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August 9, 2017 - 10:53

A car trader who sold a Weymouth man a poorly repaired vehicle that had been an insurance write-off has been prosecuted following an investigation by Dorset County Council’s Trading Standards.

On 5 July 2017, at Weymouth Magistrates Court, Steven Banda (aged 41 of Watermark Close, Nottingham), trading as SKB Car Sales, was found guilty of selling an unroadworthy vehicle contrary to the Road Traffic Act 1988. He was also found guilty of misleading consumers by describing the Peugeot 208 in an internet advert as ‘excellent condition inside and outside’ when in fact it was a poorly repaired write-off, contrary to the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.

After the one day trial he was fined £500, ordered to pay compensation of £700 and prosecution costs of £872.

The court heard how the vehicle was purchased by a Weymouth man for £3,700 after assurances were given about the vehicle’s condition and an explanation that although the car was a category D write-off it had only needed a wing and minor suspension repairs. After delivery the buyer was only able to drive the car five miles before engine management light came on and later serious faults were discovered. After failing to resolve his dispute with the trader the buyer complained via the Citizens Advice Consumer Service leading to an investigation by trading standards officers.

An independent expert inspected the vehicle and found that the vehicle was ‘in a dangerous condition and un-useable in its present state’.

In mitigation Mr Banda said that his was only a small business, he had not intended to mislead anyone or sell an unroadworthy car and would like to apologise to the victim. Chair of the magistrates said that Banda had failed to take the extra care that was required of a car trader.

Councillor Deborah Croney, Dorset County Council Cabinet Member with responsibility for trading standards, said:

“This underlines the need for car traders to carry out proper checks on vehicles before they supply them to consumers. Any business that is in doubt about their legal responsibilities in this area can contact our trading standards business advice line on 01305 224702. 

“By providing advice to car traders on legal requirements and intervening where problems are identified our trading standards service aims to reduce safety risks to car buyers and other road users.”

Consumers thinking of buying a second hand car can look for a trader who is a member of the trading standards Buy With Confidence trader approval scheme. Members are audited by Trading Standards prior to acceptance in the scheme. Find a trader in the ‘Buy With Confidence’ scheme or telephone the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06.

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