Used car dealer jailed after selling vehicle in “dangerous condition”

A used car dealer from South Wales has been jailed after selling a vehicle in a “dangerous condition”.

Alan Peter Lewis of APL Cars, Skewen, was sentenced to six months in prison by Swansea Crown Court and ordered to pay £2,000 in compensation after selling a vehicle “that could have been subject to failure and risked the lives of the driver and lives of other road users”.

Trading Standards stepped in after the customer contacted Citizens Advice after their local garage inspected the vehicle and said it wasn’t safe to drive.

Neath Port Talbot’s Trading Standards team arranged for another examination which also found the vehicle to have been unsafe when it was sold in January 2022.

Addressing Lewis in his sentencing remarks, Judge Walters told him he had no experience in the sale of motor vehicles but ventured into business, buying cars at auction and selling them on.

He added: “In this case you sold a motor vehicle and when the customer went to have an MOT at point of renewal five months after she bought it, it received a failure notice and a direction that the vehicle could not leave the garage due to its dangerous condition.

“Expert evidence given to the jury said the vehicle could only be described as dangerous and should never have been on the road.”

The court was told the vehicle had been driven for five months after sale and at any moment could have been subject to failure which could have risked the customer’s life and the lives of other road users.

A council spokesperson said: “Trading Standards welcomes the sentence imposed on Alan Lewis, considering the seriousness of the offence and the defendant’s attitude to compliance with the law.

“Trading Standards takes the sale of unroadworthy and misdescribed cars very seriously. Second hand car sales remain the most complained about trade sector and we hope this sends the correct message to unscrupulous businesses.”

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