.


They are now turning up at our house threatening us and we have had to call the Police.


Please can anyone advise if we have broken the law or if we are indeed well within our rights to with hold some money to cover our losses and expenses as they only broke the deal as they had changed their mind not through any fault of ours or the cars.



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You have done exactly the right thing. A deposit is given to 'seal the deal' so to speak and makes the contract legally binding. The alternative would have been to refund them in full and now try to sue them for the loss of £200. They have no case and if they continue threatening you, send the police to them again.

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Yep - the deposit was their commitment to you that they would complete the deal. THe fact you are offering them anything back is to your credit. Stand your ground, as the law is on your side.

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