Hi,I have paid a deposit, signed an offe...

Asked by George on 02-04-2023 19:20:11
Question posted in the Consumer Protection Law category relating to Gauteng

Hi,

I have paid a deposit, signed an offer to purchase, signed a finance agreement and signed a delivery note about 2 weeks ago at a motor dealership for the purchase of a vehicle. The car has been at the dealership ever since and they are busy repairing defects (either by themselves or they are taking the vehicle in to other repair shops). I have not ever taken physical delivery of the vehicle and the signed paperwork that I have in electronic format which the salesman sent me does not have a date on it. 

Can I cancel the purchase and finance agreement? Will I get my deposit back? I will also need your assistance in contacting the dealership and officially notifying them in writing of the cancellation of purchase if I will be able to cancel the purchase.

My cell number is 071 154 1978

Kind Regards

George

Message from the Lawyer

Posted by Att. Patrick on 09-04-2023 23:36:04

Hi there and thank you for your question,

I am a practicing attorney based in South Africa and I will assist you with your question. Please feel free to ask as many follow up questions in order to clarify your question. If you have a new question, you must please open a new thread.

Please keep in mind that our discussions is for general information purposes only. Our engagement on this website does not create an attorney-client relationship. 

The offer to purchase constitutes the legal agreement between the two parties. You, to pay the purchase price. The dealer, to deliver the motor vehicle. While delivery of the vehicle is required to transfer ownership, the fact that ownership of the vehicle has not yet passed to you does not mean that you can cancel the agreement.

In order to cancel the agreement, you will either need to rely on a material misrepresentation made by the dealer or you will need the dealer to breach the agreement and then you can cancel the agreement if the dealer does not remedy the breach within a reasonable period of time. 

I assume that it was envisaged by both of you that repairs would need to be done by the dealer?

I also assume that you understood and essentially agreed that delivery of the vehicle would take place once the repairs have been attended to?  

The fact that the paperwork doesn't have a date makes absolutely no difference. The paperwork itself is merely a recordal of the terms of the agreement. If there is a debate about when the agreement was concluded, you could lead evidence about that in court. 

There are in fact a number of ways that delivery can take place, without physical delivery. If they, for example, gave you a spare key to the car, that's sufficient. Delivery could have taken place by sending you the registration papers, or by having the car registered in your name. You do not necessarily need physical delivery. 

Based on what you've said, I do not currently believe that you can legally cancel the agreement. Is there something that the dealer has done which makes you think that you can cancel it?

Also, if you purport to cancel the agreement, the dealer could take that action as a repudiation and cancel the agreement himself, and then sue you for damages. The damages could equal the deposit. So you might not get the deposit back.

Why, if I can ask, do you want to cancel the agreement?

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