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Used car dealer to stand trial for 'misleading and aggressive' sales tactics

A Somerset car dealer accused of using dodgy and aggressive sales tactics has been ordered to stand trial.

Malvin Price was operating his garage under the trade name of Rhino Auto Care when he allegedly sold cars that did not match the descriptions given to them, reported the Somerset Live website.

He is also alleged to have used aggressive measures to force customers into securing a deal with him, some which were claimed to have been deliberately targeted due to their vulnerability.

Price (35), of The Cypress House Road, Chilton Cantelo, appeared at Yeovil Magistrates' Court charged that, trading as Rhino Auto Care, he "engaged in a commercial practice which was misleading action" under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations, by claiming that a Volkswagen Caddy had a "new cambelt, new clutch, new brakes" and that six months tax would be provided.

The charge states that these details were "false as to the main characteristics of the product and deceived or were likely to deceive the average consumer and was likely to have caused the customer to take a transactional decision he would not have taken otherwise".

He was also alleged to have committed a second similar offence in relation to a Citroen Xsara vehicle which was advertised as "just serviced, new clutch, new cambelt kit (cambelt and water pump), new brakes all round", which was false.

He was also charged that on September 13 last year at Yeovil, he "engaged in a commercial practice which was aggressive in that it significantly impaired or was likely to impair the average consumer's freedom of choice or conduct in relation to a product concerned  (a VW Golf), through the use of harassment, coercion or undue influence, and thereby caused or was likely to cause him to take a transactional decision he would not have taken otherwise".

The defendant pleaded not guilty to all three allegations against him in the case which is being brought by Somerset Trading Standards department.

The court was told that the allegations did not involve safety offences but "were brought with regard to consumer detriment, which was significant, and that he targeted people who were vulnerable".

The case was adjourned until November 16 when the trial is due to begin.

Price was released on unconditional bail


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