News item

Belfast motor trader fined for sale of 'written off' vehicle

A Belfast motor trader was today (15 October) fined a total of £600 and £40 costs at Belfast Magistrates’ Court and redress of £2,500 was paid by the trader to the consumer who had bought the car.

In a case brought by the Trading Standards Service (TSS) of the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment, Robert Brown, who trades as BB Autos, pleaded guilty to three charges under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.

In May 2011 in response to an internet advertisement a member of the public bought a one year old Vauxhall Zafira, with a manufacturer’s warranty, from Mr Brown. After having problems with the car he eventually took it to a main Vauxhall dealer for repairs, expecting these to be covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. However the dealer advised him that the car had been declared a Category D write off and as such the manufacturer’s warranty was void.

TSS investigations verified the car’s status and discovered that Mr Brown had acquired the car damaged from a salvage business and then had it repaired. He also failed to inform potential buyers of the car of its previous history and did not check what effect the accident would have on the manufacturer’s warranty.

Peter Rankin of the Trading Standards Service said: “The purchaser relied entirely on the advertisement and the sales patter being true. In fact, he ended up with a poorly repaired vehicle that was worth considerably less than he paid for it and would be difficult to ”trade in” when he decided to change it.”

Notes for editors:

1. The Trading Standards Service investigates possible offences relating to accident damaged cars under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008. Anyone who believes they have purchased goods or services that have been misdescribed should contact Consumerline on 0300 123 6262 or log on to 

2. For press enquiries please contact DETI Press Office on tel: 028 9052 9604. Out of office hours please contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned

DATE: 15 October 2013 

Trading Standards Institute (TSI) is proud to announce it will be holding its annual National Consumer Week from 4 November 2013.

Hoping to help consumers make the right decision when buying a used car, TSI will be holding the week long event to raise national awareness on consumer rights through industry and trading standards advice and guidance.   

The launch will take place at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, The Mall, London SW1Y 5AH 

More details about this years National Consumer Week can be found here.

For any National Consumer Week enquires please contact the TSI Press Office

0845 608 9430