Prob With Car Dealer

Submitted: Sunday, Apr 03, 2005 at 09:33
ThreadID: 21732 Views:3236 Replies:15 FollowUps:16
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Hi All

Need some advice from anyone who knows. My brother in law looked at a Patrol ute at a car yard in Perth a month ago (big yard multi location dealership) anyway the ute had just been traded needed to go to workshop for quite a bit of work and was as always overpriced. The salesman told him to sign this bit of paper which in fact was the sale contract and he would hold it for him till it came out of the workshop. He hadn't agreed on price or haggled price hadn't even test driven the vehicle as it wasn't ready. My brother in law being a pom (and in UK when I bought a car the dealer didn't even sign transfer papers only gave me the rego papers and said thats it) was under the understanding that he was signing to be given first refusal on the car when it was ready to be test driven.

Anyway a month later the salesman rings him and says your ute is ready to be picked up you need to come in and pay for it, he said what ute anyway they had an arguement about it (especially as he has since bought a private sale ute). Next the sales manager rang him and told him he had to pay them 10% of the cost or they would take him to court even when he was told the salesman misled him.

Does anybody know what the best thing to do is??

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Reply By: Member Eric - Sunday, Apr 03, 2005 at 09:37

Sunday, Apr 03, 2005 at 09:37
Laugh and tell them if you ring again , that you will call the LMCT board and explain to them what you have done
AnswerID: 104884

Follow Up By: Zapper - Sunday, Apr 03, 2005 at 09:41

Sunday, Apr 03, 2005 at 09:41
Thanks Eric for your advice. What is the LMCT board and is it the same in WA as Vic?
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Follow Up By: Member Eric - Sunday, Apr 03, 2005 at 11:19

Sunday, Apr 03, 2005 at 11:19
LMCT Licence motor car traders board , Give them a call Monday and let them know . You will find them very helpfull
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Reply By: Member - Jimbo (VIC) - Sunday, Apr 03, 2005 at 09:39

Sunday, Apr 03, 2005 at 09:39
Firstly I'd tell them to whistle for it the bastards (also add you've had legal advice, which of course you haven't). They're most likely bluffing and will give up.

Then if, and I do say if, they do anyhting;

Perhaps try your local motoring organisation (eg RACV in Vic) for starters.

Then maybe a solicitor, many offer a free first consultation or $20 for 20 minutes type of thing.

Good Luck and let us know how it goes.

AnswerID: 104885

Follow Up By: Member - Davoe (WA) - Sunday, Apr 03, 2005 at 10:06

Sunday, Apr 03, 2005 at 10:06
you are wrong - these guys make a living on preying on the weak sick and vulnerable they know that that piece of paper is legally binding and they can enforce it and always will (personall exp both me and people I know) I am not saying he cant get out of it but I reckon it will be messy. Best offer I can give is NEVER DEAL WITH CARYARDS. Their vehicles are overpriced heaps to private slaes - oh but you get a warranty? ha ha ha you probably paid more in the first place than the part that needs repairing and you have a better chance of becoming the next pope than getting the problem fixed satisfactorally if at all
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Follow Up By: Member - Jimbo (VIC) - Sunday, Apr 03, 2005 at 10:46

Sunday, Apr 03, 2005 at 10:46
Not sure exactly what I said was wrong Davoe.

My suggestion was to get some advice, what is wrong with that?

Of course if you have some legal qualifications I'll defer to your greater knowledge, otherwise I would suggest my original advice is sound. Just because you know of people who got ripped off by car yards does not mean that they should have been. Perhaps if they sought the right advice they may have had a better outcome.

How can you be so sure that "that piece of paper" is legally binding without ever having seen it, and what are your legal qualifications to make such a statement?

I'll repeat what I said, seek legal/professional advice. It will be far more reliable than getting opinions from laymen.


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Follow Up By: Member Eric - Sunday, Apr 03, 2005 at 10:54

Sunday, Apr 03, 2005 at 10:54
Davoe , you would be correct if the contract was filled out in full . EG , deposit , delivery date , cost ect. What they have is a bluff. If it makes you feel better , fax the contract to me and ill have a look at it.

03 9543 6046
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Follow Up By: Member - Davoe (WA) - Sunday, Apr 03, 2005 at 13:47

Sunday, Apr 03, 2005 at 13:47
you are right of course Jimbo he should get proper advice especially if push is going to come to shove over it. Yes I have had a bad experience with u.c.s at the same time another guy at work did too. When looking at cars I noticed they couldnt wait to whip the contract out quick enough and try and get the young dumb fella to sighn using every reason why you should sighn now and not tomorrow knowing full well the contract is legally binding and alot of jo shmo's dont, thinking if they change their minds their mate buddy pal (well it was yesterday) will understand. No offence Eric (from memory you are a U C S) but all too often the reason they continually come last in trustworthy polls is often all to clear
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Follow Up By: Member - Jimbo (VIC) - Sunday, Apr 03, 2005 at 18:37

Sunday, Apr 03, 2005 at 18:37

Eric is not a UCS. He wholesales vehicles to the car industry. Big difference.

He has also arranged some outstanding deals for people on this forum just because he likes to help. I know of some of the cars he has got for people and he could have whacked on 3 or 4 grand for himself and they still would have been cheap, but he doesn't. Also his offer to look at the abovementioned "contract" as he is aware of what the sheisters in the industry get up to, is Eric being Eric.

Not suggesting you were casting aspertions on his character, but I just thought I'd clear things up.


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Follow Up By: Member - Davoe (WA) - Sunday, Apr 03, 2005 at 18:47

Sunday, Apr 03, 2005 at 18:47
Thanks for that jimbo - I relize Eric must be a top bloke coz he is an EO Member:)
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Reply By: 80scruiser - Sunday, Apr 03, 2005 at 09:40

Sunday, Apr 03, 2005 at 09:40
Tell the salesman to keep the deposit. Oh thats right there wasn't a deposit. Well tell him to keep it anyway.
I think in the used car dealers act there is a clause that states the vehicle may be returned with in seven days for a full refund.

Other than that tell him where to go.
AnswerID: 104887

Follow Up By: Member Eric - Sunday, Apr 10, 2005 at 09:09

Sunday, Apr 10, 2005 at 09:09
i think you are refuring to the 3 day cooling off period , only works if you havent taken delivery of the vehicle .

Also if you sighn a part of the contract that the dealers slip in , thats says , if I sighn this , I loose my right to terminate. This implies that you loose your 3 day cooling off period . C R A P . Not legaly binding and not recognised by the LMCT board
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Reply By: Member - Davoe (WA) - Sunday, Apr 03, 2005 at 09:40

Sunday, Apr 03, 2005 at 09:40
Those contracts are legaly binding so he would do well to go in and discuss it face to face and hope he can get a satisfatory outcome rather that get their back up if he has no joy then there are other (messier)options
AnswerID: 104888

Follow Up By: Shaker - Sunday, Apr 03, 2005 at 09:55

Sunday, Apr 03, 2005 at 09:55
That is true, but the dealers have procedures that they must follow to enforce these contracts, one of which, is to display a 'notice of particulars' on the vehicle at all times prior to sale, in this case I doubt if this was done.
I am only commenting on Victorian requirements & no first hand experience of WA procedures.

On the other hand, I reckon his brother-in-law sounds pretty naive & shouldn't be allowed out on his own!
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Reply By: Big Woody - Sunday, Apr 03, 2005 at 10:15

Sunday, Apr 03, 2005 at 10:15
If the contract has no amounts entered onto it as either the deposit held or the selling price of the vehicle I don't think the car yard is going to have much hope in taking it any further as who is going to determine what amount that the 10% is taken from.
Tell them to stick it up their A*SE and phone the ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Association) which is a federal body who is usually more than willing to step in on your behalf.
There will also be a Governing body that the car yard should be a member of. In Qld it is the MTAQ (Motor Traders Association of QLD) who you can complain to.
Also I would go to one of the larger motor dealerships and ask them for advice. Most of them will be pretty helpful in making life difficult for their competition. They will give you advice on where you stand legally.

Good Luck

AnswerID: 104900

Reply By: govo - Sunday, Apr 03, 2005 at 15:33

Sunday, Apr 03, 2005 at 15:33

ANSWER ?????


( talking to a car sales man one day about a 4wd l was interested in..he tried telling me it was a good buy...l asked him does he find it hard when he gets home from work to leave the lieing at the front door and start telling the truth...this scumbag then looked me in the eye and said .."all the years in this industry l have never told one lie to any customers, l am a very honest person" )

which takes me back to the question l asked earlier.
AnswerID: 104924

Follow Up By: Patrolman Pat - Sunday, Apr 03, 2005 at 17:12

Sunday, Apr 03, 2005 at 17:12
This reply is in very poor taste IMO.
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Follow Up By: Mad Dog (Australia) - Sunday, Apr 03, 2005 at 17:55

Sunday, Apr 03, 2005 at 17:55
What Pat said
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Follow Up By: Member - Jimbo (VIC) - Sunday, Apr 03, 2005 at 18:18

Sunday, Apr 03, 2005 at 18:18
Very ordinary indeed.
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Follow Up By: govo - Monday, Apr 04, 2005 at 01:28

Monday, Apr 04, 2005 at 01:28
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Reply By: ev700 - Sunday, Apr 03, 2005 at 15:33

Sunday, Apr 03, 2005 at 15:33
Join the RAC and then get an opinion from their legal dept.
EV 700
AnswerID: 104925

Reply By: brian - Sunday, Apr 03, 2005 at 18:58

Sunday, Apr 03, 2005 at 18:58
The "contract" is unenforceable as it is incomplete and is missing one of the 6 essental elements of a contract law ie valuable consideration, usuallymoney/part payment. this is why you are asked for a deposit or signing over your trade in.Dont be bluffed but as others have said get reliable advice if you are unsure.
AnswerID: 104953

Follow Up By: Joe - Sunday, Apr 03, 2005 at 20:13

Sunday, Apr 03, 2005 at 20:13
Hi Brian,
Yes from my experience you are spot on. I worked in the kitchen renovation market for about 18 months and contracts were only legally binding if a deposit was paid by the customer and recorded as part of the contract.
I would seek advice... chances of being legally bound sound very slim.
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Reply By: allaussie - Sunday, Apr 03, 2005 at 21:01

Sunday, Apr 03, 2005 at 21:01
Hi all as my brother is a car dealer I ran this by him.?????????????????????????????????????????? He said in a very bad way for you to tell the car yard to shove the 4wd up their a#^&* le and he will send them the vasoline for the job the contract was incompete and that you have no complete contract cheers chris
AnswerID: 104981

Reply By: muzzgit (WA) - Sunday, Apr 03, 2005 at 22:26

Sunday, Apr 03, 2005 at 22:26
Yes that's all very well, but we don't know what is on the contract !!

We don't know if a dollar value is mentioned. We don't know if a time frame or repairs to be completed are stated. In WA there is a "cooling off" period, but I think this is for 14 days, so he could be up the creek.

Having had personal experience with this, I would be ringing consumer protection ASAP. Whatever they so goes.

Personally, I would mention bikie gangs and broken legs if they want to go any further. And then change your phone number.
AnswerID: 105001

Reply By: nickoff - Monday, Apr 04, 2005 at 14:10

Monday, Apr 04, 2005 at 14:10

While surfing for something else, I came accross this page. Even though it is Victorian law, there must be something similar in your part of the woods.

Takes a while to load as is 60 pages of PDF format, but should give you somewhere to start.$file/contractcar.pdf

AnswerID: 105082

Reply By: old-plodder - Monday, Apr 04, 2005 at 14:10

Monday, Apr 04, 2005 at 14:10
I hope your brother got given a copy of the contract to take home with him.
Try all of the consumer stuff above.

But if it does come to some one putting a summons on your brother, it is only the first step in the legal process. He will need to engage a lawyer, and counter offers can be made right up to court date.
Call the bluff of the salesman and try and reasonably settle the problem for zero $ outlay on your part, (this will help later on if it does go to court that you did try and amialy resolve the matter), but also let it be known that you are willing to go to court to settle the problem, if it costs both of you lawyers fees. Keep everything in writing, confirming all phone calls in writing. Besides sending correspondance to the salesman, also c/c a copy to the manager of the car sales yard so he/she knows what is going on.

I am sure that the salesman's manager would be very impressed if the salesman has committed his company to possibly thousands of dollars in legal fees over the sale of one car.

Investigate the cost of a lawyer reviewing the contract and subject to thier view, writing a letter to the salesman and car sales manager for you. Might only be $50.00 to $100.00, a gues on my part, others may have a better idea of cost.

Also, mention you are a member of this forum and will let every one know the name of the yard that has treated you so badly. Copy to manager on that one.

Get writing now stating everything that has happened and your intention to fight tooth and claw all the way if you have too. Copy to manager. I think you will find the salesman will back off. If he can't see a sale coming in a few weeks, but alot of hassle, he might prefer to find others to scare.

I am not a lawyer, so these are laymans ideas, but I have been through court a few times chasing people for money, been counter sued and see some good weaving and dodging!
AnswerID: 105083

Reply By: Pezza - Monday, Apr 04, 2005 at 18:54

Monday, Apr 04, 2005 at 18:54
Hi Zapper,

Check VIC laws, but here in QLD it is illegal to sell a vehicle without a safety certificate, seeing as the so called "deal" was done prior to the vehicle going to the workshop I doubt the vehicle had said certificate, in which case may I suggest that you might politely inform this "dealer" that he could be in deep poo poo's for doing such.

Good luck
AnswerID: 105135

Follow Up By: Rob! - Wednesday, Apr 06, 2005 at 15:34

Wednesday, Apr 06, 2005 at 15:34
Yep, the car has to have a "safety cetificate" BEFORE it is even put up for sale. There's about a $300 fine for not doing so.
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Reply By: kev.h - Monday, Apr 04, 2005 at 19:04

Monday, Apr 04, 2005 at 19:04
My son fell victim to one of these sharks and we got legal advice
He signed a contract on similar terms when he decided not to go through with it they got nasty threatening legal action for 10 % etc.advice from legal eagle
1. all contact - advise them that this is without prejudice and at the direction of your legal advisors (legal terms meaning without detriment to your claim) 2. his verbal contract to hold the vehicle until it is ready for sale for you to inspect is as legally binding as his piece of paper (as you had not had a chance to access the vehicle maybe it will not come up to your expectations etc.) he will have a hard time proving his case 3. site the time taken (maybe you assumed he no longer wished to sell you the car as he FAILED IN HIS DUTY to inform you of the progress of the work being done and when the car would be ready 4. If he did not have a final price the contract cannot be completed
We did this and ended up geting a letter saying that if thats the way we do business they would not deal with us again - as if we would
regards kev
AnswerID: 105140

Reply By: Skiddy - Wednesday, Apr 06, 2005 at 14:38

Wednesday, Apr 06, 2005 at 14:38
Had a similar thing happen to me withanother dealer here in Perth
My wife signed a form a dealer told her she had to so I rang department of consumer protection and even they said I was legally bound to still purchase the car
. The way I got out of it was to ring the finance company and told them I was about to lose my job and couldnt afford the repayments. worked for me.
also I remeber reading recently that the laws in wa are changing soon and there will now be a cooling off period.
AnswerID: 105412

Reply By: Alan S (WA) - Wednesday, Apr 06, 2005 at 18:20

Wednesday, Apr 06, 2005 at 18:20
I assume your B.I.L got an kept a copy of the Contract, that will be the cruncher as to what is on it.

The are two issues to consider 1) contractually what his obligations are and 2) what reality says.

Contractually i cant give advise because i dont know what was on the document.

However at the worst he is in breach of contract and the only penalty or cost that he is liable for is the loss incurred by breaching the contract. In this case the only loss will be if the dealer sells the car for a lower price than your BIL's contract.

However if they sell it to anyone else at this stage they are in breach of contract because they have not honoured the sale contract either. You can lock up that car for a period of time and they will make no money out of it.

At this stage negotiation will probably solve the problem, be firm and state the facts, but what ever do not argue or get emotional, you only lose. The RAC and Fair Trading may also be able to give more legal advice.

AnswerID: 105435

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