Legal Article - Business Law

Car Sales: Terms and Conditions

If the terms of the agreement are vague or if a material part of the agreement is
missing then it becomes a voidable contract.

So if a deal on a car is discussed and the details are set out on an Order Form, but the price is left blank, don't expect sympathy from the Court if you try and argue a particular price has been set.

Contracts are frequently broken down to find an Offer and an Acceptance. If you are selling a car, you might be saying "You can have this car for £5,000".

The customer may say "Yes" in which case the contract can go ahead. If the customer says "Yes I would like it but I will give you £4,500 for it" then this is seen as a counter offer.

You are then in the position of accepting it or otherwise. If you don't give an answer to the offer then there is no contract.

The detail of a contract is set down in terms. Terms can be 'express', that is specifically agreed for that contract. Such terms are the 'small print' on legal documents or verbally agreed between the two parties.

Other terms are referred to as 'implied'. This means that such terms are always part of such a contract whether they are written down, said or not.

Common examples are the implied terms laid down in the Sale of Goods Act 1979, the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982 and the Supply of Goods (Implied Terms) Act 1973.

These require every contract for the transfer of goods (selling, barter, part exchange etc) to have the implied terms that the goods must:

- correspond with the description
- be of satisfactory quality
- be fit for their purpose

and that the person transferring the goods has the right to transfer the property in the goods.

Published: 10 Mar 2011

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