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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 69773
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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Jo, I purchased a vehicle from a dealership in May, I put

Customer Question

Jo, I purchased a vehicle from a dealership in May, I put down £10,000 deposit in cash and got £25,000 on hire purchase, turns out 5 months later it was a sale or return deal and the dealer had never gave the £35,000 to the original owner. In the meantime a police investigation is underway in which they tell me I cannot use this vehicle and it just so happens the dealership has now gone into liquidation! My question is... Is the original owner entitled to this car back and will I loose all my money ? Any advice would be very appreciated !
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: UK Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Also I still don't have a logbook as the original owner has refused to release it because he hasn't be paid for his car
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

Sorry for the delay. Do you still need help?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I do please
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

It is fairly bad news Im afraid.

In principle, you can rely on the innocent purchaser defence to resist any recovery of the car. As long as it was the market price for a vehicle like this and you had no other reason to suspect foul play you would have that defence.

However, if the police seize it then they might well just return it to the loser of the car. If so, you could sue him.

However, whether the company has gone under or not, there are allegations of criminal conduct so you could sue the individuals behind the company even if it is limited. I suppose if they are in prison that might not be particularly useful.

Sorry but I have to give you truthful information.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I would have thought because I purchased the vehicle with good faith from a legitimate dealership and that dealership arranged the finance for me, I paid the deposit and I am paying the finance wouldn't the finance company be at fault somewhere along the lines under the credit consumer act sec: 56 I think! Giving finance on a vehicle that technically the dealership never owned! I was fully unaware of the fact that the car was a "sale or return" vehicle and that certainly wasn't stated on the website!
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

The sale and return issue is nothing to be concerned about.

This will come down to whether or not the garage had any right to sell.

The finance company are not liable though I'm afraid. CCA S75 only applies to purchases by credit card. Although not all of it has to be by credit.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok I actually spoke to the original owner and he stated to me "he gave vehicle to the dealership on a sale or return basis" the dealership failed to pay him and just as we thought we was making field the dealership decided to go bust which now I've received an email from a officer who is leading the investigate stating I'm permitted to use the vehicle until the investigation is over! So is this now a civil matter or criminal? I've been told by one solicitor locally I could potentially loose my £10,000 deposit, the vehicle and still be responsible for paying of the finance which I complete found absolutely bizza considering I've done nothing wrong 😟
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

I think there is probably more to it than that. Otherwise the police should have told him that it was a civil matter.

I wouldn't worry about the company going under though. The police are interested in this and so you could pursue the individual if you do lose out.

Sadly the advice of the solicitor is right. It isn't fair but life isn't. The only question would be who you could sue. I do think that if this is resolved in the civil courts then probably it would be accepted that you were an innocent purchaser and so should be able to keep the car. The only issue is whether the police will seize and return to the original owner.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok yes I do understand, I'm awaiting a letter from the officer leading the investigation giving me a court date and what section this matter is under as I do believe he stated on the phone that they are investigating the dealership for fraud! He also said its part of the interpleader who will now decide the final ownership of the vehicle! So I'm still unaware of what they are actually getting me involved for! Thank you for your advice you have been very helpful .
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

It will be fraud. Or possibly handling. Or proceeds of crime. These type of criminality can be covered by lots of offences.

I'm not sure what he means by an interpleader. Not in the criminal courts it won't anyway.