Monday 11 December 2017

'Private motor sales regulation too lax' - website where deathtrap was sold

Victim Dayne Cody
Victim Dayne Cody

THE website Donedeal.ie has called for greater regulation of person-to-person car deals.

The Herald reveals today that lax regulation has seen mobsters buying second-hand cars online to use in violent crimes.

Young and inexperienced drivers and those without lic-

ences are also buying dodgy vehicles over the internet.

Fifteen-year-old Dayne Cody was killed when a car bought on DoneDeal in which he was a passenger crashed in December 2014.

The 2.1-litre Kia Magentis, with tyres in poor condition, was bought online for only €400.

DoneDeal safety officer Finbarr Garland said laws governing private car sales are too lax and urged authorities to consider tightening them.

He said the website was a facilitator for people to make private deals between themselves.

However, in the case of car sales, where issues are raised such as the possibility that a

vehicle might be stolen, Done-Deal reports this to gardai.

Mr Garland said garda off-icers had contacted the website over certain sales, including the crash that killed Dayne, who was a student at Kylemore College in Ballyfermot.

“We are really only a facilitator for people to buy and sell their goods,” he said.

“Having said that, when a car is reported to us as being untoward – such as when it is suspected of being stolen – we will take action.”

Mr Garland said the owners of the website do not know the condition of the cars listed, and their advice is for a prospective buyer to check this at the time of sale.

He added that the company “absolutely supports” stronger regulations surrounding private car sales, saying it could help prevent further tragedies.

“I totally agree with measures to prevent the selling of cars without a valid NCT and to underage drivers,” he said.

defective

He pointed out that in other jurisdictions the owner of a car must by law keep its logbook.

“The idea of just meeting someone on the street, handing over money and driving away has to change,” he said. 

A Department of Transport spokesperson said: “Driving a dangerously defective vehicle in a public place is an offence under Section 54 of the Road Traffic Act, 1961.”

The department said car dealers were required to comply with consumer protection laws, but these did not cover private, person-to-person sales.

Conor Faughnan, the director of consumer affairs at AA Ireland, said people should always be aware when buying a used car.

“We’ve been worried about this for quite some time,” he said. “When you’re buying

online, you have even less protection.”

The AA has called for a tax incentive to encourage people to scrap old cars and take them off the road.

Mr Faugh-nan warned that car buyers should at the very least do a history check on the

vehicle and get a mechanic’s

inspection.

His comments were echoed by Greg Owens, managing

director of carsireland.ie, who said: “In general, with cheap powerful cars, once it has been inspected and serviced properly it will only be

dangerous if you have an irresponsible driver behind the wheel.”

Mr Owens said it was better to buy a used car from a dealer than from a private individual, and added that his website offers a vehicle history check.

“A dealer is required to sell the car with a three-month warranty,” he said.

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