A Belfast car dealer who sold a clocked car while claiming to be a private seller has today been fined a total of £2,000 at Belfast Magistrates’ Court.
In a case brought by the Trading Standards Service of the Department for the Economy, Gareth Campbell (52) of Church Road, Belfast pleaded guilty to one charge under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 and was found guilty of two further charges.
The Trading Standards Service's investigation was prompted by a complaint from a consumer who had purchased an Audi A3 from Mr Campbell in April 2018. At the time, Mr Campbell was giving the impression that he was a private seller. He was also operating under a false name. The car was sold with 77,000 miles on the clock.
It was only when the new owner took the car to get some work done on it that he discovered that the car’s computer held a higher mileage reading and he complained to Trading Standards. Subsequent investigations showed that the Audi had actually travelled around 150,000 miles. Evidence was also obtained showing Mr Campbell to be actively engaged in the sale of cars.
It was only some time later, after the owner had entered into correspondence with the seller, that the true identity of the seller of the car became apparent.
Kevin McNamara of the Trading Standards Service said: “This was a case where Mr Campbell did his best to mislead an innocent member of the public on a number of fronts: he sold a car with an incorrect mileage, portrayed himself as a private seller rather than a trader and used a false name in his dealings. Thankfully the buyer’s suspicions were alerted and we were able to successfully prosecute Mr Campbell.”
Anyone who has bought a vehicle and believes they have been misled about the mileage should contact Consumerline on 0300 123 6262 or online.
Notes to editors:
- The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 makes it an offence for a trader to create the impression he is not acting for purposes relating to his trade or business. It is also an offence for a trader to engage in a commercial activity which is a misleading action, such as selling a car with a false mileage or giving misleading information as to their true identity.
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- 05 December 2019
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