Beale v. Taylor

Beale  v. Taylor 

 [1967] 3 All ER 253

(Sale by Description, Section 13 of Sale of Goods Act)


Taylor published an advertisement to sell a car describing it as “white, 1961, herald convertible….” Relying on that description Beale came to see the car. Since he did not have a licence, he did not actually take a test drive, but just sat on the passenger side. After the test run he also saw a metallic disc on the rear of the car with the figure 1200 on it. He bought the car believing it to be the 1961 model. When he got the license he found the car unsatisfactory. On examination, the mechanic told him that the car was made up of two cars welded together, the front portion was one 948 model while the rear portion was the 1200 model. Further the car was found to be in unroadworthy and unsafe. Beale filed a suit claiming damages.

ISSUE: Whether the transaction was sale by description?



B is entitled to damages (1) for breach of the condition as implied by sec. 13[1](Car should correspond with its description) (2) as money was paid on a consideration which had wholly failed (3) for breach of an implied condition of roadworthiness.


It was not a sale by description but sale of a particular car as seen, tried and approved. The buyer had ample opportunity to inspect and test the car.


Trial Court: The sale was not a sale by description as B had seen, tried and approved the said car.


  1. Both the parties are innocent because no one could see from an ordinary examination that it was made of two cars welded together.
  2. There is a sale by description even though the buyer saw the car before purchasing it. A thing is sold by description as long as it is not sold merely as a specific thing but as something corresponding to a particular description. The buyer relied in part on that particular description in buying the car.
  3. Ideally the buyer should have returned the car to the seller, but since this is not the case, B is only entitled to the price difference(actual price-scrap value).

[1] SOGA, 1893

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