Belfast Telegraph

Car dealer fined £1,000 after admitting selling write-offs

BY CLARE WEIR

A Co Antrim car dealer has been fined £1000 for failing to tell customers that vehicles for sale were insurance write-offs.

In a case brought by the Trading Standards Service of the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment, Mark Batsford of Whitewell Court, Newtownabbey, pleaded guilty to seven charges under the Consumer Protection From Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 for operating as a 'hidden car trader' and failing to disclose that cars for sale were category C or D insurance losses.

Category C refers to repairable cars which have significant damage, but the cost of the repair is more than book value of the vehicle at dealer rates.

Category D refers to repairable cars which may have been economical to repair, but the insurer doesn't want to.

In May 2012, Trading Standards began an investigation into Mr Batsford's trading activities and found that he had placed a large number of adverts for cars and vans without declaring that he was a car dealer.

The adverts also failed to declare that some of the cars were Category C or D insurance losses. In one case he falsely stated that a car was 'HPI Clear', claiming that it had an unblemished history.

Under the Consumer Protection From Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 traders commit a criminal offence if they mislead consumers about goods offered for sale.

Andrew Cooper, of the Trading Standards Service, said car traders must ensure that all descriptions applied to the vehicles were accurate and not misleading, including not omitting material information regarding a vehicle.

Belfast Telegraph

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