Out of pocket over new car

I PURCHASED a car from a main dealer in 2012 and also a three-year service plan plus MOT which cost an additional £422.

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The car has been written off in an accident and only received one service from the plan. The driver of the other vehicle was charged by the police with careless driving. I contacted the dealers in the hope of compensation or transferring the plan to a new vehicle but was informed that as the plan had commenced they could do nothing for me. Where do I go from here?

l You would need to check the wording of the plan. I suspect that it will state that it is linked only to this vehicle, but if not, then the dealers you named to me should be asked at the highest level to reconsider, as they are enriched, as would be the word used by lawyers, to the extent of the unused services. It is possible that any clause that allows them to keep the balance if the car is written off is an unfair contract terms, which the law would allow you to ignore and claim your money back. The moral is that anyone buying a service like this ought to study the contract before signing, and ask questions.

MY CAR was stolen and I got a payout from the insurance company. The car has now been recovered. Can I get it back? I would pay back the money to the insurer for it.

l I suspect not, as you will have signed a form on settlement of your claim that the insurance firm has the right to your car. But do ask them - they may be prepared to sell the car to you, though not necessarily at the amount of your settlement.

IF A man remarries after the death of his first wife, what rights has the second wife got on his estate? Can he leave her out and will the estate go to the children of his first marriage?

l Yes, up to a point. If there is no will, second wife gets the house, contents and a sum of money (which has recently been vastly increased) before the kids get anything. But making a will overcome this and leave all to kids, though wife always retains a legal claim on a third of the moveable estate (that is everything excluding the house). Then she has no automatic right to stay in the house unless she has her name on the title.

I INHERITED my grandmother's flat - she died this year. The flat is in her sole name. I took out a personal loan recently on the inherited flat and a month later received a letter from the inland revenue saying that I owe £16k inheritance tax. I have no idea what this is about.

l Strictly speaking it is not you who is due the inheritance tax but the estate from which the flat was inherited. But if the tax is due, then the Government is able to utilise assets in the estate to pay it, so has in effect first call. It is unusual for a flat to be passed over to the beneficiary without the tax already having been paid. You need to ask the executor of the estate how this has come about, and why tax has not been paid if due.


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