A month ago we towed our car to a mechanic. Where we agreed that the engine needed replacing and it would take 4 days. All communication was done over the phone nothing in writing (yes this is wrong I know now). I did record some conversations but without him knowing ( I only started doing this when I realised that it doesn't look like it's getting repaired any time soon).

The first week he said he was looking for the engine and when he had got it it was the wrong one despite taking an image of the code on the engine to ensure he gets the same one - I haven't even seen this engine that he claims to have bought when I asked where it is, he said this is my address and go and see it, it's in my van. Then once he said he got the engine we went and saw the car hadn't been touched since we towed it to him. 14 days gone. Then he removed the ruined engine and since then I have been visiting him once or twice a week and each time a new story pops up, just give me two days or give me till sunday etc. And this continued for another two weeks (today).

4 days has become 1 month and the car has been left two weeks with no engine in, it's being stored outside with the windows down where it has started raining despite me telling him to close the windows where he specifically said he would and he hasn't (more lies). And since they are electric and then engine (incl battery) is removed obviously he can't close the windows.

I'm starting to believe he isn't going to fix the car at all. Too many lies and I need to take legal action.

Since there is no contract I tried emailing and explaining the agreement (in a very polite way in order just to get him to reply so that I have a contract - i.e I said we agreed 4 days, and money X, now it's been one month when do you expect to fix the car please give me a date). He didn't reply.

I have visited him once a week (minimum) since him taking the car.

What are my options?

He isn't really a registered mechanic either, he used to be VAT registered etc but not anymore.

  • 5
    Not sufficient to address the question in full, but oral agreements can and routinely do create binding contract (indeed, fun fact, almost all trades in corporate shares, public and private bonds, and commodities, often hundreds of millions of dollars worth, are done by oral contracts between brokers on all exchanges other than the NASDAQ). Lots of consumer contracts and employment contracts and short term or month to month leases are also oral and are still valid and enforceable. – ohwilleke Jul 31 '18 at 22:36
  • @ohwilleke so I can just go to a lawyer and my verbal agreement is sufficient but surely it's my word against his? – Mark Aug 1 '18 at 20:30
  • 1
    It is more than just your word against his. There is also circumstantial evidence. Your car and your keys are in his shop. He or you almost certainly have a document showing when it was dropped off. He is in the business of fixing cars. You could get corroborating testimony from friends or family to show that you were having problems with car and maybe even evidence of prior efforts to fix it. You have title or registration to your car showing that you own it. There is likely a tow truck receipt. He would have documents relating to the purchase of the replacement engineer and his notes. – ohwilleke Aug 1 '18 at 21:57
  • Regardless of fixing your car in a timely matter, he should take proper care of it. This should include either putting the windows up, or otherwise keeping the insides safe from the elements and nestling chipmunks. – SQB Sep 20 '18 at 13:07

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