Why are adverts for my car appearing whilst it is waiting to be auctioned?

I decided to enter my car in a well-known car auction in Newcastle. The car is a 2003 2.0-litre diesel, 86,000 miles, one previous owner, in excellent condition with a full service history, and current MOT. The car went into the ring and a bid of £750 was received. I refused this, so the car was put forward to the first auction of the following week. However, the day after the first entry, and after my refusal, I was browsing through Autotrader and was taken aback to find my car, complete with internal and external photographs, on the site of a local trader approximately 15 miles away. It was priced at £1,795, i.e. more than double the bid price.

Needless to say, I awaited with interest further communication from the auction house. This duly came during the second entry into the ring three days later. They telephoned with a bid of £800. I again refused and asked them if they could explain how my car was being advertised on a website. They weren't able to explain and assured me that the car was still on site and had not been sold.

It seems that the dodgy Arthur Daleys are still alive and well, and operating free of all constraints. Mobile phones and digital cameras have apparently allowed them to move into a virtual trading world, where they can advertise things they don't own, and websites accept adverts without proof of ownership. On a happier note, I now have my car back, and it will not be going back for auction.

Asked on 5 May 2012 by NM, Gosforth

Answered by Honest John
Quite interesting, but typical, of course. And at this price level, because of their liability, traders now have to build a substantial profit into the cars they sell. It's not unusual for them to sell a £2000 car, then, five months down the line, the punter comes up with a list of faults on it and either demands they are repaired or demands his money back. A small claims court judge always sides with the punter. So the dealer often then has no choice other than to take the car back and ends up lending the car to the customer for five months for nothing.
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