Malmesbury car dealer found guilty of fraud

A car trader has been fined after misleading customers over the price of vehicles.

Paul Hyams, the director of Hyams Autos Ltd in Malmesbury, has been found guilty of two counts of fraud by false representation.

The case centred around a £99 non-optional fee in the price of vehicles advertised for sale on the Autotrader website not being disclosed to customers.

The charges relate to 16 vehicles sold between April 18, 2018 and April 4, 2019 and a further 19 sold between January 28, 2018 – July 30, 2019.

Hyams, of Hayes Road, Nailsworth, was also found guilty of a charge of engaging in commercial practice which is a misleading action containing false information.

On April 7, 2019 a 2011 Volkswagen Touran was advertised for sale on the Hyams Autos Ltd website. A customer who visited the Malmesbury showroom was not made aware of the extra £99 cost until they had test driven a vehicle and decided to buy it.

The charge sheet stated: “This caused the average consumer to take a transactional decision she would not have taken otherwise.”

Hyams had denied all offences in 2020, but was found guilty at Salisbury Magistrates Court on Thursday.

In total he was fined £800, and ordered to pay a surcharge to fund victim services of £80 and costs of £2,000.

Paul Hyams and Hyams Auto’s have been found guilty of placing misleading advertising and fraud, specifically relation to charging £99 fee during 2019.

A statement posted on the Hyams Autos Facebook page said: “Whilst Hyams Autos accept the court ruling, the regulations regarding administrative fees are unclear.

“We have not deliberately mislead anyone and everyone who paid the administration fee were aware of the fee before the cars were sold and were happy to make the payment.

“Since the matter was brought to our attention, we have made extra steps to ensure all customers are fully aware of the £99 admin fee and why it is charged.

“We have been trading in Malmesbury for over 45 years and are fortunate to have many loyal and happy customers.

“The verdict reached by the courts does not reflect our business ethos or our standing in the local community.”

Back to: The Traffic SEOWebsite SEONews and BLOGGloucestershire News

You may also like...