Misleading customers into believing the cars being sold complied with London’s ULEZ restrictions resulted in £65,483 in fines, costs and compensation for Hilton Car Supermarket, the trading name of Elite Automotive in the west of London.
Hilton Car Supermarket in Hayes ‘deliberately misled customers’, Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court said, with ‘willful blindness’.
The issues came to light when a car buyer contacted Hillingdon Council’s Trading Standards team to reveal that he had purchased a car which the used car dealer had advertised as ULEZ compliant for his journey in the area, but then racked up £240 in charges.
Cars whose emissions do not meet the Ultra Low Emission Zone limits must pay £12.50 a day to enter London’s ULEZ zone.
The customer managed to return the car to Hilton Car Supermarket for a full refund, but the dealership would only refund half of the ULEZ fees the customer had accrued, and the car was re-listed as still ULEZ fee-exempt.
Trading Standards officers found five more cars incorrectly listed as “ULEZ-free” initially, along with 14 more vehicles during additional checks several months later.
On June 29, Elite Automotive, trading as Hilton Car Supermarket in Uxbridge Road, Hayes, admitted 12 breaches of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Practices Regulations 2008.
He was fined £58,825 for the breaches and ordered to pay £5,348 in costs, £1,120 in compensation to the client and a victim fine surcharge of £190.
The directors of the company, according to Companies House, are Chandandeep Singh, Sana Shafi and Nancy Nibber and the majority shareholder is Syed Shahryar Kamal.
Elite Automotive also has branches of Hilton Car Supermarket in Bletchley, Milton Keynes and in Weston Turville, Aylesbury.