Car dealer fined after customer's car repossessed

A car dealership in Wales has been fined and ordered to pay costs and a victim surcharge, after a car it sold was repossessed from the new owner due to outstanding finance payments.

Zaher Karim and Tahir Karim of One Direction Cars in Cwmbach admitted one offence under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations and were each ordered to pay a £300 fine. They also each had to pay £200 costs and £40 each to the victim in the case.

When selling on a vehicle, it is vital to check all the paperwork to make sure there are no outstanding payments due on it. It’s also a key part of your business to ensure that your motor trade insurance and road risks insurance are up to date.

However, dealers can also look into adding wrongful conversion insurance cover to their motor trade policy to protect against genuine cases where a vehicle is purchased from somebody in good faith who turns out not to be the genuine owner.

One Direction Cars was prosecuted by Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s trading standards department, following an investigation that dated back to 2014. The council followed up a complaint from a woman who had bought a car from the dealership without knowing finance was still outstanding on the vehicle. She was contacted by the finance company, which demanded a payment of £900.

One Direction Cars had not paid the outstanding money and the vehicle was repossessed from the customer. The dealership said it had bought the car in good faith from another dealer who had bought it from its first owner.

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council said that it takes offences of this nature seriously and would prosecute offenders where appropriate.

The council’s director of public health and protection, Paul Mee, told Wales Online: “Residents have the right to be able to purchase high-quality, safe and legal vehicles from trusted dealers.

“To be sold a vehicle that is later repossessed as it has outstanding finance on it is just not acceptable. Our advice to residents is to always ensure they buy from a trusted dealer and to ensure they check the terms and conditions of the sale before signing any contract.”