Car dealer convicted for selling clocked vehicle

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A NEWTOWNABBEY car dealer has been convicted at Belfast Laganside Magistrates’ Court for selling a clocked vehicle.

In a case brought by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment’s Trading Standards Service, Roy Martin John Smiley, who trades as CT Autos, 571 Doagh Road, Newtownabbey, was convicted of two charges under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 and is awaiting sentence.

CT Autos sold a consumer a 2006 Vauxhall Astra with an odometer reading of around 75,000 miles. Shortly afterwards the consumer discovered the car had travelled a much higher mileage - later confirmed by the Trading Standards Service to be at least 165,751 miles.

The consumer raised the matter with the trader and returned the car. Days later it was offered to undercover Trading Standards officers with the lower figure and no mention of the higher mileage was made.

Peter Rankin, Trading Standards Officer said: “This demonstrates the lengths some unscrupulous traders will go to in order to mislead consumers.

“The trade in clocked cars affects both consumers and honest motor dealers. The penalty in this case should serve as a warning to traders that they should ensure that cars they sell are correctly described in advertisements and during negotiations with potential buyers. Failure to do so can result in a maximum fine of £5,000.”

The Trading Standards Service investigates possible offences relating to clocked cars under consumer protection regulations. Anyone who believes that they have purchased goods or services that have been misdescribed should contact Consumerline on 0300 123 6262 or online at www.consumerline.org.