Second-hand car dealer fined after breaching trading standard rules

A second-hand car dealer based in Goole has been ordered to pay over £2,500 in compensation after admitting 11 offences under trading standards legislation.

Wednesday, 16th June 2021, 7:55 am
Anthony Heppenstall, 67, of Southsea Road, Flamborough, appeared at Hull Magistrates’ Court last month and pleaded guilty to 11 offences under the legislation in relation to his business as a second-hand car dealer.
Anthony Heppenstall, 67, of Southsea Road, Flamborough, appeared at Hull Magistrates’ Court last month and pleaded guilty to 11 offences under the legislation in relation to his business as a second-hand car dealer.

Anthony Heppenstall, 67, of Southsea Road, Flamborough, appeared at Hull Magistrates’ Court last month and pleaded guilty to 11 offences under the legislation in relation to his business as a second-hand car dealer.

These offences related to sales of vehicles as well as failing to comply with the requirement to disclose ownership of a business on his documentation, falsely claiming to be operating a limited company and failing to register as a dealer in second hand goods and to display certification, which is a requirement under The Humberside Act 1982

Heppenstall operated businesses under a number of different names including A Buyers’ Gallery of Car and Van Supercheapies, Estcourt Car Sales and Autolodge.

The court heard how Heppenstall came to the attention of officers from East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s trading standards team in early 2019 after they received a number of complaints from customers in relation to his trading practices.

Heppenstall was fined £1,500, ordered to pay compensation to customers totalling £2,672.50, a victim surcharge of £50 and a contribution towards the prosecution costs of £1,200.

Colin Briggs, trading standards services manager the council, said: “The council’s trading standards team take the mis-description of vehicles extremely seriously.

“The result of this case makes it clear that the buyers of used cars have a legal right to know the history of any vehicle they wish to purchase.

“This means that car dealers must disclose any inherent faults present at the time of sale and whether it has been the subject of an insurance loss.

“Traders cannot withdraw or restrict consumers’ rights by simply using the term ‘‘sold as seen’.”

In 2019, one customer from North Yorkshire complained after the vehicle they bought from Heppenstall had been bought by him at auction as a write-off and which he poorly repaired before selling on.

It was the second time the same vehicle had been an insurance loss and the defendant refused to take any responsibility for the faults, which were uneconomical to repair leaving the customer having to buy a new car.

In the same year, he sold two more vehicles to customers in Hull and Grimsby, both of which developed faults shortly after they had been bought but in an attempt to restrict the rights of the customers, Heppenstall had included the term ‘sold as seen’ on the invoices and again failed to respond to requests for repairs to be undertaken.