Car Trader Sold Insurance Write-offs

A Dorset car trader has been prosecuted for failing to tell customers that the cars he was selling were previously insurance ‘write-offs’.

It’s the first case of its kind in Dorset. Now trading standards officers are reminding sellers that failing to disclose key information about a car’s history is illegal.

On 23 August 2011, at Bournemouth Magistrates’ Court, Dean Rigler (Aged

50, of Broadstone near Poole) pleaded guilty to four offences under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 for misleading customers by omitting to provide information that four cars were previous insurance ‘write-offs’. He also pleaded guilty to three offences, under the same 2008 regulations, of misleading consumers by selling three vehicles with substantially reduced mileage readings.

The prosecution followed an investigation by Dorset County Council’s Trading Standards service. They had several complaints from consumers about cars bought from ‘The Upton Trade Centre’, also known as ‘The Trade Centre’, formerly at Blandford Road North, Upton.

Mr Rigler was given a two year Conditional Discharge for the seven offences. 

Dorset County Council's trading standards service manager Ivan Hancock said:

“Our view is that most consumers would be rightly shocked if they had unwittingly bought a car that had been a previous insurance write-off.

For too long consumers lacked protection from those car traders prepared to sell vehicles that they knew had been insurance ‘write offs’, while saying nothing to a customer. Helpful changes to consumer protection law in 2008 brought in the offence of misleading consumers by omitting to give them material information about goods sold.”

“This prosecution highlights the legal responsibility car traders have to correctly describe vehicles and to ensure they disclose any significant information they have about a vehicle that is likely to affect a decision to buy”.

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