A second-hand car salesman has been ordered to pay almost £3,000 after he sold a non-existent warranty on a vehicle to an unsuspecting couple.
Huw Carl Ludlam, 45, company director of South Wales Auto Store Ltd, of Dynevor Terrace, Nelson, was taken to court by Caerphilly County Borough Council’s Trading Standards team following a complaint from the buyers.
The couple had purchased a 54 plate Land Rover from South Wales Auto Store Ltd in 2013. They later discovered a warranty they believed was to be registered was never registered with the warranty company.
When the vehicle experienced mechanical defects over the next few months, the couple from Hengoed discovered they were not covered and contacted Trading Standards team.
Susan Ead, prosecuting, told the court the buyers were forced to pay for some of the repairs that should have been covered by the warranty. They eventually sold the car in March last year for £4,300 – more than £4,500 less than the price they had bought it for.
Ludlam pleaded guilty to a charge under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 when the case was heard at Newport Magistrates’ Court on February 13.
He was fined £1,800, ordered to pay compensation to the consumer of £423, costs to the council of £600 and a victim surcharge of £120.
The court was also told that while Ludlam himself had no previous convictions, in 2010 and 2012 Caerphilly County Borough Council’s Trading Standards team had prosecuted a previous company trading from the same address, owned by Ludlam called Huw Ludlam Limited, of offences under the same regulations and under the General Product Safety Regulations.
Cllr David Poole, Cabinet Member for Community and Leisure Services, said: “Our Trading Standards team are there to ensure a fair trading environmental for consumers, local trade and business. Customers should be treated fairly and receive what they are entitled to, and our team are extremely proactive in working to ensure that this is the case. I hope this successful prosecution will act as a warning to others that they will not get away with committing unfair and illegal practices.”