An Eglinton motor trader has been fined a total of £2,700 and ordered to pay compensation of £4,196.78 at Derry Magistrates’ Court.
In a case brought by the Trading Standards Service of the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment, Christopher Barr, who traded under three different name - Barr Motors; Auction Cars Direct UK and Trade Sales Direct - failed to appear in court and, in his absence, was found guilty of two charges under the Fraud Act 2006 and four charges under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.
In April 2014, the Trading Standards Service received complaints from a number of consumers who had purchased cars from Christopher Barr.
Shortly after purchase, they discovered the cars had either been “clocked” or had significant mechanical problems.
Investigations carried out by the Trading Standards Service discovered that two cars had their mileage reduced by a total of some 118,000 miles.
Trading Standards Service believe Mr Barr had full knowledge of the higher mileage prior to selling the cars.
As well as selling “clocked” cars, Mr Barr also chose to use a form of words in receipts aimed at removing his responsibilities under Sale of Goods legislation.
Catherine McErlean, of the Trading Standards Service, said: “Car dealers have a responsibility to ensure that all descriptions applied to vehicles are truthful and not misleading to consumers.
“Mr Barr’s behaviour in the sale of these particular vehicles fell well short of the trading practices expected of traders selling used cars to consumers.”