The Economic Inspection Service noted that 378 of 781 second-hand car salesmen inspected in 2014 were violating legislation. The service wrote out 703 “on behalf of justice” tickets (pro justitia), in almost half the cases for illegal cash payments, announced the Ministry of the Economy on Friday. The investigation was aimed mostly at non-traditional sales channels such as garages other than car dealerships, second-hand cars internet retailers, and cars sold through “business cards.”
Some 48% of controls revealed at least one offense. In most cases (47%) this consisted in illegal cash payments (above the 3,000-euro threshold in place via the law against money laundering). A total of 13.7 million euros were paid in this way for the sale of some 2,348 vehicles. Other offenses concern mileage fraud (18%), non-respect of legal warranty (18%), illegal employment (4%), and price display (3%).
The Ministry of the Economy recommends that consumers hoping to sell their car or buy a second-hand vehicle should compare the various options on offer seriously. It reminds people that a legal warranty must be included when a second-hand car is sold by a professional. The salesman must also give an invoice with his company registration number allowing the consumer to check that company data given is correct.
The administration notes that the number of offenses for traditional sales channels is decreasing.
Oscar Schneider (Source: Belga)