1

Day 1: I live in MA, USA. Last month I booked my first car from a local, small dealer by paying $300 deposit and signed the contract agreement. I also notified him that I'm going to take loan so I won't be able to give him check immediately. (His behavior was little bit rude and kind of money-oriented.)

Day 3: Dealer gave me a call saying it's ready for pickup. I told him that loan got approved which it did happen at that point and I asked for his help to get insurance suggestion. He asked me to come with check and then he'd help me, instead of helping on the phone.

Day 8: Bank account and loan paperwork was ready expect I needed his details to put on bank's check for the loan. He avoided all my bunch of calls.

Day 10: I called him again, he picked up and said he can't wait for a month. It is written in contract that after he notifies me, I have to give him full amount within 48 hours.

Contract agreement reads as follows:

In the event I fail to take delivery of the vehicle purchased by me within forty-eight (48) hours after I have been notified by you that it is ready for delivery and pay the total contract price in the manner indicated, my deposit in the amount of $300 may, at your option, be retained by you to compensate you in whole or in part for any loss sustained by you. Your right to retain my deposit shall be in addition to and not instead of any other right or remedy provided by applicable law including, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the sale of the car or truck I agree to purchase. If the amount of my deposit exceeds actual damages sustained by you, you will promptly refund the difference to me.


I know that he's right according to the contract, but he never notified me before selling to other person.

This is legit scamming people because for someone taking loan, it is almost impossible to give him check within 48 hours.

How can I get my money back? Please help thanks in advance.

3
  • 3
    10 days is unreasonable to pay for a car. 3-5 days max. I have good, established credit and the last time I bought a car, it took half an hour. Otherwise, you get pre-approved for a loan before you go shopping for a car. Getting an insurance binder should take hours.
    – user71659
    Apr 11, 2023 at 4:23
  • 3
    Sounds like you agreed to a contract and you broke the contract and now the stuff that the contract said would happen if you broke the contract has happened. With all due respect: When you signed this contract knowing that it would be impossible for you to get the cheque within 48 hours, what, exactly, did you expect to happen?
    – user253751
    Apr 11, 2023 at 19:02
  • 3
    On big purchases like cars and houses you have an opportunity to sit down with the seller and negotiate fine details because they want to make the sale just as much as you want to make the purchase. You could have negotiated, for example, that you would have 20 days to take delivery but the deposit will be $1000. If you thought this is what the dealer agreed to, you should've had them write it down in the contract which is a written statement of precisely what you both agreed to.
    – user253751
    Apr 11, 2023 at 19:04

1 Answer 1

4

It's right in the contract

In the event I fail to take delivery of the vehicle purchased by me within forty-eight (48) hours after I have been notified by you that it is ready for delivery and pay the total contract price in the manner indicated, my deposit in the amount of $300 may, at your option, be retained by you to compensate you in whole or in part for any loss sustained by you. Your right to retain my deposit shall be in addition to and not instead of any other right or remedy provided by applicable law including, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the sale of the car or truck I agree to purchase. If the amount of my deposit exceeds actual damages sustained by you, you will promptly refund the difference to me.

The car was ready on day 3. As a result, the Customer was obligated to pay and take delivery of the vehicle until day 5.

Because the customer did not follow through with the purchase, the deposit is used to compensate the salesman in the amount that covers the costs of preparing the sale and having the car on the lot for those days that the salesman could not sell it to someone else.

At the end of day 5, the contractual obligation to hold the car for the customers in exchange for the deposit ended, and the other clauses of the contract (car for rest of payment) become void. The car salesman is in his right to sell the car because the actual sales contract has fallen through and the holding fee/deposit expired, as the very quoted paragraph shows.

Based on the final sentence of the quoted portion of the contract, to get a part of the deposit back, one would need to establish that the losses are less than the contractually fixed amount of 300 USD. When I had my car at the workshop and could not get it back on the day it was done with repairs, I was also informed that holding my car for more than a day would incur storage fees of up to 15 € per day. Similarly, the last time I bought a car, I was told that the sale included a fresh inspection and oil. Those are costs to the seller and can be accounted for in the deposit. The inspection costs about ~120 € for a new TÜV certificate and exhaust check and the materials for an oil change come for about 70 €. This leaves about 70 € cover for the mechanic and salesman's wages for about one hour. That's 300 €, or about 330 USD today. As such, costs to prepare a contract and transfer, inspect the car for roadworthiness as well as storage fees most likely are reasonably assessed to be in the 300 USD area.

0

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .