A new car delivery ETA is being perpetually delayed, is it possible to bail out of the contract and get the deposit back?

Would appreciate any thoughts on the following issue.

Paid a $1K deposit for a new car on 22/02/19. Was promised a 2 months max delivery frame, with "a very likely 1 month turnaround". Insisted to add this to the sale contract but was told they wouldn't do it as it is not a normal practice. The car itself is Hyundai i30 Active, so it's not something rare or unique.

2 months 1 week later, the car is still not here. Contacted the dealership and got this reply:

I have followed up with the transporting company and there have been major delays with all vehicles getting delivered to Adelaide in particular. Yours has been placed on a priority and they will not confirm until the car arrives here. I will text you every couple of days to keep you posted but I am dissapointed that it is not here yet.

That wouldn't be a problem if we stayed in Adelaide, but now we're moving to Sydney in a few weeks. This change in our circumstances had not been on the radar when I signed the contract.

We still want the car, but if it is not here by the end of May (that'd be over 3 months of waiting), I may have to get out of the contract. What are my options, besides involving a lawyer?

Updated, here is a pic of the contract t&c, that's the only thing that I signed. It doesn't specify the delivery time frame at all, which as I've mentioned was my concern at the time of signing, but this is one of the two largest Hyundai dealerships in Adelaide.

Updated, thanks everyone who replied. For now, the dealership promised to relocate the car to Sydney at their own cost if it is not here by May 23rd. It still was a verbal promise during a phone call, so I sent them a follow-up email summing it up. I'll post any updates here.

On a side note, I'm unable to find any SA specific legislation that would regulate the reasonable vehicle delivery time frame for dealerships, similar to that in WA (3 months for new vehicles).

Comments

  • +1 vote

    Read your contract, but if my memory serves me, they are required to deliver it within 3 months of the date promised in the contract of sale.

    so….

    1. forget what they told you
    2. find the delivery date as written in the contract
    3. report back here
    •  

      Here is a pic of the contract t&c, that's the only thing that I signed. It doesn't specify the delivery time frame at all, which as I've mentioned was my concern at the time of signing, but this is one of the two largest Hyundai dealerships in Adelaide.

  • +1 vote

    Check your contract.

    Few years back I got out of my contract as delivery didn't occur within contractual period. Think it was 60 working days

    •  

      No delivery term in the contract, I've updated the question with the t&c.

      • +4 votes

        When a contract is silent on a specific issue, the only way to determine what term applies in respect of that issue is to look at the intention of the parties at the time of entering in to the agreement. So, look for any paperwork that may talk to delivery times - recall any verbal correspondence etc etc.

        If there is no documentation and no conversation took place with respect to delivery - you would then look to what time frame would be reasonable in the circumstances. In my opinion, a reasonable person would expect to receive a vehicle in less than 120 days.

      • +1 vote

        Maybe they have short changed you on the contract

        There should be a page on ypur rights etc.

        Speak to the dealer first before going to consumer affairs

      • +3 votes

        Ambiguity in a legal contract benifits the party that didnt draw it up. Id just tell em they got a week or i want out.

        Other option might be ask em to set up pickup in sydney when your there.

  • +1 vote

    I bet there is no specific delivery date on the contract

    •  

      Correct, I've updated the question with the contract's t&c.

      • +2 votes

        Well then in theory, they're not bound to deliver it by any particular timeframe. It's not the best outcome for customer satisfaction but delays can and do happen.

        They're also not obliged to change from Adelaide to Sydney either. You should probably escalate it and someone will hopefully do something as a gesture of goodwill but contractually, you have no recourse.

        • +3 votes

          I disagree. Contracts should, but not always do, capture the parties full intent. If a contract doesn't specify a timeframe, that does not mean delivery can happen whenever with no recourse to the buyer.

        •  

          The had an oral agreement, unless the dealer lies about making that agreement then they need to follow through.

          •  

            @AustriaBargain: IMHO, car salesmen and real estate sales are the least trustworthy.

            I once bought a car of a particular colour which was in their branch yard another town.
            I was told it would be driven immediately to me. and to come back next day to pick it up.

            I picked up the car and noted the kilometer reading was very low it appeared to be not even test driven by potential customers Naturally It was very much less than the distance traveled in the delivery process.

            I threatened to report to the police for winding back the meter.

            The management panicked and gave a reduction of $1000.

  • +2 votes

    I would insist they tell me if the car is actually en-route to Adelaide and if so either (a) the name of the carry vessel or (b) the name of the transport company.
    Regardless, if the dealer was serious thnen they could simply get the vehicle from another dealership.

    • +7 votes

      We had the same situation buying an i30 a couple of years ago. The penalty for breaking the contract was $500; we asked around and my brother in law (who works in the industry) was able to find one $500 cheaper than the dealer - through a direct importer. When we told the dealership this they magically had a car to give us a less than a week later.

  • +2 votes

    They can send it to Sydney….

    • +1 vote

      I asked for that and they said this is not an option. Though I haven't escalated it higher than the sale rep I'm dealing with.

  • +1 vote

    Have you flat out said to the dealership that if they don’t deliver by that date then you want out of the contract. They might be willing to do this for you, especially if you aren’t aggressive about it, and given your changed circumstances. I can’t find anything that details a “must have” delivery date but there must be something that is considered reasonable. Verbal commitments are not as strong as written ones but they do carry some weight.

    •  

      A good idea, thanks. Spoke with wife (who's accidentally also a law associate!) and she'd drafting a "notice of time being the essence" to them.

      • +4 votes

        Incidentally.

        •  

          Accidentally, I blame my phone's GBoard and its Glide typing for that :)

          • +10 votes

            @uk3000: I prefer to think she was trying to learn how to make coffee but signed up for the wrong course and just rolled with it.

            • +2 votes

              @Krankite: ah, but for a misspelling she could be part of Australia's great coffee culture - however, to do it properly they would need to emigrate to Melbourne.

            • +1 vote

              @Krankite: Either way, she's got good at it. Otherwise, there would be no that tempting job offer in Sydney and I would just peacefully wait for the car to be delivered here in Ade.

      • +1 vote

        I am surprised you did not consult her in the first place.

        • +2 votes

          Consult the partner? What kinda nonsense is that? Who does that these days! :)

        • +1 vote

          Actually I mentioned that to her in a phone call from the dealership. They would not put any extra wording into the contract, and I didn't want to bluff with walking out after I negotiated a really good price. So we decided to not fight for that. It's a trusted dealership and we were not in rush then. Lesson learnt.

          •  

            @uk3000:

            They would not put any extra wording into the contract, and I didn't want to bluff with walking out after I negotiated a really good price.

            This isn't really grounds to challenge the contract. From an objective stand point, you accepted a lower price in lieu of a a firm delivery date.

            •  

              @tshow: The delivery date was not even a lever of negotiation at any point, from either side. It was verbally communicated to me that most deliveries happen in under 2 months and my car would be no different. That took place after I negotiated the price but before I signed the contract. So I wouldn't take it as "a lower price in lieu of a a firm delivery date".

              • +1 vote

                @uk3000:

                most deliveries happen in under 2 months… my car would be no different.

                Key word is most. If there was 99% chance that a car gets delivered in the timeframe expected, your car also had 99% chance. Looks like you were the 1%.

                before I signed the contract. So I wouldn't take it as "a lower price in lieu of a a firm delivery date".

                It doesn't matter what you want before you signed, what matters is what you signed. The contract did no include a firm delivery date and it has the price you are satisfied with.

                •  

                  @tshow:

                  The contract did no include a firm delivery date and it has the price you are satisfied with.

                  Agreed, but the contract cannot be in conflict with Australian Consumer Law, which I believe should regulate these things. As stated elsewhere here in the comments:

                  Ive never had a car contract specify delivery time frame, all either verbal or promise via email.

                  I've never seen it either, having been through 3 new vehicles.

  •  

    It doesn't specify the delivery time frame at all…

    /Thread

    • +1 vote

      Just because it isn’t specified does not mean the dealership won’t renegotiate. What sort of an Ozbargainer just accepts without negotiating their position? Personally I don’t give up until I’ve tried all the avenues.

      •  

        Being an Ozbargainer, I actually negotiated a very good price for that car already :)
        One other option we consider is just to let things go their natural way and when the car is ready, I might just fly back and self-drive it to Sydney. Still maybe less damage financially than losing a deposit, buying a similar car in Sydney and then waiting again.

      • +2 votes

        negotiating

        This comes before signing a contract. Not after. If it is after, generally you have to provide something in return otherwise it's not negotiation, it is a demand.

        • +1 vote

          Not a demand, a request; it is all in how you ask it. Some places are reasonable because they think the good will is worth the short term pain. Also, given they are having difficulty with delivery it might not even be short term pain they may be able to resell to someone else easily when the car is delivered. I certainly never just shrug and go "oh well" until I've gone down all avenues. I don't get aggro about it just see if what I want is possible.

          •  

            @try2bhelpful:

            Not a demand, a request

            A rose by any other name…

            good will

            Car industry doesn't depend on good will. People are brand loyal, not dealership loyal and even then, brand loyalty is fading. People are increasingly informed and making decisions on merit of the specific model.

            able to resell to someone else easily when the car is delivered.

            Or they can sell both. Dealerships get bonuses based on volume.

            • +1 vote

              @tshow: A request is not the same as a demand, negotiation is an art form.

              You don’t get what you don’t ask for. It is worthwhile putting in the request they can only say “no” and the OP might get what they want. They can’t sell the same car twice.

              •  

                @try2bhelpful: I don't ask for things. I negotiate and if I'm not satisfied, I walk away.

                … and I think we established that the above is not negotiation.

                •  

                  @tshow: I think we disagree on that.

                  negotiation
                  /nɪɡəʊʃɪˈeɪʃ(ə)n/
                  noun
                  1.
                  discussion aimed at reaching an agreement.

                  That is exactly what this discussin would be about.

                  In this case the OP can't walk away, he has a contract. However, he can negotiate to see if they can't meet his delivery date, given their verbal assurance they would, and that his circumstances have changed. There is nothing to be lost by negotiating.

            • +1 vote

              @tshow:

              People are brand loyal, not dealership loyal

              I disagree with the latter half of that statement. If a dealer is good to me, I'm probably going to keep going there.

              and even then, brand loyalty is fading.

              Disagree here too. I'm up to my third Mazda, and will certainly be looking at them for my next.

              •  

                @Chandler: I also agree with you on this. We are on our second A-class and we went back to the same dealer, for an upgrade version of the same car, because our first experience was very positive.

    • +3 votes

      Ive never had a car contract specify delivery time frame, all either verbal or promise via email.

      Doesn't mean they can keep the money and the car indefinitely though

      • +2 votes

        There is a standard clause that unless a specific delivery date is signed there is a maximum delivery time frame. AFAIK (and also listed in the other recent discussion), it is 120 days from deposit.

        • +1 vote

          Yes, tshow is right, according to WA Consumer Protection in WA it is regulated under the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act (check local Act):-

          The standard contract requires a dealer to deliver a new car within three months and a used car within one month of the contract becoming binding on all parties, if no delivery date was written into the contract, otherwise the contract can be cancelled.

  • +1 vote

    Ok here's 1 possible question to ask them

    "Hi sorry but in that time I will have moved to Sydney, and will need the vehicle licensed to my Sydney address. I will not have an SA place of residence to license the vehicle to. Can this be done?"

    In WA, that can't be done. We actually have to have some form of WA address to license to (which could be a relative/friend etc).

    Without a delivery time-frame in the conditions on the back (which ours state 3 months), it's an uphill battle unfortunately

    • +1 vote

      Don't forget different stamp duty rates. If it is cheaper to register in NSW, all good. If not, OP will have to pay the difference.

    •  

      Can't the dealership just provide a temp registration & refund the rego cost?
      The buyer should be able to get it registered in the state of his residence.

      • +2 votes

        I'm trying to help OP jump out of the contract.

        But by all means, help him continue with the deal…

    •  

      Thanks for that. I just had a chat with the manager. Eventually, they promised that if the car is not here by May 23rd, they will relocate it to Sydney at their own cost. I've sent them a follow-up text with a summary of that conversation, but it still remains just another verbal promise.

      • +3 votes

        Get it in email. If he's happy to do it then he'll be happy to put it in writing.

        At least now you've got that back-up :)

        •  

          Wife is drafting a letter called "notice of time being the essence" which will include that, too. Will send that by both email and registered mail, too.

          • +3 votes

            @uk3000: Honestly, just an email is fine. A Manager can't speak on behalf of a company, so your wife's letter will likely just lead to confusion about who to sign it, why are they signing it etc.

            Keep it as simple as you can and don't confuse the issue with her legal letter. Just an email outlining what he said is enough.

  • +8 votes

    Thanks Ozbargain, this week I learnt to have a delivery deadline for car contracts.

    • +1 vote

      Might I suggest that if there's something specific you want to achieve that isn't part of the standard contract, ensure that it is written in the contract before you sign.

      There is no point arguing after the contract is signed.

      This applies to all contracts.

  •  

    happened to parents
    wanted a car, old model
    they ran out, new model in 2 months
    they wanted more money
    said no, wanted deposit back
    guess they panic (dunno why) gave us the new model at old model price and a loan car
    was weird

  • +1 vote

    There are a couple thousand cars sitting at the port now, probably one of them is yours :-(

  • +2 votes

    About 10 years ago I bought a Honda CRV on the last day of a month and were promised delivery at the end of the next month. Two weeks later salesman advised a 3 month delay and they would need to revalue my trade-in. I refused revaluation and insisted on delivery according to agreed time schedule (had a novated lease finishing at the same time). Expected delivery date had been written in contract. Salesman refused so I said I would cancel. I spoke with manager who refused cancellation as well but when I advised him that I would involve NSW Fair Trading he immediately backed down and I collected refund cheque for deposit ($500 I think) same day. Salesman made a point of telling me that he had now missed his target for the month and would lose a lot of money as a result - no idea if true or not but very unprofessional in any case.

    •  

      Having the expected delivery date written in contract had probably helped you a lot. Unfortunately I don't have that. I'm also unable to find any SA legislation regulating vehicle delivery times, like that in WA (120 days).
      Worst thing, I'm prepared to file a chargeback with my credit card company after 120 days.

  • +1 vote

    https://choice.community/

    There is a lot of interesting stuff on here….plus you could post your question on the Forum. The Admins are very good with consumer rights and protection.

  • +3 votes

    A happy ending! Picked up the car today, a little less than 3 months after I signed the contract.

    • +1 vote

      Well done, happy trails to you.

    • +1 vote

      Congrats! What is the build/compliance of the car?

      It does sound like they weren't purposely stringing you along, but only you know the communication you've had back n forth. How was the service from the salesperson/manager? Apologetic? Kept up to date regularly?

      Up to you if you complete the survey and mention the issues, or don't. Those surveys only affect the salesperson and manager, if transport was out of their control it would be a tough hit on their average scores.

      Depends on how you've been treated at the end of the day :)

      • +2 votes

        Thanks! I agree, after-all it does look like the delay was genuinely not a fault of the dealership as it's a popular model. That said, how I followed up with them might have pushed me a bit higher in the waiting list. The salesgirl who served me has been really nice from the very beginning, even when I might have sounded a bit rough myself. So I'm gonna complete the survey and give her 10/10, why not.

  • Top