I have just wasted a month of my life arguing with a dodgy dealer…..only to find out that asking for help from the trading standards office is like walking backwards through waist high treacle and that the law really does protect the lawless….now here is a lesson in how not to buy a car.
I made a decision recently, it was time to ditch the gas guzzling motor and go for something smaller, more practical. After all it wasn’t as if anyone was going to hire my services anytime soon, was it, not as if I need to drive to an office or anything !! hint hint
Driving through my home town five weeks ago I noticed a nifty little Mini Cooper S convertible on the forecourt of a local second hand car dealer. Obviously, for legal reasons I cannot name the dealer on here but if you need the identity contact me privately. This Arthur Daley lookalike was very smooth talking and convincing, that should have rung alarm bells instantly, as Judge Judy often says “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!”. So let me get this straight, you take my shiny black Jaguar XF, I drive off in the Mini today, you sell my Jag within a week, which will be no problem, you say! and when you do, you hand over a cheque for £2,500. OK, that sounds like a deal to me and so off I drive in the Mini, sunny day, roof off and all seems well with the world, apart from the wind burn on my forehead that is !!! Balony !! (she also says that a lot too)
The Mini starts to sound pretty ropey after just a few hours behind the wheel, or maybe it’s just that I’m not used to manual gears and a car that can detect a matchstick just by driving over it. I probably needed to be patient. I start to look at the documents and notice to my shock that the car is due for an MOT in just four weeks time, ooooops!! first major mistake, never buy or trade a car that has not got at least one years full MOT.
Two days pass and the dealer calls me with what I hope is going to be good news. “Lloyd, I really liked you the other day and thought I could work with you, would you be interested in investing in my business?”….. Now I’ve done some really stupid things in my life but investing in a second hand car dealership with Arthur Daley is not being added to the list so I politely reject the offer. “OK, well could you see your way to loaning me some cash as I have a few deals that are taking a little longer than anticipated?” ….. You know when you do that thing with a phone, when you hear something that you can’t believe so you pull the phone from your ear and you look at it just to make sure it’s not a bath sponge or something……. I begin to worry at this point, I explain that I would not even loan cash to my family so I certainly wouldn’t to someone that I have only just met..
I kept the worrying conversation to myself but of course I was concerned. Day three saw me and a couple of friends partaking of alcohol related libation in a local drinking hole. I got chatting to this nice chap sitting next to me and started telling him about the deal I had just done on my car……”Oh dear” he said “please don’t tell me it was with a crook called XXXXXXXX” Shit, I thought, what now !!!! “He still owes me £1,000 on my dear departed Father’s car and another £1,600 for designing his website, I haven’t seen a penny from him in almost eighteen months, he’s a smooth talking bas*”@d”
I went to visit Mr XXXXXX following that revelation, he informed me that his dispute with this chap was more complicated and that I should not worry and that of course he would put my Mini through an MOT and pay for the test and any major works that needed doing to it and that he would book it in to his usual place the following week. I left the dodgy dealer feeling a little more confident.
The MOT booking of course never materialised and so off I drove again to see Mr XXX at the really dodgy dealership and I told him that I was not at all happy. I said that I did not feel safe in the Mini and would actually prefer to have my Jag back as the deal simply wasn’t working for me and of course he had not sold the Jag in the agreed time frame. I asked where the Jag was and he told me it was at a repair shop some 30 miles away. I handed him a perfectly good car with full history and no problems and yet it was now in a repair shop….. Odd !!
I also took the opportunity of visiting the MOT centre where he had told me he sends all his customers cars because he has such a great relationship with them. Not according to the lovely lady I spoke to, she informed me that this shyster dodgier than ever dealer, owed them…. ‘shedloads’ of money and that he always tells his customers that he will pay but he never does and that basically he was a ‘scumbag’….. GREAT !!
I returned to the horrible dodgy git a few days later and told him that I was not at all happy now, I definitely wanted my Jag back, this was at 1pm in the afternoon. The shit head became quite aggressive, he put his face close to mine telling me that I was making him mad and that he was getting really pissed with me….. finally he agreed that I should come back in five hours and I could have the Jag back.
I returned in four hours with my back up muscle protection to be told by this infuriating dodgy pig that my car had been sold. How was that possible in such a short time frame and so I asked who had suddenly bought it. I was told it was none of my fu^*@ng business and that the new owner had paid by card. I asked where the card machine was in his expansive empty office, he told me again to mind my own fu@^*ng business. My muscle said OK then we will take a cheque for £2,500 now, the pillock came out with the old chestnut of ‘it takes three days to clear’ story, so I said we would come back !
Four days later and we had driven back yet again, the dealer tells us he was expecting us earlier in the week as he had the cash but now he has had to put it into his bank account ‘liar, liar pants on fire’ I accepted a cheque that I knew would bounce higher than a whammo ball but what choice did I have. I paid it straight in to my bank that afternoon.
Hey Presto…. 24 hours later I received a call from old dirty dealer again, he told me he couldn’t do this any longer and that I could come and get my Jag back as he’d had enough of it all, how on earth did he think I felt !! I collected my trusty old car but he only had one of the keys and no paperwork, he promised to get my spare key back and of course to find the paper work.
This is where I started to worry, he had the spare key and my address, without the paperwork it’s difficult to get the car taxed. I contacted Trading Standards and they informed me that I should write to the dealer recorded delivery and pointing out that he was in breach of contract. I had done this before but he simply refused to sign for the letters and they are currently sitting in my local post office collection centre.
The next day I received a call from the idiot at the dealership, he was apparently surprised that I had paid the cheque in so quickly and that it had cleared and that he needed the funds returning immediately and sent me his bank details. I then found out that day that the cheque had bounced out of earths orbit so he was simply trying to get more out of me.
I then went to the police station told them the story, that he tried to commit fraud, that he still had my key and paper work. The female officer looked at me as though I was a complete moron and said that he had not committed any crime against me, that I should hire a solicitor to get my things back. I love dealing with people paid from the public purse don’t you? about as much use as a chocolate fire guard.
I finally got my spare key back after threatening the cheating bloody dealer with the police (not that they would have helped) it worked. I got the key and he had the cheek to shake my hand again, this time though I counted my fingers both before and after the shake and thankfully they were all still there – phew !!!! The dealer usually wins but not this time, I can be a Rottweiler when I need to be. The lesson here is to never let go and give up. If anyone needs this dodgy dealers details please do let me know and if any of you want me to use my car to drive to your offices to discuss a new job I would be more than willing, yours truly ‘Left on the DM shelf Lloyd’ PS I need enough space to park a Jag OK !!