Car dealer fined for using pavement as forecourt

A car dealer in Chingford has been fined £4,800 for turning his local street into a car lot.

Graham Sheekey, 52, was found guilty of using the pavement outside his home in Hortus Road to sell second-hand cars that he was advertising on Auto Trader. Waltham Forest Council investigated Mr Sheekey’s business – the Connaught Motor Company – after neighbours complained about the extra vehicles parked in the area, the East London and West Essex Guardian reported.

The case is a reminder that any individual or company trading in vehicles must have a proper trading licence, not to mention a motor trade insurance policy. Anyone who is buying, selling or repairing vehicles on a full or part-time basis – whether from home or a business premises – should speak to expert motor trade insurance brokers such as Bollington to get a quote that meets their specific business requirements.

Mr Sheekey’s offences date back to June 2013 when the council found 12 vehicles that were advertised for sale online were parked in Hortus Road, Chingford, and on surrounding streets. A month later this rose to 14 cars in the area being for sale.

When the case went to court at the end of last month, Thames Magistrates Court found Mr Sheekey guilty of 12 counts of unlicensed street dealing relating to cars parked at his home. He has been ordered to pay £400 per offence – totalling £4,800 – and £1,160 in costs.

The verdict has not stopped Connaught Motor Company from operating, but if Mr Sheekey wants to trade cars, he must apply for a licence to sell from a forecourt or storage ground.