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Trading standards: 'dealers must pay closer attention to consumer protection laws'

Louise Wallis - NAMA

Dealers have been encouraged by Trading Standards to pay closer attention to their responsibilities under consumer protection legislation and this carries implications for fleet managers.

The advice comes following a recent used car conference, where a Trading Standards officer warned a group of used car dealers about the risks associated with creating a misleading impression around the previous usage of a vehicle.

The National Association of Motor Auctions (NAMA) is also urging fleets to provide more information about vehicles they de-fleet through its members’ sites.

Louise Wallis, head of NAMA (pictured), said: “There can be no question that consumers are increasingly aware of their rights. Dealers at the recent Used Car NI Conference were unusually vocal in questioning the Trading Standards speaker.

“The NAMA Grading Scheme goes a long way to helping dealers to make an informed buying decision and we urge vendors to help us to help them by providing full information on service history, usage, repairs and mileage with as much supporting information as possible.”

The opportunity for fleet managers selling through NAMA auctions is to go that extra step to provide this information and thereby gain an edge in values and conversions.

Wallis said: “Accurate information unquestionably helps conversions and where this supports a quality vehicle it can help values as well.”

NAMA warned: “For vendors and sellers who still believe that a simple ‘buyer beware’ ethos can be relied upon by a dealer, by using words or statements such as ‘sold as seen’ or ‘trade sale only’ or ‘no refund’ even if the statement ‘this does not affect your statutory rights’ is included; then the Trading Standards interpretation was very clear, these are misleading statements that can carry criminal or civil sanctions.”

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