VIC Mechanic Still Hasn't Completed Car Repairs - How to Recover Car?

Australia's #1 for Law
Join 150,000 Australians every month. Ask a question, respond to a question and better understand the law today!
FREE - Join Now
15 March 2015
Re mechanic repairs - After talking to my local mechanic re whether he could repair my motor vehicle (it blew a head gasket) a Hyundai XLE sports Coupe (two Door). He advised me he could and to drop it of in his yard. Which I did on the02 Dec 14. Since then I have seen him actually look under the Hood of my car once. However as of today I have never been able to catch up with him at his workshop as he never seems to be there and after making some enquiries I have learnt that he may be overseas on a holiday. My car is still locked up in his compound and still has not been repaired.

Is there any legal action I can take?
1. To recover my vehicle as it is secured in his yard
2. to recover the costs of recovering my vehicle as a tow truck will be required.
3. To take legal action against him for not complying with our verbal contract that he would repair my vehicle. And for the inconvenience I have suffered as a result of him having my vehicle for so long as I live in a very remote Victorian community. I am currently on a disability support pension. Any advice would be grateful

Tracy B

Well-Known Member
24 December 2014

1. When you dropped the car off at his yard, did the mechanic give any estimation of date when the car would be ready?
2. Have you spoken with the mechanic and told him of your need to have the car back by X date?
3. Was any agreement entered into and signed at all?
4. You can take the car back provided (i) the mechanic has not done any work on the car; or (ii) he has worked on the car and you pay him for this work/hours spent.

Whether or not you can recover any compensation depends on (i) whether you can prove an oral agreement was entered into; (ii) whether you can prove that you and the mechanic agreed on a repair by date; and (iii) whether the mechanic has any reasonable justification for the delay.

If you can show the above, then the question is what you can recover. You can generally recover compensation for foreseeable loss likely to occur from the mechanic breaching your oral agreement. Cost of the tow truck would likely be recoverable.