Nuneaton car dealer Matthew Twigg, owner of A5 Motor Group Limited was described in court as ‘reckless’ after selling an unroadworthy car.
Warwickshire County Council Trading Standards Service successfully prosecuted Mr Twigg and A5 Motor Group Limited following an undercover investigation.
As one of Warwickshire’s most complained about traders, A5 Motor Group was targeted as part of a wider undercover investigation in to the sale of dangerous and unroadworthy vehicles.
Trading Standards Officers visited the company, located on Leather Mills Lane, Hartshill, Nuneaton and purchased a car for £490, advertised as having a ‘service history’. The car was then examined by an expert vehicle examiner who identified a number of faults including suspension problems, a leaking shock absorber, incorrectly attached wiper blades and a severe engine oil leak.
At Nuneaton Magistrates’ Court Mr Twigg’s behaviour was described as ‘reckless’ and it was stated that if Mr Twigg didn’t know what he was doing, he should have.
Magistrates added that had the wheels come off the vehicle Trading Standards had purchased, ‘someone could have been killed’ and that Mr Twigg was ‘lucky no one was hurt’.
At Nuneaton Magistrates Court on Tuesday 16th October 2018 Matthew Twigg (age 34) of Middlesmoor, Wilnecote, Tamworth pleaded guilty to two offences under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008. He also pleaded guilty on behalf of A5 Motor Group Limited, to two further offences under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.
Mr Twigg was fined £500 and A5 Motor Group Ltd a further £500. Both Mr Twigg and the company were each ordered to pay costs of £2454 each. Mr Twigg was also ordered to pay a £50 victim surcharge. This totalled £5958.
Mr Skinner, representing Mr Twigg and A5 Motor Group Ltd stated in mitigation that the company now had a fully qualified mechanic on site, a car ramp and held RAC certification.
Warwickshire County Councillor Andy Crump, Portfolio Holder for Community Safety said: “Warwickshire Trading Standards will continue to take action to protect consumers from car traders who seem happy to put their customer’s lives at risk by selling those cars that are dangerous or unroadworthy.”
Advice on buying a used car
Warwickshire Trading Standards has created a helpful video describing the simple checks consumers can make before they buy a used vehicle.
- The Government’s MOT history website provides detailed information of a car’s MOT history and tells you if your vehicle is subject to a recall: https://www.check-mot.service.gov.uk
- This Government website has information on the tax/SORN status of the vehicle, year of manufacture, date first registered, engine size and colour: https://www.vehicleenquiry.service.gov.uk/
There are also commercial websites that will tell you, without charge, if the vehicle has been stolen or imported. For a few pounds you can get further information including whether there is any outstanding finance on the car or if the vehicle has ever been written off or scrapped.
Warwickshire residents wishing to make a complaint about a vehicle they have purchased can do so by contacting Warwickshire Trading Standards via the Citizens Consumer Advice Helpline on 03454 04 05 06.