12th February 2024

Car trader jailed for unsafe vehicle

A car dealer in Wales has been sentenced after selling a car that was dangerously unroadworthy.


By JTS Staff
Journal of Trading Standards' in-house team
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Second hand car sales remain the most complained-about trade sector and we hope this sends the correct message to unscrupulous businesses

A used car dealer who sold a dangerous vehicle has been jailed for six months and ordered to pay £2,000 in compensation following a prosecution by Neath Port Talbot Council Trading Standards.

In January 2022 Alan Peter Lewis, trading as APL Cars in Skewen, sold the car to a female customer who took it to a garage after five months of use. The garage condemned the vehicle and the customer contacted Citizens Advice, who referred the complaint to Neath Port Talbot Trading Standards. When Officers inspected it they also found the car to be unsafe, posing a threat to the driver and any other road users.

Lewis was found guilty under the General Product Safety Regulations in December 2023, and was sentenced on January 25.

Addressing Lewis in his sentencing remarks, Judge Geraint Walters told him that he had ventured into business despite having no experience in the sale of motor vehicles, buying cars at auction and selling them on.

He added: “In this case you sold a motor vehicle and when the customer went to have an MOT at point of renewal five months after she bought it, it received a failure notice and a direction that the vehicle could not leave the garage due to its dangerous condition.

“Expert evidence given to the jury said the vehicle could only be described as dangerous and should never have been on the road.”

A Neath Port Talbot Council spokesperson said: “Trading Standards welcomes the sentence imposed on Alan Lewis, considering the seriousness of the offence and the defendant’s attitude to compliance with the law.

“Trading Standards takes the sale of unroadworthy and misdescribed cars very seriously. Second hand car sales remain the most complained-about trade sector and we hope this sends the correct message to unscrupulous businesses”.

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