A Warrington car dealer has been handed a suspended jail sentence after investigations by Warrington Borough Council Trading Standards.
Peter Coulton, of Welwyn Close, Thelwall, was given a four-month sentence, suspended for two years, at Liverpool Crown Court.
The 40-year-old was paid a combined £9,000 for unsafe or unreliable cars he sold to unsuspecting customers of his business Lloyds Motor Company, on Old Liverpool Road.
One customer bought a car for her 18-year-old daughter but she was shocked to find the radiator had a large leak, the rear bushes were ‘completely shot’ and both front brake pads and discs were corroded.
When she asked for her money back she was told to take it up with the warranty company but this proved impossible as there was no warranty in place.
She said: “I couldn’t believe how rude and abrupt he was. He had changed from he couldn’t help you enough to someone that really didn’t give a damn.”
Another customer, a mum-of-seven, who had to save up to buy a car, handed over £1,195 for a Peugeot 307. She was told there were no advisory warnings on the MOT which was untrue.
Another customer found that the MOT on a Vauxhall Astra had expired on the day he bought it and the promised warranty did not exist.
When the car broke down Coulton said it was not his problem and the vehicle went on to fail its MOT.
Coulton, who pleaded guilty to seven offences under the Unfair Trading Regulations, was sentenced to four months in prison suspended for two years.
He must also carry out 100 hours unpaid work, £500 towards the prosecution costs and pay an £80 victim surcharge.
Clr Judith Guthrie, executive board member for public protection, said: “This is an appalling case that could have had extremely serious consequences on the road. It has left several hard-working families out of pocket when they trusted this man to deal with them honestly.
“I would like to thank our trading standards investigators for their tireless work in pursuing this case.”
If you are thinking of buying a car please see www.warrington.gov.uk/info/201127/trading_standards/2180/unroadworthy_cars for advice.