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  • Buying a used car. Help please

    Hello everyone, I wonder if if you guys can advice me. I went to a used car dealership in basildon to get a car on finance. I wanted to test drive the vehicle before he ran a finance check but he refused and said their policy is run a finance check to stop time wasters. I agreed. My finance went through but with a high APR at 29.9% which I understand I have poor credit history. I later test drove the car and asked him to give me a day to think about it. I went home and checked if the car is ULEZ approved cause majority of the time I drive on A406 and this car was not one I could use without fines. I let the dealership know but he wasn’t happy but said come and we will have a look at another car. We did and I found a Ford Fiesta for 8295. I wanted a breakdown of the finance so I could work it out but he said we will do that at a later date but I have to secure the car by paying a deposit. There was a lot of pressure applied. I paid 400 in deposit. He said come back a week later for finance agreement. I attended this Thursday and the return value of the car came to 15000 without my 1k deposit. I wasn’t happy about that cause I kept thinking this is way out of my budget and the car isn’t even worth that much. However he kept repeating it’s not much. I went home that day after signing the car contract but not with the car cause they said it wasn’t ready and I’m due to go next week to pick up. In the meantime I still kept searching their website for a cheap car cause they said they didn’t have one with low mileage. Anyway I found Honda Jazz for 2395 on their website and went today. I explained to the dealership that look I am not happy to go in such expensive car finance because I am a single mother of 2 kids and I don’t want to go in repayment I can’t keep up. I told him about the Honda and he wasn’t happy but said you call the finance company arrange the paperwork’s and we will sort it out. He also said the car advertised as 2395 on the car that’s not the price and I need to let the finance company know it’s 2995. I said then why does it say 2395 he said one of the guys is lazy and he didn’t change the price. Reluctant I sat in my car with my kids and called the finance company and they said first the dealership themselves need to call and do the finance check and 2) have you test drove the car to which I said no. I informed this to dealership and requested a test drive but he refused. He said I have to get the finance through before I can do that and also he said once I run the finance through you can’t change your mind. Your deposit is non refundable. Anyway the finance company said to call back Monday.

    My question is, is this right. Is that how things work. What if after I test drive I don’t like the car. Have I really lost my deposit.

    also the car has no road tax, is this something a dealership do before selling their car or is that my responsibility. I am really confused. I am on very low budget. Please help.

  • #2
    You are being conned by the dealer. You must walk away as he is a cowboy.

    1. A deposit is refundable - dealers who say it is not are breaking the Consumer Rights Act 2015 law. It is also considered unreasonable by the Competition and Markets Authority. The only way a dealer can keep a small amount is if he has an additional advertising cost but he would have to prove this.
    2. £400 deposit is excessive - it should be a very small amount. £50 would be more than enough and unless he can prove it has cost him money even this must be refunded.
    3. To list a car at one price then tell you another is misrepresentation. This is illegal.
    4. The buyer of a car is responsible for the road tax - it cannot be transferred.

    You are trying to buy a car with no experience of bad dealers and there are hundreds of them. A dealer trying to get you to pay more than you can afford is a huge warning sign not to trade with him. You must, if you want your money back, call Consumer Direct - - and get their advice. They will tell you how to write a letter to reclaim the deposit. This dealer is very likely to refuse to do anything as he's a con man. So he will take £400 from you for nothing.

    In future, take a friend or relative who knows about cars and buying them. Do NOT be pressured or conned again.


    • #3
      Hi Hometune, thank you so much for the response. Yes 400 deposit is excessive but he wanted more, he wanted the full 1K but I told him that’s all I have for today. There was no extra charges, the 400 was securing the car. I didn’t know I could leave as little as 50 he didn’t even mention, he said come and bring all the money. I’ll call citizens advice bureau I do hope they can get my money back. I was going to ask, should I go back to the dealership tomorrow and take pictures of miss advertising for the cheaper car I saw. Also in the advert no where does it mention it has scratches on the side of the car or paint work damage but when I saw the car it wasn’t perfect but I told myself it’s an old 2008 plate car what more can I except - Honda Jazz. Also should I have paid the deposit without seeing the finance breakdown, cause he took the money on 22/08 and didn’t finalise car finance completely till Thursday 28th when I had the shock of 15K for the ford. Also the finance company yesterday said the contract has gone live as of Friday 29th but the car isn’t even ready how can my finance have gone live. I was asked to pick the car up next week. Finally I know you said deposit is refundable but everywhere I read it says dealership deposit is not refundable the company is called longman motors in basildon. I’m so not sure about this. Also I don’t have any family members who would come with me, maybe that’s why he managed to do that. I went with my little kids 6 years old and four months old cause I had no one to take care of them. Thank you for your reply.


      • #4
        All dealers say the deposit is non-refundable because they want your money. The deposit is not a down payment, it is simply a small amount to hold the car until its ready. Never be conned by these people, you only need to watch the telly programs like the Sheriffs Are Coming or Can't Pay We''ll Take it Away to see how many bad dealers there are. Here is a link about deposits:

        You need to get out of this contract asap. Tell them what has been going on. You must phone straightaway in the morning.