More than 20,000
more cars rolled out of British factories in August than in the
same month of 2009, the latest figures show. As further evidence of
the rebound in the manufacturing sector, monthly figures from the
Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) showed car output
37.3% to a total of 77,900 vehicles last month.
• Used car sales from April to June
were 0.7% lower than in the second quarter of 2009, say Experian.
This represents the smallest drop in annual sales for two
• The number of complaints about
the used car sector rose by 18% in the first six months of the year
compared with the same period in 2009, according to new Office of
Fair Trading statistics. Used cars topped the list of complaints
with Consumer Direct recording 38,138 instances. However, the
number of complaints had fallen sharply from the 50,790 recorded in
the final six months of 2009.
• Cattles, the embattled plc whose
brands include Welcome Car Finance, has had a knock back on
negotiations for its survival. The subprime lender, which closed
Welcome Car Finance to new business after a £850m hole was
discovered in the group’s accounts, has failed to secure a survival
deal with creditors. A key group of bondholders has pulled out of
the negotiations, which were focused on who should get first claim
on funds if the group gets wound up in an orderly restructure.
Cattles said it will continue talks with other lenders.
• Vehicle information provider HPI
is warning used car buyers about the potential number of Category B
insurance write-offs being dangerously repaired and returned to UK
roads. These are vehicles that have been recommended by the
Association of British Insurers (ABI) to be crushed or broken down
for spare parts or scrap. HPI urges consumers to protect themselves
against the threat of buying a potential death trap.
•The Government’s Scrappage scheme
gave the UK new car market a fantastic boost, but the continuing
lack of good quality second hand cars for sale means unscrupulous
sellers are using a variety of ways of conning used car buyers out
of their money,” says Nicola Johnson, consumer services manager at
HPI. “Criminals have been capitalising on this shortage by
disguising Category B write-offs as a good buy. An HPI check will
give a used car buyer the complete picture of a vehicle’s history,
including revealing if it has been an insurance write-off and if
so, which category. This offers protection from paying good money
for a vehicle that is not fit for purpose and a possible safety
• Currie Motors and Pentagon have
signed up to the Dealers Backing BEN campaign. They will contribute
£1 from sale proceeds of vehicles sold through auctions to the
charity. Glenn Pitzer, Currie Motors’ finance director, said: “We
are proud to be associated with BEN, our industry charity.”