21st January 2020

Car dealer sold officer faulty vehicle

Warwickshire Trading Standards has successfully prosecuted a car dealer after he sold an undercover officer an unroadworthy vehicle.


By JTS Staff
Journal of Trading Standards' in-house team
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Car dealers must ensure that the vehicles they sell are both legal and roadworthy; not to do so risks putting the lives of all road users at risk

A car dealer in Atherstone, Warwickshire, has been successfully prosecuted for selling an unroadworthy vehicle to an undercover trading standards officer.

Warwickshire County Council Trading Standards Service brought the prosecution against Graham Ray Inston, trading as GI Autos, after carrying out checks on the roadworthiness of vehicles on sale across the county.

Using intelligence gathered from consumers, trading standards officers made an undercover visit to Gi Autos and purchased a Peugeot 206 which had been described as ‘in very nice condition, looks and drives great with a full service history’.

The vehicle was subsequently inspected by an expert vehicle examiner who concluded that the car was unroadworthy.

Inston also provided a receipt to the undercover officer that failed to clearly state the name and address of the trader, thus making it more difficult for any consumer to contact the business if things later went wrong with the vehicle.

At Nuneaton Magistrates Court on January 7 Inston pleaded guilty to three offences under the Road Traffic Act 1988, Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 and the Companies Act 2006. On January 14 he was fined £552 and ordered to pay costs of £2,218 and a victim surcharge of £30.

In mitigation, Inston had no previous convictions and was given credit for entering a guilty plea at the earliest opportunity.

Warwickshire County Councillor Andy Crump, Portfolio Holder for Community Safety said: “It is completely unacceptable for car dealers to carry out few if any checks on the roadworthiness of the cars they sell, before putting them up for sale.

“Car dealers must ensure that the vehicles they sell are both legal and roadworthy; not to do so risks putting the lives of all road users at risk.

“Warwickshire Trading Standards will continue to take action to prevent the sale of unroadworthy vehicles and protect the car buying public.”