Birmingham Trading Standards officers have seized 17 vehicles from a used car trader in the city.
The inspection came as a result of an intelligence review of all used car complaints received by the service.
A significant number of complaints related to a business operating from the Sparkhill area, which was offering for sale used vehicles suspected to be unroadworthy, dangerous and with misleading descriptions.
Officers were accompanied by police officers and a qualified vehicle examiner to assist in identifying those that were potentially unroadworthy. More than 50 vehicles were on the site at the time of the inspection.
The inspection indicated that vehicles may have been ‘clocked’, meaning when the mileage display has been manually altered, and some had not been declared as being category C and D insurance write-offs. It is an offence to supply dangerous and misdescribed vehicles.
Vehicles including Fords, Jaguars, Vauxhalls, Audis and a BMW were seized as evidence and for further examination. Enforcement action is likely to follow for offences under the Road Traffic Act and Consumer Protection (from unfair) Trading Regulations.
Councillor Barbara Dring, chair of Birmingham City Council’s licensing and public protection, said: “When someone buys a used car, they quite rightly expect the vehicle to be safe, roadworthy and as described by the trader. When this is not the case, Trading Standards officers will investigate and, where necessary, take the appropriate action.
“Reviewing intelligence in this way helps us to identify those businesses which have generated significant numbers of complaints and carry out operations such as this. We will not hesitate to take action against traders found to be breaking the law.”
Notes to editors:
In 2014, the UK sold £88.5 billion worth of cars, with £45.1 billion (51 per cent) being used cars.
Between December 1, 2014, and November 30, 2015, there were 67,280 complaints made nationally to the Citizens Advice Consumer Service, of which 7,142 related the central England region. Of these, Birmingham received 16 per cent of those complaints (1,110). The average purchase amount in this period was £5,460.
Checks which can be carried out to establish whether a car is roadworthy, safe and as described include:
- MOT certificate check
- Service history check
- Registration document check
- Write-off check
- Finance history check
- Test-drive and walkabout check
- Engineers’ check
Further advice on buying a used car can be found here: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/buying-or-repairing-a-car/buying-a-used-car/