Motor Trade Partnership drives home 'beware of rogue traders' message
WHY trust a rogue trader when you could get a car from the "good guys".
That is the message from the Motor Trade Partnership, a scheme combating motoring fraud in North East Lincolnshire.
Every member is vetted and audited before they are allowed membership, showing their commitment to fair, honest trade.
Trading Standards enforcement officer Linda Blackburn said: "We can't tell people where to buy their cars from but we can say these guys have been vetted, they comply with the law and they are trusted. Only the good guys sign up to this.
"The motor trade is biggest area for fraud purely because of the volume of cars being sold every day. People have high expectations with second hand cars and problems can arise when the garage doesn't meet them. It is our job to sort that out."
The scheme has been running for 12 years and has 17 garages signed up.
Paul Mason, of John Roe Toyota, has been in the business all his working life and has seen countless victims of fraud. He said: "We have seen it all over the years so it is good to have this credibility people can rely on it. It also gives us back up if problems to arise."
Part of Linda's role is to mediate if a customer has complaint.
Mike Croft and Kenny Gilmore signed up when they started four years ago.
Kenny said: "We get the advice and help whenever we need it and it gives us protection in the used car side of the business, which has always been a grey area for us. Often we are all tarred with the same brush as rogue traders – people are naturally suspicious."
Dodgy motors are sold from garages, over the internet, and advertisements in newspapers and shops and the advice is to always go to a garage with credibility.
The most likely targets are elderly pensioners and young drivers buying their first cars.
Graham Davis of Graham Davis Commercials in Laceby said: "We are the good guys, we're not all rogues. It doesn't attract more customers, but it gives existing customers confidence in us."
Paul Huxford, of Immingham Motors, Immingham, added: "People get peace of mind and means we have someone to rely on, too."
The 17 members of the Motor Trade Partnership also include: Westgate Motors Ltd Honda Seat Skoda, Car Services (Grimsby) Ltd, Central Motorists (Grimsby) Ltd, Wilson and Co Ltd, Central Car Company (Grimsby) Ltd, Decidebloom Ltd – Stoneacre Kia Fiat, South Humberside Motor Company Ltd Saab Renault, Astle Ltd, CF Parkinsons Ltd, Kev Blackburn Car Sales, Grimsby Cars Ltd, Grimsby Car and Van Centre Ltd.