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Leon, Solicitor
Category: Australia Law
Satisfied Customers: 42331
Experience:  BEc Dip Ed, Dip Law (SAB) MTax (UNSW)
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A friend of my sister expressed purchasing a vehicle from me

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A friend of my sister expressed purchasing a vehicle from me over a year ago. He offered to pay by installments and took possession of the vehicle. He paid $4,500 into my bank account (in installments) over the last year. We had a verbal agreement that the total purchase price would be $10,000.

In this time, he also claims to have spent approximately $3,500 in repairs/upgrades on the vehicle. He has a receipt for various repairs (air conditioning, shock absorbers etc) for approximately $1,400 and the rest are all receipts made out to cash from a friend doing the work, with no detail of what work was done.

The vehicle is still in my name.

He has recently become unemployed and can no longer afford to make payments on the vehicle. On top of this, I have recently been contacted by the police on two separate occasions regarding the vehicle - one matter relating to a drive off from a service station and one of illegal parking. I asked the officers' advice of what to do, and they said to re-take possession of the vehicle.

A week and a half ago we arranged for the vehicle to be returned to me. I am now in the final stages of selling the vehicle to a dealership. I will receive $5,000 from the dealership as they need to make more repairs and provide warranty to on-sell the vehicle.

This person is now requesting that I re-pay him some of the money that he spent on the vehicle for repairs (he initially requested $2,000 and that amount continues to rise and is now at $3,000).

Essentially my question is: Am I legally obliged to pay him or refund him any monies, even though I have always been the owner of the vehicle, it has been involved in illegal activity and the repairs done haven't outweighed the amount of wear and tear or damage to the vehicle while it's been in his possession.
Good Afternoon

Thank you for your question. To Introduce myself I am a sydney based Solicitor and will do my best to provide you with relevant information to assist you.

It is not a simple question to answer with a yes or no response.

Firstly even though you did not have a written agreement you have an agreement that is verbal and he has breached that.

You are entitled to be paid the price that he agreed to pay you.

So if you are to receive in total and amount more than he offered you are obliged to give him the difference.

If you do not receive the amount that was agreed he owes you money.

Also you should notify the police in writing that he was the driver not you. The car is yours as it is in your name but because he was paying you, you hold it in trust for him. You are entitled to what he still owes you.

Does this make sense?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.




Has he effectively only paid me $4,500 and owes me $5,500 as per the verbal agreement or do the repairs he alleges he paid for factor into the equation and make the total of his payments $8,000 ($4,500 + $3,500 in repairs)?


The police assured me they have him on camera and know it was him who committed the offense and the owner of the service station also knows him and contacted him regarding the offense and was verbally abused. The police informed me that due to the vehicle being in my name, I would be liable for anything he did using the vehicle.

Good Afternoon

The $3,500.00 in repairs dod you agree to pay him for them?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No, not at all.


He text messaged me at times telling me he was doing various upgrades and repairs to the car. At that time the arrangement was still going according to our agreement, so I didn't really think much of it to be honest.


Good Afternoon

Those upgrades are not your issue. You need to concentrate on the money he owes you. The repairs are his problem.

You do not have to take them into consideration. He owes you the difference between what you agree to sell it to him and what he has paid.

Is there anything else I can assist you with?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No that is all - thank you for your help. I appreciate it greatly.


Is it possible to get a transcript of this sent to my email?

Good Evening

You are very welcome and thank you for using my services.

If there is anything else in the future please do not hesitate to ask.

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