Arbitration over private bike sale

I sold my track bike a few days ago to a buyer in Bournemouth who agreed a price over the phone, came to look at her, discussed a few things in my ad (eg mileage was nearer 3,500 than the rounded 3,000 I put in the ad as I couldn’t remember the exact mileage) and then took her away. He gave her a good look over (he knew what he was doing) and signed a typical private sale form.

The issue is that I couldn’t find a receipt for an engine rebuild prior to the 2013 season, 5 MRO Superstock race meetings and 1/2 a track day ago. I agreed that the buyer hold back an amount to be paid when he had independent confirmation of the rebuild. Alas, the firm has since closed so I can’t get a copy of the receipt, but the man who did the work, a highly-respected figure who now runs his own business, confirmed that the rebuild had been done.

Since then, the buyer has found one thing after another ‘wrong’ with the bike to reduce the amount to be repaid. I know that I have fulfilled everything in our contract and that legally he has to pay the full amount. Although before signing he saw everything that he’s now trying to use to beat the price down, I like to be fair and honest so I’ve offered a price reduction or take the bike back. He’s ignoring these and is instead trying to find more and more ‘wrong’ with what he knows full well is an ex-race bike on private sale not a dealer-sold bike road bike in order to keep the money.

I’ve had a look for someone to give an independent assessment or arbitration service but can’t find one.

Does anyone have any info or advice?

I know there’s a lesson here, but please don’t beat me up over it.

I believe you can write him a “letter of intent” stating this was the agreement bought as seen and you need to pay this otherwise I will take legal action blah blah
then you can put it through the small claims court which is basically filling in a form and paying like £30, if your case is decent you should win and odds are the man wont reply or turn up anyway in then they wont pay … which case you can apply for a high court writ and then the sheriffs go and take your bike back for you pretty long process but it does work and you could end up even better off than you would have him just paying you the extra money (providing you win of course) :smiley:

Does it state in the thing he signed “Sold as seen”? Does it also state the ammount paid and the amount owed with a date it’s to be paid by? If so you have him bang to rights and no court would go in his favour, personally I would ask for the bike back and give his money back, seems a right messer!!

Depends a lot on the value of the bike and how much is outstanding.

Everything below is in general. Nothing is exact in the Court system, there is a lot of discretion for the individual Judge and to write this paragraph with all the possibilities would be extremely irritating and make it difficult to read and understand. So, this is not written in stone, but is in general.

If it is more than £10,000 outstanding, then it will not be a small claim, will be put on a different allocation system within the Court. This will cost more and there is a danger that the loser has to pay the winners costs (good and bad).

If it is less than £10,000 then it will be a small claim and will be allocated as such, this means lower fees and winner does not get legal costs back.

If he was aware of the mileage discrepancy before he left, then his finding other faults is neither here nor there…if it was a private sale.

He may have a slim legal argument, I won’t expand upon it here, but in the main I would suggest that you just write him a letter stating that if he does not make the final payment, then you will have no other choice but to consider legal action, this will increase the amount owed due to court fees and interest and is entirely avoidable; upon payment.