Garages bosses fined and banned for conning customers

Two men who ran a car and van repair centre in Grimsby have been forced to repay thousands of pounds to customers after charging them for work they did not need.

Mark Drury and Stuart Phillips ran Car and Van Grimsby Limited where they charged pensioners for work that was not required such as replacing brakes, gearboxes and oil, even though these things were all in working order. The pair have been banned from running the company for 10 years and made to pay back £1,550, £1,350 and £505 to three wrongly-charged customers.

Deceiving customers is not only an easy way for car mechanics to land themselves in trouble with the law, it will also spell trouble when it comes time for them to try to obtain a road risks insurance quote or a combined motor trade insurance policy. Criminal records or a history of dishonesty will never go down well with insurance providers and could therefore see the price of a policy increase exponentially or even render it impossible to get the business insurance required.

In the case of Mr Drury and Mr Phillips, a judge at Grimsby Magistrates' Court ruled that the dodgy garage bosses must pay £15,000 in fines, as well as nearly £2,400 in compensation for the bogus invoices.

District judge Daniel Curtis told the men: "Both of you conducted yourselves as company directors with a complete disregard, a blatant disregard, for the trust that hard-working, decent people put in your company to have their vehicles repaired.

"Not only did you provide invoices that were false, you took money from those people, and certainly in two cases, in a way that caused them considerable distress and upset."