Car dealer sentenced for withholding vehicle's history

A car dealer in Northern Ireland has been given a two year conditional discharge for not telling a customer a vehicle they were buying had been written off.

Ian Jameson, who worked as a car salesman at I J Motors in Trillick, sold an Audi to a customer that had been classified as a Category D insurance write-off, which substantially reduces a car’s value.

Mr Jameson failed to mention the vehicle's history to the buyer. However, when the new owner found out - having been offered a fraction of the price they paid for it when they went to trade the car in two years later - they promptly contacted Trading Standards who launched an investigation into the matter, finding the dealer guilty of breaking the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.

Black marks like this on a car dealer's record will not only damage their reputation among car buyers, but it will also set alarm bells ringing with motor trade insurance providers. Insurers will be hesitant to offer a business or individual the professional insurance cover they require if they are known to have a chequered past.

The investigation into Mr Jameson's dealings found that he was aware that the vehicle he was selling had been written off so knowingly withheld that information from the buyer. As well as a two year conditional discharge the dealer was ordered to pay £2,850 in compensation, the Mid-Ulster Mail reported.

Eamon McPartland of the Trading Standards Service offered the following advice: “Car dealers must ensure that all descriptions applied to vehicles are truthful.

"Additionally, they must not leave out anything important that might affect a consumer’s decision to buy a car. In this case, Mr. Jameson’s behaviour in the sale of the vehicle fell well short of the trading practices expected of traders selling used cars to consumers.”