An Antrim car trader has been fined and ordered to pay £1,000 in compensation to a disabled pensioner after selling a car which had its mileage ‘clocked’ by 100,000 miles.
lavius Preda (29) pleaded guilty at Ballymena Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday to the three charges under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.
Preda was fined £765.00 and had to pay compensation to the complainant in the case brought by the Department for the Economy’s Trading Standards Service.
The investigation into Preda was triggered after a complaint from a customer that the car they bought from him had been ‘clocked’ – with the figure on the vehicle’s odometer reading 116,000 miles when the reality was the vehicle had travelled at least 216,000.
The pensioner who purchased the car from Preda, who was posing as a private seller, was also misled by the advertisement on the website Gumtree and an MOT certificate supplied with the car.
Andrina Kelly of the Trading Standards Service said: “Car traders have a responsibility to ensure that all descriptions applied to vehicles are truthful and not misleading to consumers.
“It is the duty of the trader to ensure that checks are conducted on vehicles and the onus is on the trader to satisfy themselves that the mileage of a vehicle is accurate and also to provide the consumer with all material information regarding the vehicle.”
The Trading Standards Service reminded consumers the best way to avoid being caught out when purchasing a car is to purchase vehicles from registered dealers.
They added it is important to see all the relevant original paperwork, the logbook (V5 form), the car’s service history and MOT certificates.
It may also be useful to carry out an online vehicle mileage, accident and outstanding finance check before buying the car, alongside contacting the Driver Vehicle Agency to enquire about the recorded mileage of the vehicle at previous MOTs if you know the vehicle’s chassis number.
Anyone who believes they have been sold goods which have been falsely described should contact Consumerline on 0300 123 6262.