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Can I reclaim deposit on imported classic car

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Six weeks ago I agreed to purchase (from a UK company) a classic vehicle for restoration which is being imported from the USA.

The company has a good reputation and I based my decision to buy upon various photographs showing the areas requiring attention.

My intention was to buy the vehicle 'as is' and to have it fully restored mechanically and cosmetically.

 

I paid a 10% deposit to secure the vehicle and agreed in writing to pay a further 15% as soon as it had been shipped.

The 15% is due this week, as the seller has the bill of loading from the shipping company.

 

 

The receipt provided to me acknowledges the payment of the 10% deposit, states that 15% is due on departure,

with the final balance payable immediately upon arrival and customs clearance in the UK.

 

 

The only mention made of a refund is that,

if Customs do not accept the vehicle (which is 40 years old) as being of 'historical interest'

and the import duty and VAT is higher as a result, I may either accept the additional charges or be entitled to a refund of all monies paid to date.

 

 

I did not sign a sales contract but have agreed in writing (via email) to pay both the 15% at the time of shipping and the balance on arrival.

 

I work abroad and all of my dealings with the company have been via email. I was not in the UK when the deal was made.

 

My circumstances have changed and I will not be able to afford the restoration.

I have written to the seller, requesting a full refund of my 10% deposit.

However, I am not sure where I stand legally if the seller refuses.

Because I was not in the UK during the negotiations,

can I legally pursue the matter under English Law?

 

Would the fact that all contact with the seller was via email fall under the distance selling regulations?

Or am I technically in breach of contract, and can the seller in fact sue me for the remaining balance.

 

The seller has not done anything to justify me pulling out of the deal, and in fact has done everything exactly as promised so far.

I would find it difficult, though, to complete the purchase and have the restoration work carried out.

I'm really not sure where I stand if the dealer refuses to cooperate..

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Hello and welcome to CAG

 

It's unfortunate about your circumstances changing, hopefully the guys will be able to advise you what to do.

 

My best, HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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I can't see how you would be entitled to any return especially, as you say, the seller has done everything correctly.

This will have cost the seller money, at the very least, admin charges.

 

 

I think you are being unfair in asking for a return and I can't see a court upholding a claim against someone who has done nothing wrong.

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What Conniff said above. ^^^^^ You don't get a deposit back for buyer's remorse.

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The seller has incurred the expense of the bill of loading and it is going to cost them money to get it removed from the container etc. Nver mind the transport costs to the port fo export. You will be lucky to get away with losing your deposit as the seller coudl sue for addiotnal expenses and probably win.

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The seller has incurred the expense of the bill of loading and it is going to cost them money to get it removed from the container etc. Nver mind the transport costs to the port fo export. You will be lucky to get away with losing your deposit as the seller coudl sue for addiotnal expenses and probably win.

 

Thanks for the various replies.

 

My understanding was that the seller already owned this vehicle and was proposing to ship it to the UK regardless. The expenses that you mention would have be incurred anyway in the course of importing it. It was one of two similar vehicles that they had in the USA, and they said they had other interest in this particular one, hence the requirement for a deposit.

 

I had thought that, because the deal was not struck on trade premises, the distance selling regulations would apply here, and I would be entitled to extract myself from the deal even after delivery.

 

Please understand that this is not a case of 'buyer's remorse'.. I suffered a major change in my financial circumstances when my contract was not renewed. If it is correct according to the law that I must forfeit my deposit, then I will accept that with good grace. I just wanted to be absolutely sure as to the legal position.

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The Distance Selling Regulations are now obsolete and would not apply anyway as the USA is not in the EU. Just pray that the seller does not start to demand more money.

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The Distance Selling Regulations are now obsolete and would not apply anyway as the USA is not in the EU. Just pray that the seller does not start to demand more money.

 

Per the original post, the seller is a UK company. It is the vehicle, not the dealer, which is in the USA. The deposit was paid to an account in the UK, and the company has its registered office in England, so presumably this would be subject to the jurisdiction of English Law?

 

I was not aware that the distance selling regulations are now obsolete, so in their absence which element of consumer law would apply to this?

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Apologies I missed the part about UK company however Consumer Contract Regulations would apply which covers the DSR. I think you would need to speak to CAB to get advice especially as it has gone so far alredy up to the Bill of Lading.

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When you hand over a deposit, you have made a legally binding contract. It doesn't matter whether there is a written agreement or not, and you don't need to have signed anything for the law to take hold.

 

Any other 'interest' might just be that and not a firm offer of purchase.

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