If I pay a deposit over the phone or online to reserve a car that I have only ever seen a picture of, is this is classed as a distance sale?
If you’ve signed terms and conditions and paid a deposit over the phone or Internet without ever visiting the retailer’s premises, and you have not ever seen the exact car you’re buying in person (i.e. not an equivalent example), this is classed as a distance sale. This means that you have the right to cancel your order within 14 days and receive a full refund of your deposit, regardless of your reasons or any money the retailer has spent on the sale. However, if at some point during the sales process you visit the dealership’s premises, this would no longer be a distance sale.
For example, you find a car you like online and you reserve it, paying a fee of £200 with your card over the Internet. You then go into the dealership to view the vehicle and sign the paperwork. This wouldn’t be a distance sale because you’ve visited the retailer’s premises during the sales process.