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Car retailer fined £125,000 for 'misleading customers'

A car retailer has been fined £125,000, with £4,586 costs, after admitting selling “new” vehicles which had been driven abroad and misleading customers over prices.

Motorhouse 2000, of Walkmill Lane, Cannock, admitted 12 counts of supplying cars with false trade descriptions and 13 charges of giving misleading indications of purchase price, at Cannock magistrates on Friday, July 13.

A further 31 allegations were dropped by Trading Standards' prosecutors on account of the firm's guilty pleas.

The court heard that between January and August 2000 the company –with a turnover of around £67m a year – added indemnity charges of around £42.50 to the quoted sales price to cover administration costs on each vehicle.

Buyers of supposedly new vehicles were also charged a £25 registration fee, leading to a further £250,000 a year profit.

But Mr Roger Constantine, prosecuting, said some of the cars had been driven in Cyprus and South Africa and were registered to at least one other owner.

Mr Chris Loach, defending, said the firm had been unaware of the offences.

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