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Warning after social media car trader jailed

Motorists are being urged to check whether cars being advertised for sale on social media and online are in a roadworthy condition before handing over any money.

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The call comes after a Swansea man was jailed for selling dangerous vehicles.

Liam Arrigan, of Waun Road in Morriston, is starting a nine-month prison term following an investigation by Swansea Council's Trading Standards Department.

A judge at Swansea Crown Court heard that in August 2016 a member of the public contacted the department after buying a vehicle from Arrigan for work.

It was unsafe and needed additional money spent on it to bring the vehicle to a safe and roadworthy standard.

Additional checks by Trading Standards revealed other vehicles being sold by Arrigan, aged 29, were also unsafe, due to issues with their brakes and suspension.

The cars had also been involved in accidents which had not been declared when they were advertised on social media sites including Facebook and Gumtree.

Passing sentence Judge Paul Thomas told Arrigan: "Last August you tried to sell cars that were insurance write-offs and dangerous to be driven. Those vehicles presented a danger to consumers.

"This was a dishonest attempt to sell those cars to the public. Even on your account this was a reckless disregard for public safety. Indicative of your dishonesty, you pretended you had missed off the description of a vehicle being a write-off."

David Picken, Swansea Trading Standards Manager, said that the selling cars using social media was on the increase, so he's urging consumers to take time to ensure that they have done some sensible checks before agreeing to buy the vehicle.

These checks should include asking if the seller is a trader or dealer and asking to see the history of the car.

Prospective buyers should also ask who the last owner was and ask to speak to them to find out why they got rid of the car and when.

They should also ask if the car has been in any collisions or has had other major repairs, check websites to see if the seller has sold other vehicles, check any feedback from other customers, and examine the things they can see like tyres and windscreen wipers to check their condition.

It's also being recommended to ask a mechanic to come with you to examine and test drive the car.

Mr David Picken added: "This sentence sends a clear message to people selling cars that they must do so in a responsible and organised manner.

"Those who sell unsafe cars and mislead customers when doing so can expect to be dealt with in the same way."

Members of the public are encouraged to bring information to Trading Standards about any similar practices of this nature by telephoning 03454 040505 (Welsh) or 02454 040506 (English), or using the website: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/get-more-help/if-you-need-more-help-about-a-consumer-issue/


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