“I sent £25,000 to a potentially dodgy dealer – how do I get it back?”

Alex Robbins contributes to the writing of Telegraph cars where, in addition to answering readers’ questions, he also contributes new and used car reviews, as well as articles on buying and selling.

His knowledge of the used car market informs his numerous buying guides relating to best buys in particular sectors, with an emphasis on value for money. Each week, he will answer your questions about buying and selling, as well as solving your automotive problems, whether consumer or mechanical.

Do you have an automotive dilemma that you would like our expert to solve? For consumer and used car advice, or car breakdown advice, email [email protected] quoting your subscriber number. This week’s question…

Dear Alex,

I made a £25,000 deposit to a car dealership for an unseen Porsche 911 on June 25. Three days later I found out the same dealer had been featured on the BBC TV show Rogue Traders and started having second thoughts about buying. .

I emailed the dealership saying I wanted to back out of the deal because I didn’t feel comfortable buying without seeing the car, nor was I sure I wanted to. a Porsche with a manual gearbox. He responded the same day agreeing to refund the full deposit. However, after several calls and emails, which he responded with a variety of apologies, there is still no sign of a returned deposit four days later. I’m afraid I’ll have to fight to get my money back. What should I do?


Dear ID,

While many readers will no doubt point out the folly of sending £25,000 in an electronic bank transfer for a car you’ve never seen (and therefore can’t even be sure it exists), it’s maybe in fact what saves you in this case.

Because you have not set foot on the dealer’s premises, you are covered by the Consumer Contracts Regulations 2014. According to these regulations, you placed an order for goods when you sent the money to the dealer and you have benefited from a cooling of 14 days. – period off thereafter, during which you had the right to withdraw from the sale and receive your money.

And because I doubt the dealer has issued you terms and conditions covering the deposit, you have the right to have all of that money returned to you; the dealer is not allowed to keep any of it as an administration or other cost (keep this in mind if they try).

Having seen the Rogue Traders article you are referring to, it suggests that the dealership in question has used delaying tactics in the past to avoid paying customers, blaming cash flow issues, etc. It seems to match the experience you have had so far.

So I believe you have two options: either wait a bit longer to see if the dealer’s ways have changed, or cut to the chase and start making noise to take legal action.

If the dealer doesn’t comply or keeps trying to pass you off, I guess the only way to see your money back is to take advantage of this latest threat. However, I would always advise you to take proper legal advice before going down this path.

Nevertheless, although I am not a lawyer, it seems to me that the facts are in your favor, especially since you have written proof by e-mail that the dealer is committed to reimbursing you on time.

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