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17 year old.... agreement to purchase vehicle from auction

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Hi, I am posting this as I require some urgent advice regarding a minor and an agreement. I am 17 years old and I got onto an online car auction and won. The vehicle is for £7,900 + VAT + 20% commission + vat, therefore the total plaice is around £11,300. However I don’t have the money to buy the car and I did not think that I will win the auction. I contacted the auctioneer about this and they said that in there terms and condition (which I agreed to over email) they clearly state the following: 1) if a buyer wants to cancel they must pay the 20% commission+ vat. Which works out at £1580+ Vat

2) it is a trade sale so consumer right do not apply

3) there is a 2% interest each day for late payment

4) if an under 18 bids in a vehicle the parent or legal guardian is liable to pay.

5) is payment is not received within the allotted time they will use legal action.

6) If the reserve price is not met the seller may still sell the vehicle to the highest bidder.

 

I need to cancel the bid as I have not got the money to purchase the vehicle but I don’t even have the enough money to pay for the cancellation charge. The auctioneer have got a copy of my driving licence and are saying that I have till 5pm otherwise they will go to court and most likely I will get a CCJ in my name which will be for the full amount of approx £11,300 plus 2% interest each day.

 

I would like to know if they will still be able to take me to court even if I am under the age of 18 and classed as a minor, and I did not think this would happen. My parents are not aware of the situation and even they do not have that hind of money. Adobe is greatly appreciated. Thanks

Thanks in advance.

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Many people are going to wonder why you bid for a vehicle you cannot pay for, and why you think the auctioneer should be out of pocket because of your actions.

 

That said, you cannot be taken to court until you are 18, and as your parents were not involved in any way, they cannot be sued directly either. As they could not have know about condition no 4, it's an unfair term and is unlikely to be enforceable.

 

I doubt a vehicle this expensive would be considered 'necessary' so I don't think you have formed a valid contract, however the auctioneer is not likely to just forget about this. At the very least you are going to be involved in a long battle.

 

I suggest you inform your parents immediately.


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It was an irresponsible thing to do yes but we were all 17 at one time in our life .

 

The auctioneers can threaten all they want but I feel their contract is too one sided in their favour to be acceptable in a Court should it ever get that far. For example all they will do is put the car back in the next auction and I imagine it will get something similar to the price that they accepted from you. So their loss cannot be anywhere like the £11,300 they are claiming from you.

 

You have to tell your parents today really, to help them get out the mess you are in. It won't be easy for you. Then write [not phone-you need a paper trail just in case it goes to Court] and insist that you have to cancel, that you do not have that kind of money and your parents knew nothing of the transaction and would not have guaranteed it had they known. And the Auctioneers knew that you were under age at the time.

 

Good luck.

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You say the auctioneer has a copy of your driving licence. Presumably you sent it to them. Did you send it before you bid? If not, when in the bidding process? This matters because if the auctioneers accepted a bid from you knowing you were a minor they are on very weak ground in claiming any right to enforce the alleged contract.

 

 

I doubt this is enforceable against you nor against your parents (if they neither knew about nor authorised your bid) but that won't stop the auctioneers putting pressure on you, eg sending debt collectors round to your house. That could happen. People will tell you, correctly, that debt collectors have no powers in a situation like this and you can ignore them. But I think that's expecting a lot of you, a 17 year old, and in any case it's your parents who will probably open the door to them if it happens.

 

 

If I were your parents I'd get advice from Citizen's Advice to confirm the views being given here.

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Hi, thanks for your prompt reply, I understand I will have to tell my parents today. The auctioneers are insisting that my age doesn’t not matter and that’s as I am over the age of 16 I am liable. I understand it was a bit of a stupid thing for me to do and I don’t know why I did it. I’m going into second year of college and am really stressed about what is going to happen. They are saying they will go to court and get CCJ in my name and baliffs will be involved. I send the driving licence before the bid, they needed to confirm my name and address in order to create an account.

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I send the driving licence before the bid, they needed to confirm my name and address in order to create an account.

 

That's an important point England2018 because it means the auctioneers knew you were a minor before you bid and that therefore you were not legally able to enter into a valid contract to buy a car at auction. They accepted your bid at their own risk. As you've already discovered form your own researches, confirmed here, being aged 16 is completely irrelevant, they're just talking BS to hassle you.

 

Personally I think they are bluffing in the hope they can unnerve you enough to pay up. I'm sure they know they couldn't bring a claim in court.

 

I don't know how much your parents know about contract law or how confident they are about dealing with it themselves, but unless they are confident I recommend they talk to Citizen's Advice. If I were replying I would certainly be including that they knew you were a minor and were negligent in allowing you to open an account and then allowing you to bid.

 

 

In the meantime do not have any further emails or discussions with them. Wait until you have had advice from Citizen's Advice and then keep all contact with them in writing and sent by post Recorded Delivery. Do not talk to them by phone - that leaves no evidence trail and allows arguments about who said what. Post Recorded Delivery ('Signed For') creates an evidence trail.

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Under 18’s can enter into enforceable contracts, for “necessaries”.

A car can be a necessary.

 

https://www.hg.org/legal-articles/can-a-minor-enter-into-a-contract-34024

Oops : that is a US site

 

https://www.gillhams.com/site/library/legal_articles/minors_and_contractual_agreements.html

Is for the UK

 

What was the car for? Pleasure? Getting to work??

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Under 18’s can enter into enforceable contracts, for “necessaries”.

A car can be a necessary.

 

https://www.hg.org/legal-articles/can-a-minor-enter-into-a-contract-34024

 

 

Although it's not impossible for a court to decide a car is a "necessary" - it's very unlikely - that website provides no useful advice one way or another about what an English court might decide as it's a US website discussing US law.

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Contracts can still be entered into with "minors", although if I remember correctly terms which disadvantage the minor are most likely to be held as being unenforceable and more likely to go in the favor of the minor.

 

Not sure why you'd bid to buy a vehicle with no intention of buying, as someone who goes to auction a lot, it's generally a well oiled operation in regards to selling cars, so I can understand why auction companies would seek these charges from you, although essentially as the vehicle isn't being sold, then I'd imagine they'll have a tough time getting that 20% commission, especially when they'll make the 20% commission upon successfully selling the vehicle, so they'd be profiting twice from one transaction.

 

As for your parents being held liable, that is a legal nonsense, if they have no knowledge of any such agreement or have entered into and accepted any such terms, then no such clause would be enforceable in court.

 

I do feel that you would be liable for the costs in selling the vehicle, which in terms of cost, would probably be something like £100 or less.

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Although it's not impossible for a court to decide a car is a "necessary" - it's very unlikely - that website provides no useful advice one way or another about what an English court might decide as it's a US website discussing US law.

 

And I’d edited my post to reflect that, and cited a site commenting on E&W law...

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What was the car for? Pleasure? Getting to work??

 

OP is a pupil in the sixth form at a school/college.

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Thank you all for your advice.

 

The actually payment was to yesterday at 5pm.

At 6pm they send me an email along the lines of “since payment has not been made in the allotted time, a new invoice as been sent which has incurred a 2% charge”

they then attached a link to an online invoice which I had clicked.

 

Once I opened the invoice they sent me another email which said “thank you for opening your invoice” . Therefore the totals bill now is around £11,600.

 

I will speak to my parents about going to citizens advice with me.

I don’t know why I put in the bid however I don’t think I would win as “the reserve price” had not been met, but there was a condition which stated that even if it had not been met the vehicle MAY still be sold to the highest bidder.

 

Please could you advise me on are debt collectors allowed to come without going to court first, also are they allowed to take my parents car and other household items.

 

Also i have read online (form other forums) that I should tell them as I was a minor the contract is void and I no longer accept the terms of conditions.

But others have said that I should make no contact.

 

Should I tell them this or should I make no contact.

Thank you all.

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England2018, when you posted at lunchtime today you didn't say you had already paid them something. It makes it difficult to advise you when we don't know the full story. What did you pay them? Whose money was it - yours or your parents? Do your parents know yet? Is there anything else we should know?

 

Stop having anything to do with them. There is a risk that you will make a contract valid that would otherwise have been invalid. Tell your parents and get advice either from a solicitor or Citizen's Advice [EDIT] or a Law Centre (thanks Mr P).

 

Debt collectors have no legal powers and cannot take your or your parents property. Only if a court has considered the claim and issued a judgement against you could someone seize property (and then they are a bailiff, not a debt collector). But debt collectors will turn up anyway and try and make you think they have powers that they don't and harass and bully you on the doorstep. You are 17, that shouldn't happen to you and you shouldn't be expected to deal with it. Stop trying to deal with this by yourself!

 

When are you 18 (not specific date, just the month)?

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I don't know how much your parents know about contract law or how confident they are about dealing with it themselves, but unless they are confident I recommend they talk to Citizen's Advice.

 

I must admit, last time I had reason to consult with CAB, I was very disappointed with the quality of their advice. Perhaps some offices are better than others.

With that in mind, I'd recommend contacting a local community law centre. These are often staffed by qualified lawyers and have access to legal advice in a wide range of areas. To see if there is one locally, see: http://www.lawcentres.org.uk/


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Sorry if I didn’t make myself clear, I haven’t paid them anything I meant to say that the payment deadline was yesterday and that after the deadline they send me another invoice which has incurred the 2% penalty.

 

I am telling my parents about the situation and will hopefully get advice on Monday.

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Sorry if I didn’t make myself clear, I haven’t paid them anything I meant to say that the payment deadline was yesterday and that after the deadline they send me another invoice which has incurred the 2% penalty.

 

I am telling my parents about the situation and will hopefully get advice on Monday.

 

OK, I read it that you had paid them. Let us know what happens. In the meantime have nothing to do with them.

 

And I'll ask again, when are you 18 (month)?

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I am 18 in October

 

As I am under 18 would it be legal for them to pass my details such as name and address on to a debt collection agency.

 

Just in case i have not made it clear the vehicle was auctioned online.

 

Also if anybody would like to read the terms and confirms which are online, I can send you a link if you tell me how to,

 

I don’t want to post their name or any of their details as I don’t want anything to go against me. Thank you all again.

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I am 18 in October

 

The reason I asked that is because if after you are 18 you "ratify" a contract you entered into as a minor then it becomes binding on you and you could be sued to enforce it in a court. I hope this is all resolved before October but if it isn't be very careful indeed what you do from the day of your 18th birthday. Then you would no longer be able to claim the contract was void because you were a minor. Even minor things, things you think are trivial, could be held by a court to be ratification of the contract. So do not engage in any discussion/correspondence with these people without professional advice.

 

 

Could they pass your details to a debt collection agency? Probably. I can't think of a reason why they couldn't, someone else here might know about that. Best to assume they could.

 

 

Don't post anything that could identify you.

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Sorry for not mentioning earlier, just in case it is important, I agreed to the term and conditions via email. Also is there any template or anything specific I should write to them telling them that I want to cancel this contact and no longer agree to the terms and conditions.

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well, as expected they were not happy, they told me it was an immature thing to do. They explained to me the affect a CCJ would have in the future when I try to get a mortgage or try to get a loan. We also discussed 2 options which we need to get advice on (maybe from CAB).

1) write to them and offer to pay the cost to put the car back in auction (which I believe is £55).

2) ignore until we get a letter from a court, then explain to court I was a minor and my parents were not aware of my actions.

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I was just reading the T&Cs again and it says if an under 18 was to bid the parents will be liable to pay, and so court proceedings will be issued in their name. Could this still happen even if they did not know I was bidding?, how would they get my parents name and other details necessary to got to court.

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I was just reading the T&Cs again and it says if an under 18 was to bid the parents will be liable to pay, and so court proceedings will be issued in their name. Could this still happen even if they did not know I was bidding?, how would they get my parents name and other details necessary to got to court.

 

Quite......think about it logically :wink:


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Quite......think about it logically :wink:

 

I’m so stressed at the moment that I don’t even understand what you mean by this.

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