Car dealer prosecuted over illegal advertising signs

The owner of a car dealership in Hertfordshire has been fined after illegally advertising his business.

Charles Elliott, who owns Elliott Autos in Northchurch, was fined £320 when he appeared before St Albans Magistrates Court. He admitted the offence.

Meeting the various rules and regulations involved with running your business legally should be a top priority for all dealerships. Establishing a good reputation is an important part of attracting and retaining customers, and advertising your services can be a key part of that. Always check you have permission for promotions, and also always check you are properly insured. As well as your general motor trade insurance, you should consider a combined motor trade insurance policy to cover your premises against damage, as well as the protecting the vehicles and equipment inside.

St Albans Magistrates heard that Mr Elliott had advertised his car dealership on a vehicle parked on the A4251 Tring Road. He admitted to the charge of displaying an unlawful advertisement.

Mr Elliott had already been warned twice about displaying illegal signs by Dacorum Borough Council, Hemel Today reported.

The council said that it played an important role in making sure the borough retained its appearance and was somewhere that local people could be proud of. It said that illegally displayed adverts were both “unsightly” and could cause a nuisance.

Cllr Graham Sutton, portfolio holder for planning and regeneration, said: “This action demonstrates the robust approach taken by the council.

“We will not allow individuals or businesses to claim our public spaces for private gain, and we will not hesitate to take appropriate action against illegal advertising, including prosecuting those who unlawfully site advertising boards and compromise the appearance of our borough.”

Most local authorities require businesses to apply for permission to display certain signs. It’s always worth checking with your local council to see whether you require consent.