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Used car dealer prosecuted under consumer protection laws

A Baldock second-hand car showroom has been fined £5,000 after being prosecuted under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.

IS Cars had pleaded not guilty at Watford Magistrates Court to four offences under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.

Following a trial last week, the company was found guilty of three of the four offences and fined a total of £5,000.

IS Cars was also ordered to pay £2,000 costs and an additional £120 victim surcharge.

The offences were committed following an inspection of the site in December 2012, when a Skoda Octavia advertised as having a leather interior was found to have a cloth and leather interior, and a Ford Focus advertised with a full service history was sold with two stamps suggesting it had been serviced by a specific garage when it had not.

The offences occurred despite the business receiving written advice from trading standards earlier that year.

In mitigation, one IS Cars director told the court that when vehicles are bought they are subject to a 64-point management inspection and an HPI check.

The Ford Focus was supplied to IS Cars with a full service history with stamps and there was no reason to question whether it was a genuine stamp or not. A full refund was given for the car.

He also stated that the Skoda was a performance model that had a leather and suede interior, suede being a form of leather.

In August last year, the same firm was fined for selling two unroadworthy cars following an investigation conducted by Hertfordshire Trading Standards.

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