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Brownhills of Newark - Motorhome "Damaged during Service" Quoted 3 weeks for repair. Actually took 19 weeks. How to get compensation?

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Last September our 2019 plate Motorhome went to Brownhills of Newark for its annual habitation check/service.

Whilst on their site for the day one of their drivers managed to drive it into a lamp post and put a 2m long scratch down the side of the body. They didn't own up to the damage, but luckily we noticed it before leaving the site, at which point the admitted fault and said they would fix it in house rather than go through the insurance.

As they are an authorised Motor home repairer etc we agreed to this and a time frame of 3 weeks was given for the repair, which was booked in for late November. It could not be booked in sooner for the repair as we had a weekends away etc booked with the vehicle until mid November. 

3 weeks, and a simple re-spray has now evolved to 18 weeks of them having the vehicle, due to the spray job having to be done 3 times, a window seal not been re-fitted correctly, leading to rain water pouring into the van and the replacement decals been applied wrong twice & having to be re-ordered from Elddis who originally built the camper. We finally got the vehicle back in late April, still minus 1 of the decals.

Back in March we had an email from Brownhills asking what compensation we would accept due to the delays in returning the vehicle to us (They have had it for 18 weeks instead of the initial 3 weeks which was agreed).

Once we finally got the vehicle back we told them what we expected (the value that the camper has depreciated by in the extra 15 weeks they have had it and which time we were unable to use it). They are now refusing to honour any compensation and are only offering us a free service for when this is due in September.

Legally where do we stand? 

Obviously we are not taking it back to them for a service, given that last time they managed to crash it and its taken so long for them to make such a simple repair.

We are considering legal action, but are not really sure under what grounds/legislation we could claim.

Any advice would be much appreciated.

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  • dx100uk changed the title to Brownhills of Newark - Motorhome "Damaged during Service" Quoted 3 weeks for repair. Actually took 19 weeks. How to get compensation?

What was your estimate of the depreciation in value?

Frankly it is such a vague measure of your loss then I think that it was a mistake for you to suggest that.

What is the value of a free service?

What did you actually lose by not having it with you at the time? Where do you normally keep it?

Do you think it is now fully repaired or are there some outstanding issues? Have you used it or parked it up in the rain?

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We asked £1900 for the compensation. 

The value of the vehicle is approx £55000

The free service is worth £900 according to Brownhills, but I can get it done locally for £300 and that doesn't involve a full day out to Newark.

The vehicle still is not fully repaired, as it is still missing some of the decals. Apparently these are on back order from Elddis.

By not having the vehicle for 15 weeks longer than expected we were unable to use it to go away, or plan any trips abroad as we didnt know when it would be coming back to us.

It is normally kept on our driveway.


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Thank you. I don't think that the measure of depreciation is going to be helpful to you. I think you need to establish actual losses – money wasted on failed bookings et cetera. Holiday time taken off work and then not able to be exploited. That kind of thing.

You can certainly bring a small claim against them. Have you got in writing from them that the free service is worth £900?

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And how do you arrive at £1900 as the depreciation loss?

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Posted (edited)

Its based on 10% annual depreciation, divided by 52 weeks and then x the excess number of weeks that they have had the vehicle for, after the agreed initial 3 week repair.

Edited by miley_b ob
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Okay. Very scientific – but I think you have zero chance of getting if you take it to court.

I think you will have to show actual loss and the court will think that you are trying to make a money grab.

There could be a chance if you play very carefully to get 900 quid instead of the service – but that would be the maximum.

If you bring a County Court action then I'm certain that you will win but the entire dispute will have done to a question of how much you are entitled to receive by way of compensation.

It's up to you. If you want to sue for £1900 then we will help you. However, you have to pay a claim fee based on the £1900 claim and then hearing fee based on the same amount if you go to trial.

If I am right that you are awarded less then any costs you might be awarded will be based on the amount wanted to you – and not the value of your claim.

I think you should be a bit more careful and realistic about what you want to claim – but it's up to you.

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