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$500 Deposit Refund? HELP!

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Junior Member
What is the name of your state?

On Wednesday 6/16 my husband and I went to DMV Motors in Manassass, VA and found a car for $3000 that seemed to suit what we were looking for (we only have 1 car right now, and the transmission died, so it's being fixed and we needed a 2nd car anyhow)- nothing fancy, just transportation.

We asked to test drive the car, the dealer explained that he had removed a small part that needed to be replaced (it was in the back) and that as it was not the most sought after car on the lot, he had not yet replaced it. We told him that if the car did indeed run beautifully as he said, that we would be interested in purchasing it... but we needed it as soon as possible, before the end of the weekend at the latest.

He said that if we were truly interested in the car, that we could leave a $500 deposit and he would be sure to have the mechanic start working on it the following day (Thurs) and we could pick it up Friday, Saturday at the latest.

We didn't hear anything from him, couldn't get in touch, never returned any calls, etc., after calling multiple times over the weekend, until Monday evening (6/19- much later than the car had been promised initially, with no explanation or warning that it may take longer than expected) at which time he told us that we could pick the car up the following day after 12 noon. We arrived around 2pm, with the rest of the money for the car and when we got in to test drive it before signing the paperwork, it would not start.

After 2 hours of the mechanic trying this and that, replacing the battery, etc we told the dealer that we were not interested in the car, we would take the deposit back and find another vehicle. He said we could not get the deposit back, that we could apply toward another car (none in our range or what we were looking for), or let him continue to work on the car and get it running and take it then. We said no thank you, we weren't comfortable with that and that we needed the deposit back since this was not the original agreement. He refused.

We are now out $500 (which is a big deal for us), and he won't budge. We don't even feel comfortable doing business with him given our experience so far-- does anyone have any advice?


He agreed to provide you a working car. If he didn't do that, he breached the contract. It's up to you whether you want to give him one more chance to fix the car, or go file in small claims court.

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