QLD Do I Have a Binding Contract with Car Seller?

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21 September 2016
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Hi,

I have been corresponding with the seller of a vehicle via emails and texts and we negotiated a deal for the car. I paid a 10% deposit to lock in the deal and for the car to be no longer advertised on carsales.com.au and Gumtree. I also organised for an inspection to be done by Redbook through carsales.com which has cost me $250.

I was to pick up the car today and pay the balance owing. He sent me a text this morning advising that his wife no longer wishes to sell the car.

My question is, do I have a binding contract with the seller under Australian Consumer Law, as I would still like to finish the deal? And if not, can I be reimbursed my $250.00?

Thank you
 

Tim W

Lawyer
LawTap Verified
28 April 2014
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Which do you want most - the car, or the refund of the deposit?
 

Tim W

Lawyer
LawTap Verified
28 April 2014
3,760
710
2,894
Sydney
Going only by what you have said here, missing facts missing,
and with unstated ifs, buts, and maybes, not allowed for,
I think it will be possible to infer from conduct by both parties that a contract exists.

In such cases, it can be possible to get people to perform the contract.
 

Tim W

Lawyer
LawTap Verified
28 April 2014
3,760
710
2,894
Sydney
Start with a letter demanding performance of the contract.
if this plays out to the end, then you could be looking at a small claims matter
 
21 September 2016
4
0
1
Hi Tim,

Thank you for your response. There was no question of me not receiving my deposit back. What I wanted was for the sale to still go through, in the hope that a contract was in place, due to my correspondence with the vendor and the 10% deposit made to secure the deal.

As I believe, not based on any proof, that the vendor only wished to pull out of the sale, because he had a better offer. Failing that I would be unable to enforce the sale, I was wanting not only my deposit back, but the $250.00 I paid for a thorough inspection on the vehicle, which would never have been done on a car that wasn't for sale.

Thank you again