I am aware that most cherished numbers are sold by dealers on commission on behalf of the owner.
I am unsure that the distance selling regulations can be avoided in the manner described but this may be academic because either the mark is successfully transferred or not
It seems to me that what you are seeking here is for the dealer to fulfil the transfer at the original price despite the fact that the owner now admits he needs (as a registered business) to charge vat
The mention of non refundable deposits of £2000 shows that this game has moved on since I bought my own cherished registration for £50 some years ago and thus has pitfalls to be avoided if possible
IMHO talk of small claims court etc in this business where keeping the dealer on-side is pretty fundamental is not the way to go
Perhaps I could make 2 suggestions
1) Look around the cherished dealer sites. Many of these numbers are offered on more than one site often at widely differing prices. You might just get lucky. There are internet search engines which can find any number entered
2) If you are set on the number, ring the dealer and offer to split the difference. That way you both get to do the deal
Now, what was the computer question again?