Kettering man sold dangerous car to teenage driver

The condition of the car when it was sold at a salvage auction.
The condition of the car when it was sold at a salvage auction.

A man from Kettering who sold an unroadworthy car to a young driver has been fined and told to carry out unpaid work.

John Chambers, 45, of Wellington Street, sold the Vauxhall Corsa to an 18-year-old school leaver last September through an advert on ebay for £3,200.

But, following an investigation by Northamptonshire County Council’s trading standards team, the car was later found to have serious structural damage likely to have been caused in a crash and was not safe to be on the road.

Tests uncovered unrepaired structural damage, damage to the exhaust heat shield, damage to the front bumper, damage to the battery box and air filter, a split to the offside front chassis which had not been repaired, and damage to the coolant system.

Chambers’ advert had stated that the vehicle had come from an insurance company, that the car had minor front panel damage, but that damaged parts had been replaced.

However, the car had in fact come from a salvage company and the serious structural damage was not repaired.

At a previous court hearing, Chambers admitted three offences relating to supplying a vehicle in an unroadworthy condition and making false statements during the transaction.

He was sentenced at Northampton Crown Court this week to 100 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay a fine of £500 and prosecution costs of £1,000.

The victim has successfully won £4,080 in compensation from Chambers in a separate civil claim.

County council cabinet member for public protection, strategic infrastructure and economic growth Cllr André Gonzalez de Savage said: “This trading standards investigation showed irresponsible behaviour on the part of the seller which could ultimately have put this young driver’s life – and other road users – at risk.

“Our advice to anyone thinking of buying a used car is to always check a car’s history through the DVLA and its MOT and service history documents.

“You should also fully inspect the car and take it for a test drive before agreeing a sale.

“You can get further advice about buying a used car – and find out your rights if something goes wrong – from Citizens Advice by visiting