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COMMERCIAL AND CORPORATIONS LAW (Terms Of Contract And Capacity Of Parties)

COMMERCIAL AND CORPORATIONS LAW (Terms Of Contract And Capacity Of Parties)

John always gets his car repaired at Mike’s Auto. He has been going there for 7 years and takes his car there for repairs and service about twice a year. As he enters the door of Mikes’ there is a sign on the wall behind the counter that says, ‘All vehicles are accepted for repair subject to the terms and conditions appearing in our invoice’. The sign is on white paper (A4) with  Black  writing,  next  to  it  are  numerous  advertisements  for  products  sold  at  Mike’s  auto.  John never read the sign, he always dropped off his car on his way to work and was in a hurry.  When he returned to pick up his car the attendant would hand him an ‘invoice’ to sign. This had his name on it, the details of the car and the work done. The invoice stated:

1.   The  customer  acknowledges  that  the  agreed  repair  work  has  been  satisfactorily  performed.

2.   Mike’s Auto regrets that no responsibility can be accepted for damage or loss caused to the customer’s cars by fire, theft or otherwise.

On the occasion in question John left his car for some repair work to be done and followed the usual routine set out above. When he returned to pick it up the next morning he signed the invoice as above and went out into the yard to collect his car. To his shock he found that the GPS navigation system fitted to the car was missing and the car clearly showed signs of being in an accident.The evidence shows that overnight thieves had broken into Mike’s Auto and stolen the GPS

system  from  the  car.  John’s  car  was  not  locked,  however,  Mike’s  Auto  was  locked  and  the  alarm was on but the thieves managed to disarm the alarm system and get past the locks: it was alleged it was an inside job but this could not be proven.  In addition, during the previous day the manager needed to go to a meeting. The car yard was full of cars that day that were in for repairs and he could not get his own car out without having to move many cars. John’s car was over near the curb so he decided to take it to get to his Page 2 of 3 meeting.  By  this  time  the  repair  work  had  been  done  and  the  manager  thought  it  would  be  good to see how it was running before John picked it up. He drove the car to his meeting and parked it outside the cafe where the meeting was being held. While at the meeting someone ran into the car causing damage to the rear of the car. They then drove off and were never identified.


John seeks your advice as to whether Mike would be protected by the clauses in the invoice if John were to take action against Mike’s Auto. Answer this question by reference to general principles of common law. Do not consider any statutory provisions you might think relevant.


word limit: 600

reference: footnote system

Preferred: IRAC structure to answer the question