Used car dealer fined for misleading customers

A used car showroom in Baldock has been ordered to pay £7,000 for misleading customers about the cars it was selling.

Hertfordshire-based IS Cars Ltd pleaded not guilty to four charges of breaching the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 but was found guilty on three accounts at a trial last week. An investigation into the company revealed that it had been inaccurate in its description of the vehicles it was selling.

Being honest with consumers is always critically important for any business, but it is also vital that any car dealership is honest when sourcing a motor trade insurance quote. If you want to get the best quote that will cover all of the vehicles you have on site, as well as tools and staff, it is counterintuitive to lie or be misleading in order to try secure a cut price deal; this could come back to haunt you further down the line.

IS Cars’ crimes date back to December 2012. An investigation found that a Skoda Octavia was advertised as having a leather interior when it was actually cloth, while a Ford Focus was advertised as having a full service history but was sold with two stamps suggesting it had been serviced by a specific garage when it had not. This was in spite of the fact that Trading Standards had provided written advice to the dealership earlier that year.

Following a trial last Tuesday (25 March), IS Cars Ltd was fined a total of £5,000 and ordered to pay £2,000 costs and £120 victim surcharge.

Councillor Richard Thake, cabinet member for community safety at Hertfordshire County Council, said: “Consumers must have confidence that they are buying a car, or any product, as it has been described by the seller. Misleading description is a serious offence and this has been recognised by the court.”