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Thread: A 3 year waiting list.... noooo... not for an LB STR

  1. #1
    SEC Member renmure's Avatar
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    A 3 year waiting list.... noooo... not for an LB STR

    *I bumped into an old school friend just before Christmas (literally, we were skiing at the time) and I remembered that we always both had an interest in cars so we spent about 20 mins nursing our wounds and chatting about what cars we'd had, what we now have and what was in the future.

    Obviously having an STR in the pipeline generated a lot of chat but he was also telling me he had placed an order for one of the new Ariel Atom 4's. He has spec'd his fairly highly. I'm sure he said the base price was about 40k and 50ish was a good spec. Apparently there's also a 3 year waiting list for them. The thing that surprised me was that the deposit when you order is 3000 which isn't transferable to anyone else or refundable. You then pay 50% of the balance at the point the chassis goes into production and the remaining balance on collection.

    We were both trying to think of other cars with a 3 year waiting list but were struggling.

    Any suggestions?

    Jim

    *he actually bumped into me. He always was a clumsy clot. If you're out and about on the roads, give all 2020 reg Atoms a wide berth just incase.

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    Re: A 3 year waiting list.... noooo... not for an LB STR

    Bloody L, a non-refundable or transferable 3K deposit?? That's a bit draconian! Makes LB's initial, refundable 500 "bond of intent" seem amazingly reasonable! On the other hand, it must sort out the definites from the dreamers. But supposing, having paid your 3K, life deals you a bad hand and you can no longer proceed with the purchase? Must surely be some wiggle room if that happens.

    Anyhow, good advice about Atom drivers - I always give them plenty of room no matter what year they're made, on thre basis that the driver's eyes are likely full of crud and he/she can't see anything

  3. #3
    SEC Member renmure's Avatar
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    Re: A 3 year waiting list.... noooo... not for an LB STR

    Draconian is good. I'm not sure if there's any wiggle room. I guess having such a big deposit must help with cash flow and business planning. You don't lose much on an Atom anyhow so financially it's not a daft place to put your money and there won't be many folk putting deposits down who don't know exactly what they are getting for the money.

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    SEC Member Griff's Avatar
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    Re: A 3 year waiting list.... noooo... not for an LB STR

    I'm not sure if there's any 'wiggle room' - Consumer Rights Act 2015

    Unfair contract terms
    The CRA incorporates the rules relating to unfair contract terms previously found in the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 and the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999. As in the other areas discussed above, the Act both consolidates and extends the existing protections.
    The test for unfairness remains effectively the same. A term is unfair if "contrary to the requirements of good faith, it causes a significant imbalance in the parties' rights and obligations under the contract to the detriment of the consumer". An unfair term cannot be enforced against a consumer although the consumer can rely on it if, in the circumstances, it is to his advantage.
    As noted above, the CRA also extends the rules on enforceability of unfair contract terms to cover notices to the extent that they relate to the parties' rights and obligations under the contract or purport to exclude or limit the trader's liability.
    The most important changes relate to transparency and prominence of contract terms:-

    • First, all written terms of a consumer contract must be transparent (i.e. "expressed in plain and intelligible language").
    • Secondly, certain key terms (namely those relating to the subject matter and price of the contract) are exempt from the requirement of fairness provided they are sufficiently transparent and prominent (i.e. brought to the consumer's attention, for example by being shown in bold or capital letters at the top of the terms and conditions). Terms that are not sufficiently prominent will not be deemed to be unfair per se but they will be subject to the test.

    The CRA incorporates the 'grey list' of potentially unfair terms previously found in the Consumer Contracts Regulations. This includes, for example, terms that inappropriately limit a consumer's rights against a trader in the event of partial or non-performance of a contract, terms that give the trader (but not the consumer) discretion to unilaterally dissolve a contract etc. The CRA adds the following new items to the list:-

    • Terms that require a consumer who decides not to conclude or perform a contract to pay disproportionately high sums in compensation to the trader or to pay for services which have not been supplied.
    • Terms that allow the trader to determine the characteristics of the subject matter of the contract (i.e. the goods, services or digital content) after the consumer has already agreed to be bound by the contract.
    • Terms that give the trader discretion over the price payable under the contract after the consumer has already agreed to be bound by it.

    The list is indicative only and non-exhaustive: a term can be found to be unfair despite not being on the list and a term on the list will not necessarily be deemed to be unfair in all circumstances.
    The CRA also removes a caveat that existed under the old regime to the effect that a term would not be deemed unfair if it had been individually negotiated (i.e. the unfair terms regime was directed at the trader's standard terms of business only). Now, even a term specifically negotiated can be deemed to be unfair. Conceptually this is a fairly significant extension of the regime. However, it may be that this has little practical impact given how rarely consumer contracts are individually negotiated.
    Finally, the CRA introduces a new rule with the effect that if there is any legal dispute in relation to the contract the Courts will consider fairness even if neither party raises fairness as an issue. It is difficult to predict exactly what impact this will have on judgments but it clearly indicates an intention that there will be increasing scrutiny of fairness to consumers
    Last edited by Griff; 06-01-2020 at 16:23. Reason: additional info

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    Re: A 3 year waiting list.... noooo... not for an LB STR

    Yeah, I realise an Atom is a good place to put your dosh as you'd likely recoup it upon resale, but that's assuming you can still afford to complete the purchase. OK, so all these 3k lumps certainly help Ariel, but what if someone who's put the money down loses their job and now can't afford to buy the car? Isn't it more than a bit uncharitable for Ariel to say "tough" and keep the money when someone might be in a rather fraught position? This is what I mean by "wiggle room" - a bit of humanity. I mean, if you have to pull out, it's not like they can't just shift everyone behind you in the Q up by one, is it? And I can't see any of those customers moaning if the wait's just got a bit shorter either.
    Of course Ariel may well be perfectly amenable in such situations and do the Decent Thing, but it all just seems so....unnecessary.

    I don't know how Hawk handle their orders, but the LB way of paying a 500 bond to show you're serious and get your name in the Q, which is refundable if you change your mind, seems much fairer to me. Similar thing happened when I bought my Ducati 916 back in '95 - everyone wanted one, there were none available and no-one knew how many were coming or when (hey, it's Italian!). But the dealer I ended up buying from didn't want a penny till the bike was physically in his showroom, which I thought was a pretty cool way to do business. He justified this business model by saying what I pointed out above - if I dropped out, everyone else moved up one, and it wasn't like he'd not be able to sell it In fact I ended up getting mine 6 months earlier than expected cos someone didn't want his in that year, in order that he could get a later registration on it... some peeps are just weird.
    Still got the bike, by the way - still looks just as beautiful as the day it landed in my garage. I'll probably get buried on it... Psychomania, anyone? (Google it if it means nowt to you)

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    Re: A 3 year waiting list.... noooo... not for an LB STR

    Ariel are less draconian than what it appears. If there are mitigating circumstances - such as losing your job etc - they’ll return your deposit. They’re both really cool guys, the two brothers who basically run it. They wouldn’t stiff anybody, unless people were just being fickle. With a 3 year waiting list for both the Atom & the Nomad, it’s not really fair on others, when people just decide to cancel on a whim (this happens). That’s when they get the cob on.

    Cheers,
    Hedge

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    SEC Member renmure's Avatar
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    Re: A 3 year waiting list.... noooo... not for an LB STR

    I did expect there would be a bit of leeway depending on circumstances. Don’t think I’d do refunds tho unless it was exceptional circumstances. I think it’s a good way of doing things in having a substantial deposit firmly committed to join the queue for a fairly niche and desirable product so potential customers have realistic expectations. I imagine if you join the queue and expect a big bill in 3 years it can a potential problem if you get it 12 months early because folk are dropping out so a bit of commitment all round is good.

    Any other candidates for a 3 year wait? Bikes don’t count Norm. They all look the same anyhow
    Last edited by renmure; 06-01-2020 at 11:41.

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    SEC Member ChrisCar6's Avatar
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    Re: A 3 year waiting list.... noooo... not for an LB STR

    Quote Originally Posted by renmure View Post
    Any other candidates for a 3 year wait?
    NHS operations?

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    Re: A 3 year waiting list.... noooo... not for an LB STR

    Ooh, cynical, Chris, very cynical.... So is that a target or deliberate policy, hoping to save dosh if people pop their clogs in the meantime? - he said, also being cynical

    Nice to know Ariel are reasonable people. They do some great stuff (even if I don't really see the point of an Atom, I appreciate the engineering and quirkiness). However I also still fail to see the point of a non-refundable "bond" - I mean, what are you actually getting for your 3 grand? There's nothing...not till the steel/ally starts getting cut and welded. That's the time at which commitment is needed (or just before!) and they want a sizeable amount, because it's being made, especially for you, to your spec, at that point. You don't need that much to show you're interested, just a few hundred. And if you get contacted early and can't raise the loot, that's no bother, they move onto the next customer and you retain your original position.
    I don't think I'd want to do business with a firm that required so much money for so long, unless of course they also offered to deduct the interest from the final price? Haha, of course I'm kidding, cos I'd be wasting my breath even asking.
    But here's a thought - how many LB customers have decided, during the wait, that they don't want the car? I mean ones who're just being flighty? Very few, I bet. Face it, if you're selling stuff to people, there'll always be a few who muck you about - it's almost a law!
    The other thing that small bonds do, is give you confidence that the firm you're dealing with aren't using the next customer's deposit to start making your car....i.e. if orders start to dry up, you don't get yours cos there's no 3K to pay for the parts...

  10. #10
    SEC Member renmure's Avatar
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    Re: A 3 year waiting list.... noooo... not for an LB STR

    Oooh.. I don't want to make it an LB thread. I was more interested to find out if others knew about cars that had a genuine 3 year wait.

    But personally, I wouldn't join a 3 year waiting list for a car, Atom or otherwise. Like you say, too much can happen over the period. That's particularly true for a kit car where the value is in the end product rather than the pile of bits purchased and assembled at any given time over the period. I guess people in Nottinghamshire can still get run over by buses. I hope Craig and Lydia stay well clear of bus routes till my car is handed over. Once I get my car I might even consider guaranteeing its continual appreciation and value by getting a bus license and, err, practicing.

    The flip side to your "small bond = confidence" thing is recognising that cash flow is king in business and maybe 10 x 3000 firm deposits / year is better for planning stuff, budgeting for stuff, developing stuff and producing stuff than 10 x 500 maybes.

    Anyhow, so far we have Atoms, LB's and NHS Operations. Any more?

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