Q: I had an agreement with a large used car dealership to purchase a car. Now they won't sell? Verbal contract enforceable?
My wife and I went to buy a used car from a major used car dealership in southern California. We told the salesman we wanted to buy the car. We asked if we could have the car (2014 Subaru Outback) inspected by a local Subaru dealer before making the purchase. They said yes. We asked if we should make a down payment. The salesman said, no, if you’re going to have the car inspected we are fine with that; we will complete everything once the car is returned.
The used car dealership gave us a number of false/misleading statements. Much of this is documented in text messages between my wife and the salesman. Agreed to do needed service, then didn’t. Now, 2 weeks later, they say they won’t sell. Seems like there is verbal contract with text support/proof. Is verbal contract enforceable?
A: A verbal sales contract for a car is theoretically enforceable. However, the actual understandings of the party are key. So, the precise words used are going to matter. From just what you have said here, it is not possible to conclude that there was a "meeting of the minds" to form a contract. If, for example, the dealership was willing to allow you to have it inspected, did they agree in advance that they would repair whatever problems were found? That seems unlikely. Were you willing to buy the car at an agreed price no matter what problems were found? Also unlikely. So they could reasonably argue that while there were negotiations, there was no agreement to sell, particularly if critical terms were not agreed to. However, these are just general observations, and in order to obtain a legal opinion, you really need to provide all your documentation to an attorney and have a serious consultation.
Yelena Gurevich agrees with this answer
1 user found this answer helpful
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.