Two dodgy dealers prosecuted

  • Rogue traders fined more than £30,000
  • Trading Standards Service wins year-long case
  • Buyers advised to check used-car history on VOSA 

Used car buyers have been warned to check paperwork as well as vehicles before handing over their hard-earned cash after two rogue traders were prosecuted for selling dodgy motors.

Following a year-long investigation Trading Standard Services successfully prosecuted Gurdip Virdi and Martin James Pittaway (actor used in illustrative picture) trading as MG Motor Group and Longford Park Car Sales. Both were trading in Warwickshire and were fined £15,934 each after the successful prosecution. 

Mark Ryder, Head of Warwickshire County Council Trading Standards Service, said: ‘It is very important that people wanting to buy a used car, whatever its price, should have confidence that the vehicle they are purchasing is roadworthy and safe to drive. Unroadworthy vehicles put at risk the lives of all road users.

‘We will continue to take action to prevent the sale of potentially dangerous and unroadworthy vehicles, helping to ensure consumers aren't deceived into buying cars that could be worthless and potentially lethal to drive.’

Warwickshire Trading Standards Service is reminding anyone looking to buy a used car, particularly at the cheaper end of the market to check the vehicle and any paperwork thoroughly before purchase.

Trading Standards received a complaint in December 2008 from a consumer who bought a Peugeot 306 from MG Motor Group in Ash Green, Warwickshire. When Trading Standards examined the vehicle, they found that the front cross member was no longer attached to the main nearside chassis frame member. This meant that the cars had been sold in a dangerous condition.

At the same time, Trading Standards were also investigating a complaint regarding a Land Rover Discovery that had been bought from MG Motor Group and Longford Park Car Sales on two different transactions.

The Land Rover Discovery was also in a dangerous condition. It had severe corrosion and failed an MOT when the buyer took it in for a routine check. The owner was told the corrosion would cost £1,000 to repair and decided to return it to the dealer under the Sales of Goods Act. 

Eventually the owner obtained a refund from Longford Park Car Sales after showing them the MOT failure form and Mr Virdi informed him that they had scrapped the vehicle.

However, this was not the end of the Land Rover. The vehicle was sold on again but the second owner was also suspicious of the car and when checking the VOSA website discovered that the vehicle had failed a more recent MOT test.

The vehicle was then taken to VOSA for an examination and prohibited from being used on the road due to the corrosion, which was causing the bulkhead to move when applying the foot brake.

Virdi and James pleaded guilty to selling dangerous vehicles and for not disclosing the ownership of the business on their invoices. Their fines included compensation payments for the buyer of the Peugeot 306 and the second buyer of the Land Rover Discovery.

The defendants also pleaded guilty to a separate case relating to the sale of a dangerous Fiat Punto. They were fined in total £5,125 on that occasion.

One way to check a vehicle is to perform a car history check. Click here to learn more.