Save your cash – be Trading Standards Savvy

legal updates

‘News on the street’ is that service and repair garages are doing ok, all car sales are down and some are so far down that drastic cuts in labour or closure altogether is a serious possibility.  A gloomy picture but the acid test is, are you making more money that you are spending?  The important […]

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‘News on the street’ is that service and repair garages are doing ok, all car sales are down and some are so far down that drastic cuts in labour or closure altogether is a serious possibility. 

A gloomy picture but the acid test is, are you making more money that you are spending?  The important thing is that it is no time form complacency, as far as costs go.  The last thing you want is for Trading Standards to be prosecuting you since it will mean a hefty fine and seriously bad publicity and you could potentially lose your Consumer Credit Licence, a lifeline for motor retailers.

We still receive a steady number of complaints concerning misdescription.  A classic is the promise of ‘full service history’ by the seller of a car to a dealer leading to the dealer advertising the car with ‘FSH’. For various reasons the service history is not supplied and then there is a potential for an offence of misdescription.  Equally a garage may offer and advertise a manufacturers service schedule but then miss some items.  All of these situations can be perfectly innocent but they are offences nevertheless.  There are many many areas that can lead to a visit to see the magistrates, price errors, credit information, unroadworthy cars.  The fines can vary significantly depending often on the way the magistrates view the issue.  Interestingly, two recent cases a restaurant owner put inferior gin in a Gordons bottle and was fined £250 plus costs whereas a lady market trader who was selling fruit and vegetables in pounds and ounces instead of the metric qualities of kilograms and grams was fined £5,000.  But don’t think £250 is benchmark for offences in the motor trade.  Unfortunately the image of motor dealers and garages is still in serious need of being raised.  At the other end of the scale Asda were recently fined £36,300 with £5,495 costs for selling out of date food.  No one had complained but Trading Standards found it on routine surveys.

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Related Legal Updates

New & Improved?

Defending proceedings issued relating to whether the lack of a CD player in a new car was an “upgrade” or not.

Inspecting part-exchange vehicles

It is always a good idea to keep a paper trail for any transaction, especially in situations where representations are being made by a consumer.

Commission Disclosure Court Cases

The majority of the cases where court proceedings have been issued about commission disclosure are because our members have either ignored the correspondence or just decided not to engage with these fine upstanding companies.

Do NOT try to take away a consumer’s rights on an invoice

A Welsh Trading Standards department prosecuted a car dealer for “Furnishing a used car invoice to a consumer giving the impression that the consumer had less rights than they actually did.”

Misleading adverts results in £58,000 fine

The result should serve as a warning to all traders to ensure vehicles are accurately described.

What’s that pain between your shoulders? It’s the Trading Standards’ knife in your back!

Trading Standards are meant to provide help and suggestions to ensure future compliance.

Customer ordered to pay our client’s court costs in mileage dispute

A mileage disclaimer sticker was also displayed on dashboard at the time of sale, advising that the mileage must be deemed incorrect unless otherwise stated in writing.

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