Classic car mechanic wins £35,000 in damages from dealership

A car dealership group has been ordered to pay £35,000 in damages to a classic car mechanic after it sold a Porsche that he had put down a deposit for to another customer.

Kevin Hughes stumped up a £100,000 deposit and left it with the Porsche Centre Bolton in case the rare Porsche 911 GT3 RS4 – valued at £135,000 – came on to the market. Fewer than 30 of the models were sent to the UK and although the dealership, which is part of Pendragon Sabre Ltd, received one it told Mr Hughes it didn’t and sold the car to another client.

Trust between you and your clients is a vital part of the customer service you offer. You should also make sure you have adequate motor trade insurance to cover the vehicles you have in stock, whether you are selling rare Porches or used run-abouts.

Mr Hughes had put down his deposit on the understanding he would be first in line if the dealership received a Porsche 911 GT3 RS4. He runs a classic car repair centre in Chorley, and had used his pension to fund the deposit.

On discovering another customer, who had put down a deposit after he did, had secured the Porsche, he sued Pendragon Sabre Ltd for damages.

Now senior judges Mr Justice Cranston, Justice Richards and Lady Justice Macur have ruled that Mr Hughes’ deposit was a binding contract, and have awarded him £35,000 in damages.

Mr Justice Cranston said that Mr Hughes’ deposit was much more than “an agreement to agree” and was not simply an expression of interest to buy the car if it became available.

Pendragon will also be forced to pick up the legal costs for the case, including an immediate payment of £50,000 towards Mr Hughes’ legal costs, the Manchester Evening Post reported.