The fall has been linked to a county council-run campaign called ‘Don’t Be Taken for a Ride.’
The campaign, aimed at informing car owners of the possible dangers that come along with buying a second-hand car, has been hailed a success.
Councillor Roger Walters told a local newspaper: ‘We see teenagers who have bought their first car, only to discover it has been in an accident and is a write-off and we see those who have bought cars which, when they go through an MOT, have a variety of things wrong which cost hundreds of pounds to put right.’
Along with advising car owners, the campaign also involves traders who have been found wanting, helping them to operate legally and meet their various obligations.
Speaking to the Harlow Star newsaper, Cllr Walters added: ‘It’s a simple approach but one which is working well. We talk them through the safety risks and explain the consequences of continuing to trade in the way they have been.
‘This is often enough to get them to change their ways without us going down the legal route. But the team is clear we will take enforcement action if the trader doesn’t raise its game.’