Car FRaud - Arnold Clark?????

Posted 12th Apr 2007
Hi - am after advise from you guys!

We bought a car in November 2006 from Arnold Clark (in the North West) - just a 2004 Focus Zetec, or so we thought.......

Just come to get it taxed now, and been told that it should have an MOT. We questioned this with the DVLA as we thougth it wasn't due it's MOT till June 2007 as it was first registered in June 2004!

After lots of discussions with the DVLA we have found that the car was actually used and registered in Jersey and was actually manufactured in 2001!!!!!!!!!! It came to the UK in 2004 and registered then!!!!!!!!

Firstly, we are going to argue that they have sold us a faslely advertised Car at an incorrect price. Secondly, and more importantly, we don't know how Arnold Clark could have got it Taxed in the first place when we bought it as again they would of needed an MOT Certificate, and we think that they could have frauduelently (sp.) taxed the car!!!!!

Any one know the best place to start / advice????

Fortunately the Chicks Dad is a Traffic Cop so we have his ear, but where do we stand legally??

I want to go there at the weekend, drop the car off and get my money back!!!!

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C.A.B. is always a good place to start.

C.A.B. is always a good place to start.

I second that :thumbsup: I've always found CAB to be most reliable, informative & of course, FREE.

Did you pay by credit card for the purcahse NatD ?
Does the V5 not have any info on it prior to 2004 regarding the 2001 Jersey registration ?

If it does than I would say you have Arnold Clark bang to rights .
I didn't think a car could legally have plates which made it seem newer than it is?

I didn't think a car could legally have plates which made it seem newer … I didn't think a car could legally have plates which made it seem newer than it is?

The plates will match the registered date at DVLA when it came into the country from what I remember . I'm really surprised at Arnold Clark selling it as a 2004 model though , their must be checks on build date etc in the system .
Hmm , after reading this it seems that Arnold Clark should really have known that it was an older car as Ford verified this one :…tml

This is the interesting bit I think :

Also, Ford head office has told us that Mr Millar would have had access to the systems which show previous registration.

I'd say that Arnold Clark would also have easy access for them to check the Focus when it was bought in by them for their own peace of mind .
We spoke to motoring journalist Mark James and asked him if he thought it was reasonable to sell a 2001 car as new in 2004.

"Absolutely not, everybody should have been made aware of exactly what this car was and the dealer should have had a signed bit of paper to that effect that would have been clear to everybody. This is a UK car, UK registered, or this is an import from Europe that was first registered in Spain - that would be clear to everybody and there would have been no comeback on either side.
I do think you have a very good case indeed mate
Thanks for all your comments.

I was first suspicious after getting the car (I have had company cars or new cars in the past) and when looking at the V5 it had to registration dates - June 2004 when it was registered and then December 2004 when it was first registered in the UK. So I could accept that as the reason why the car had been 'imported' from Jersey.

However, there was a small comment on the V5 about the manufacture date actually being 2001 which in all honesty we missed till recently - however, again this could be the same for most cars as lots are just left lying at airstrips and things like that until they are registered.

But, the DVLA are telling us that it was used prior to 2004 when it was first registered - possibly on a different plate!

PS - think we just paid with a Debit Card, but will check. How come????
I work in the motor finance trade and I know that if something comes up on the finance docs that differs to what you actually have you are in a good position.

Unfortunately it looks like you've paid it by cash so you wouldn't have any financial documentation, but if you do still have the order form (what you sign to say you will take the car) and it states a 2004 model then you can challenge it. The order form is required for all transactions and should state the model. If the dealer says it's not a legal form then he's talking tosh.
Hi - we dug out the original order detail last night, and even found the original advert from autotrader online.

Arnold Clark are a large and reputable Car Retailer, so to say we are shocked is an under statement!!!!!

After speaking with the Chicks old man (Traffic Cop) he has advised us to call them, advise them that we are bringing the car back, request a full refund and even compensation!
I think your first step should be to make copies of all the documentation you have, receipts sales invoice etc etc. Then approach the dealer. If he doesn’t agree with you that you should have a refund then go and see C.A.B.
After reading reviews on Arnold Clark on Ciao and Blagger (sorry, the site doesn't open on my machine, so this link is Google cached), it doesn't look like they are reputable. Dishonesty and lies are the most repeated words in both reviews.

CAB and Trading Standards definitely are worth to be contacted on this one. It sounds like deliberate fraud.
I've heard a few stories of people having problems with Arnold Clark in Scotland. I wouldn't buy a second hand car from them didn't trust them previously but after reading Natd's story wouldn't touch them. They really seem to be getting themselves a bad name.

I agree with everything that has been posted already, you definitley have a case against them, reckon CAB and Tradin Standards would be very interested. Good luck
A car hit my brother purposefully on the motorway a couple of weeks ago. The police can't trace the owner.

It seems it was an Arnold Clark car. Arnold Clark sold it to someone, had it registered in their name, then they didn't come to pay for it so they sold it to someone else... but never had it registered in the name of the new owner.
What I can't get my head round is how they managed to Tax the thing in the first place WITHOUT having an MOT certificate!!!!!

What I can't get my head round is how they managed to Tax the thing in … What I can't get my head round is how they managed to Tax the thing in the first place WITHOUT having an MOT certificate!!!!!


[SIZE=2]Before you do ANYTHING or go any further, do as FonZe says and make COLOUR copies of EVERYTHING, back and front, even if you have to go to a copy place or use a friends colour printer/scanner/copier. Once you have them, put them in a safe place, maybe a safe or in a friends house. Then get a digital camera and take photographs of the car, including where possible the reg number and the VIN number and plate. The VIN should be in the lower left hand side of the car's windshield, under the wiper, in front of the passenger seat. The plate could be in the engine bay, above the radiator/grill area or on the drivers door surround or sometimes under a plastic flap on the floor pan around the drivers seat. Then copy this to your computer and make sure they are clear photos and of good quality that can be reproduced, if required. And place them with your original (copied) paperwork and hide them away.[/SIZE]

[SIZE=2]Then contact your insurance company and tell them what you have found out. Ask them if you have legal cover for taking action against the seller, most companies have this as standard but few people know about it. Also ask them what you do about a replacement car while this is sorted out as you might not be covered while driving it. Upon their advice contact the AA, RAC, TS or the CAB about what action they see fit in this situation. The two points I would make/stress ARE - make sure your insurance covers you for driving the car from today on-wards etc AND DO NOT allow Arnold Clark to take possession of the car until you have satisfactory recompense for all this carry on. Only when you are happy with the outcome should you hand the car over. These companies can 'lift' the car from you, either with master keys or a HAIB lorry crane,so make sure to can 'hide' the car out of sight. Now sometimes the police Traffic unit will be interested in getting involved as well as there could be criminal charges involved as well, so maybe a word with someone in the 'stolen vehicle unit' might not go a miss either.[/SIZE]

[SIZE=2]All in all it is not as frightening as you might think but the main thing is that all the time you hold the car you are in the driving seat (no pun intended) and AC will be at your mercy, Give them possession of the car and you can whistle till the cows come home[/SIZE]
Thanks for that! AC are now claiming they have documents from Ford claiming that the car was Manufactured in May 2004!!!!!

Will see what they say this afternoon, but will probably go with the Police tomorrow to get our Money back.

If they start playing silly ******, I don't mind spending a Saturday afternoon handing out flyers to prospective customers!!!!

I don't mind spending a Saturday afternoon handing out flyers to … I don't mind spending a Saturday afternoon handing out flyers to prospective customers!!!!

Don't stoop to their level, and I would not go near them on a weekend either, do a weekday at your convenience, lawyers don't work at the weekend and they know that. Thread carefully and remember you have the upper hand, deal with no one less than the area manager, not the franchise manager.
Are they franchises then ?

I didn't know that , I thought they were part of the whole group .

...PS - think we just paid with a Debit Card, but will check. How come????

Well.. if its Credit Card, the CC company is also legally obliged to sort out the issue and unfortunately, you dont have the same rights for debit card transactions
Ah well - but a note has been made for any future transaction thanks!
Bump! - so what happened next?
Hi! Well its all gone quiet at the moment.

On Friday / Saturday, AC claimed that they had contacted Ford and the DVLA and that the car was registered in 2004 not 2001, where as we had been advised by DVLA that the car was definitly registered in 2001 in the Channel Islands.

We have now both requested a document from the DVLA (can take 7-10 days!) that will prove when exactly the car was registered. We are 100% confident that this will be confirmed and that AC are just stalling for time.

We had sent a letter off to What Car and Trading Standards are also now investigating for us. We wrote off to Quentin Wilson as well, now we haven't received anything back from him, but in his column at the weekend a similar thing had happened to someone else. He told them to return the car and ask for a full refund or a Car to the same spec what they should of had on the grounds of misrepresentation (I think this is the legal term!)

So yesterday we wrote to AC stating that pending the information from the DVLA, and on the grounds of misrepresentation, we want either a full refund or an actual 2004 Focus to the minimum of our spec that we bought.

After reading a few of the notes above, I didn't want to return the car just yet to AC.

It has gone a bit stagnate now, and we are chomping at the bit to get rid of the car, but we have to wait for this document from the DVLA.

Hopefully, Trading Standards will push our case as well because personally I don't think we should have to wait as they have already confirmed that the car is certainly a 2001 registered car!

If we don't hear anything from AC soon, I think we will send a personal letter to Arnold Clar himself!
Nothing worse than having to wait for other people to send you documentation that you need! Hopefully the DVLA will send the document to you pretty quickly. Good news that Trading Standards and What Car are investigating for you.

I agree don't think you should have to be waiting, with Trading Standards investigating that may be the shove that AC need to do something
blimey didnt realise this could happen, good luck
anything happening on this?
Hi - still waiting on the DVLA!!! The document we need should be with us this week, proving (in writing) that the car was indeed registered in 2001 so we can then take action against AC for Misrepresentation as well as Fraud / Sales of Goods act.

As soon as I hear anything, will let you know.
AC have been dragging there feet BIG TIME!

Trading Standard and the DVLA have been great. We threatened them this week with legal action in the court if not resolved by today.

Just received a call from AC offering us money to the value of the car that we bought minus £500 for 6-months use!!!

We have gone back and said we'll meet them half way so should be dropping the car off tomorrow and collecting a cheque for £6k!!!!!
So you have lost £250 ?
Less than that as they have refunded us the £68 for tax as well! So not bad really.
Excellent news - fingers crossed for tomorrow!
so, did you get your money back ok?

Yep - went in there, saw the Manager, very apologetic, gave us our check, and we were out of there within 15 minutes.

He did try to explain that it looked like the DVLA were at fault partly, but to be honest we weren't interested.

Found a nice replacement car today, and the experience was much better, this was from a dealer attached to Toyota!
That's really good news, i'm glad you managed to sort it out in the end, I bet the last few weeks havn't been too pleasent for you!
Glad to hear it's all sorted, that sounded like a right pain in the neck.

I bought my car secondhand from Arnold Clark, there was an error with it but in my favour - they were selling it as the 130bhp version (which the manager insisted it was) but as far as I could tell there never was a 130bhp version in that spec, only the 150bhp version I was after. Took it for a run, liked it anyway and found out when going through the documentation it was the rarer 150bhp version which was worth at least 1500 quid more than they were selling it for.

Coming up for its service now though, not sure where to take it as I want to keep a Seat service until it's at least past the three year mark.

whats happening regarding trading standards ??
Nothing else now - our dispute has been resolved.

Arnold Clark were taking things up with the DVLA though because they felt that they weren't in the wrong, and that it was an original registration error!

Nothing else now - our dispute has been resolved.Arnold Clark were taking … Nothing else now - our dispute has been resolved.Arnold Clark were taking things up with the DVLA though because they felt that they weren't in the wrong, and that it was an original registration error!

This can really happen. I understand that this has been really stressful but at least they have been decent and given you Money back - I know MANY 'reputable' (which Arnold Clark is) that would have made you fight for your money back.

All cars are checked through experian - so that should have shown any problems - but experian relies on data from DVLA - so I can fully understand how a dealer could have been caught out with this. If DVLA is wrong then experian would have been wrong so the dealer would needed to have been mystic meg to know it wasn't right.

Out of interest who did you buy the Toyota from - as I bet they have had a few unhappy customers at some point.

Glad you got it sorted and hope you enjoy your new car.
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