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Thread: Deposits on cars

  1. #1
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    Deposits on cars

    The money kind,

    If someone puts a 1K deposit on a car thats for sale, then 8 days later on inspection say No Thanks,

    What are the legal requirements?


    Late Edit;; Private car sale.
    Last edited by Pedro_The_Swift; 22nd July 2021 at 10:51 AM.
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pedro_The_Swift View Post
    The money kind,

    If someone puts a 1K deposit on a car thats for sale, then 8 days later on inspection say No Thanks,

    What are the legal requirements?
    Legally, no idea

    If it was a private sale I'd give them the money back under all circumstances. It's really just a handshake and some reassurance to the buyer that you aren't going to make them drive a long way and tell them you sold the car to the next bloke, no deposit, take your chances. If its a dealer they absolutely have to give the money back as they have no legal reason to hold it unless you have signed a contract telling them you will take the car, in which case kiss your deposit goodbye. Its not beyon some dealers to make life difficult though and to push the boundaries if they think they can. I've had clowns attempting to get me to sign a bill of sale in order to "hold" the car.

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    Unless you very clearly stated “non-refundable” I would be returning the deposit.
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    in my experience, a deposit is to hold the car, meaning its unavailable to be sold to anyone else. thats lost opportunity for the seller. deposit is non refundable in that instance.

    why would u lose 8 days of selling opportunity for nothing?
    Quote Originally Posted by DazzaTD5 View Post
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  5. #5
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    In my search for a RRS last year I did put a 1K deposit on a RRS which the dealer said had certain options. When he sent me the photos and I pointed out the options weren't as described the deposit was (almost) cheerfully refunded. Kudos to Duttons in Brisbane for their professional attitude.

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    if a dealer an the contract is signed there was normally a 3 day cooling off period, check your state regs.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Eevo View Post
    in my experience, a deposit is to hold the car, meaning its unavailable to be sold to anyone else. thats lost opportunity for the seller. deposit is non refundable in that instance.

    why would u lose 8 days of selling opportunity for nothing?
    You can keep any details of others that call about it,so everything isn’t lost.

    But yes it could do you out of a sale,but not necessarily.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scarry View Post
    You can keep any details of others that call about it,so everything isn’t lost.

    But yes it could do you out of a sale,but not necessarily.
    incorrect, those buyers have moved on and purchased another car that was avaliable.
    Quote Originally Posted by DazzaTD5 View Post
    Its a land Rover Defender... you need a real mechanic

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    Hand the 1K back and put it down to yet another "Tyre Kicker" arsehole.
    Yes this buyer has wasted your time and selling opportunities for the last 8 days But I am pretty sure that you can't keep the money and have to hand it back unfortunately.

    Just relist the vehicle and put this debacal behind you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pedro_The_Swift View Post
    The money kind,

    If someone puts a 1K deposit on a car thats for sale, then 8 days later on inspection say No Thanks,

    What are the legal requirements?


    Late Edit;; Private car sale.
    Depends entirely what was in the minds of the parties when entering into the contract.
    If it was a "deposit", then that means a sale had been made (offer and acceptance) and the deposit was merely a part payment with the balance to be paid at a specified date (or under specified conditions, like a RWC or repair or independent mechanical inspection or whatever). If the condition couldn't be met, then the contract was voidable and the deposit refundable. But if all conditions were satisfied, the buyer owns the car and must pay the balance. If the buyer can't or won't pay the balance, the seller is entitled to retain the deposit, particularly if the seller has suffered financial loss.
    It looks like the car was "sold" sight unseen, which means it probably falls under the sale by description category. That is, person A agrees to buy the car "subject to the car being presented as described". Then the deposit (assuming that both parties had in mind that the deposit was a contractual obligation) is always subject to the car's description being accurate. It is an implied condition of the contract. A condition means that it must be satisfied or the contract is voidable by person A. In this case, where the buyer could easily point to the description as being inaccurate, the deposit would be refundable (unless person B suffered financial loss in holding the car and that this possibility was agreed to by A and B when entering into the contract).
    So, what was the $1k for? And under what conditions was it forfeitable or refundable?
    If there's any doubt about what the $1k was for (a contract can be verbal, but is difficult to enforce without evidence) and unless the seller can demonstrate actual financial loss or if the buyer can say that the car does not present as described, then the $1k should be fully refunded.
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