UK pensioner gets payout after Porsche dealer sold ‘his’ car
A Porsche dealership in the UK had to pay damages and legal fees to a pensioner selling a rare 911 GT3 RS 4.0 he’d ordered to another buyer.
The dealership in Bolton had to pay 67-year-old Kevin Hughes more than £85,000 (NZ$186,000) after they sold the rare sports car to a buyer further down the waiting list.
The model’s production was so limited that only 30 were allocated to the UK, and Mr Hughes was told that he would be “first in the queue” if the dealership was one of those chosen to receive one of the cars, according to the Manchester Evening News.
Hughes, the owner of a garage and classic car restoration centre specialising in Porsches, was later told that no cars had been allocated to the dealership, and his deposit was refunded.
However, one example of the model had in fact been allocated to Porsche Centre Bolton - but was sold to another customer, further down the waiting list.
Hughes found out, and took the dealership to court. Initially, his claim was rejected at the Preston County Court, the judge stating that Mr Hughes had made only an “expression of interest” and had suffered no loss by not buying the car.
But Mr Hughes took his case to the Court of Appeal, where three senior judges deemed it “as plain as a pikestaff” that he had had a legally binding contract with the dealership, and awarded him £35,000 in damages, an estimate of the difference between the price Mr Hughes would have paid for the car and the value of a similar car today.
Mr Justice Cranston, sitting with Lord Justice Richards and Lady Justice Macur, added that Hughes had done far more than merely “express an interest”, and that he should have been considered ahead of the buyer who had ended up with the car.
Martin Budworth of King's Chambers, Hughes's barrister, told Telegraph Cars: “I'm very pleased that Mr Hughes prevailed in the end. He said he always felt he was the victim of some shabby treatment and the bringing of the claim caused the dealership to admit an outright lie to him about its allocation.”
Pendragon Sabre, the dealership’s parent company, has further been ordered to pay Mr Hughes’s legal fees of at least £50,000.