Trading Standards calls for car dealers to be licensed as part of clampdown on rogue traders

  • Trading standards body says used car dealers should be subject to a licensing system
  • Chartered Trading Standards Institute says used cars are among most complained about sectors
  • Outfit wants stricter consumer protections amid rising reports of dodgy dealers

Time 9:45 am, March 27, 2024

A Trading Standards body is calling for a licensing system for the motor trade amid a spate of dodgy dealers.  

The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) trains Trading Standards officers in the UK and has published its latest manifesto.

Inside the 28-page document, the used car market is singled out as being among the most complained about sectors by consumers in the UK.

The report comes less than two months after National Trading Standards told Car Dealer that the used motor trade was the country’s ‘most complained about trade sector’.

In its manifesto – titled ‘Helping local communities and businesses to prosper’ – the CTSI says that interventions by Trading Standards officers have prevented ‘£1.9m of consumer detriment’ when it comes to used vehicles in the past for years.

The body said: ‘Over the last ten years, the second-hand car market has been one of the most complained about industry sectors in the UK.

‘Rogue dealers who sell cheap, clocked or unroadworthy cars often impact the most financially vulnerable consumers.

‘NTS supported Trading Standards cross-regional activities to disrupt the most complained about used car traders.

‘Over four years this has prevented £1.9m of consumer detriment.’

So far this year, Car Dealer has reported on several rogue car dealers who have ended up in court, often with the help of Trading Standards officers.

Yesterday, we brought you the news that a used car dealer in Stockton-on-Tees has been jailed after he admitted multiple cases of fraud including selling a ‘death-trap’ Citroen.

In January we also attended Swansea Crown Court to see dodgy dealer Alan Lewis jailed for selling a ‘dangerous’ Toyota Yaris which was ‘rotten to its core’.

National Trading Standards are also currently clamping down on vehicles are being clocked prior to sale.

Last summer, south coast car dealer, Ashley Wilson, was jailed for wiping a staggering 2.9 million miles from the odometers of 33 used cars.

Going forward, the CTSI is now calling on the next government to introduce tighter checks on car dealers, with a licensing system introduced.

Details on how such a system would work, and how it would be applied, remain limited but the basic principal has been backed by the outfit’s key stakeholders, lead officers and members.

Outlining its position, the CTSI says: ‘Trading Standards is alert to continued threats to high standards of protection for both consumers and business, and we are at the forefront of identifying new and emerging risks.

‘Our regulators, law-makers and politicians need to anticipate, plan and respond to these challenges and ensure that the Trading Standards system is robust enough to deal with them.

‘The UK is part of the global economy, and we need to mitigate the risks of the UK regulatory framework diverging from the EU, ensuring the UK is an accessible and attractive place to do business.’

‘We are calling on the next Government to introduce licensing schemes for home improvement, motor vehicles and green energy businesses.’

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  • Jack Williams's avatar

    Jack joined the Car Dealer team in 2021 as a staff writer. He previously worked as a national newspaper journalist for BNPS Press Agency. He has provided news and motoring stories for a number of national publications including The Sun, The Times and The Daily Mirror.

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