Friends like these: Man at a loss after pal refuses to pay S$17.6k damages following car accident

Sean Lim’s car after an accident along CTE. (Photo: Sean Lim/fb)
Sean Lim’s car after an accident along CTE. (Photo: Sean Lim/fb)

Friends fall out over any number of reasons, but we’re guessing money is solidly in the top 5-10.

Case in point: Singaporean Sean Lim lending a friend his white Volkswagen Scirocco while he was overseas, only to find out the car had been crashed along the Central Expressway just a day later.

Now, neither his friend nor the person who allegedly drove Lim’s car — someone Lim didn’t even know — want to pay the S$17,600 (about US$13,000) in damages despite agreeing in writing to do so after the accident.

According to the 27-year-old salesman, who is now working two jobs to finance a new car loan, the agreement between he and the guy who allegedly wrecked the vehicle, a Dominic Tan, was witnessed and signed by the buddy he’d actually loaned the car to, a guy named Szeto Chung.

“I asked my friends (who work) at the car workshop. The sum of repair might go above S$17,600, which is not worth it. The whole engine was leaking so we decided to scrap it,” Lim told Coconuts Singapore today. (Another) friend told me about the safety issue if I repair (the car) as well … If I travel fast, it might be dangerous. As my kids are always in my car, I decided to scrap it and he (Tan) agreed as well.”

Lim also received a sum of money from the transport authority for scrapping the car, which largely went to paying off that car’s loan.

According to Lim, he only decided to post about the two-month-old incident yesterday after deciding just threatening to expose the duo on Facebook wasn’t getting the job done. Lim’s post has been shared more than 1,500 times since going up at about 6:20pm yesterday.

A photo of the written agreement between Sean Lim, Szeto Chung and Dominic Tan. Photo: Sean Lim/fb)
A photo of the written agreement between Sean Lim, Szeto Chung and Dominic Tan. Photo: Sean Lim/fb)

It wasn’t Chung’s first time borrowing Lim’s car, the Facebook post showed, so there was a level of trust between the two when Chung asked Lim on June 25 if he could use it once again in two days’ time. Lim agreed to lend him the car, telling Chung to just grab the keys from his family, as he was overseas at the time.

The very next morning, however, Lim said he woke to news that his car had been in an accident and that it had been driven by Tan and not Chung, according to screenshots of WhatsApp messages in the post.

Lim returned to Singapore two days later to meet with the pair to discuss the car before all three signed the written agreement. Lim subsequently scrapped his car and showed Tan the documents to prove he did it, after which, Tan requested to be given a month to pay up.

Unfortunately, Tan backed out on his promise on the day he was supposed to pay, Lim said, and had instead told Lim to take the issue up to the small claims tribunal court as he didn’t have any money. He later offered to pay S$11,000 through a monthly installment of S$500, which Lim said he couldn’t accept.

Lim then turned to his Chung to help pay on behalf of Tan, only to be snubbed by him.

In a text message, Chung said: “Firstly, I’m not the driver. Secondly, it’s assured (sic) that you can get back through small claims S$17,600 from Dominic, which is more than twice the value of your car. Thirdly, on top of your over-valued claim, I (can) compensate you S$3,000 out of goodwill and for the trouble.”

Here’s a breakdown of costs Lim says he’s had to bear since the accident:

Screenshot of a WhatsApp exchange between Sean Lim and Szeto Chung. Image: Sean Lim/fb
Screenshot of a WhatsApp exchange between Sean Lim and Szeto Chung. Image: Sean Lim/fb

Lim wrote in his Facebook post: “So now I’m stuck, both Szeto and Dom are not going to pay me any money. I believe that at the end of the day, the responsibility’s on Szeto. Out of goodwill, I lent him my car and he chose to ask his friend to drive.”

Let’s hope all three parties are able to resolve this amicably.

More stories:

Woman calls then cancels request for police help, harasses officers in viral video
Woman questions the entitlement of parents with prams and the wheelchair-bound; suffers wrath of netizens

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