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Is it legal for a car repair to keep your car.?

My daughter took my car in for a repair estimate. I did not give permission for repair. They claim she did.The cost was 800.00 wich I did not have at the time. They say now I owe 1400.00 and the price will go up, until I can get it. Is this legal in PA.

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3 Responses to “Is it legal for a car repair to keep your car.?”

  1. larmarine83 said :

    Ask them for the signed estimate proving that the repairs were authorized. If they cannot produce this, tell them you will be there as soon as you can with your local Police department to get your vehicle, and anyone who refuses to hand over your property will be arrested for Grand Theft Auto.

    If they CAN produce it, and your daughter did sign to approve the repairs, then she is liable for the charges. You MAY be able to take it to court and get your car arguing that the owner of the vehicle did not authorize the repairs, but its a long shot, and if you won, you daughter would be on the hook for the cost.

  2. Dave said :

    If you sign off on an estimate, thus giving the go-ahead for the repair, then the garage effectively has a possessory lien against your car in order to guarantee payment. They can keep your car until you pay.

    You’re only recourse is to sue. If the garage cannot show that you signed of on an estimate, then you should win the case. If you’re daughter just made a verbal agreement, then I think just the threat to sue should pressure them to compromise.

    The police ordinarily will not get involved. (unless of course you have good connections with local law enforcement – as a PA native, I know this counts for a lot there!)

    I had a similar problem once. I had to sue to get my own car back, but the case never went to court. As soon as the papers were served, the garage compromised and completed the repair according to the estimate.

    Good luck!

  3. sidecar0 said :

    “BBB & Small Clams Court” NOTE; If she’s 18 or above you could have a problem. Lawyer Time!


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