Complaints about second hand car dealers in Essex have reduced dramatically, thanks to a project run by Essex County Council’s Trading Standards team.

The project targets the most complained about car dealers in Essex and helps them to raise their standards for the benefit of consumers.

Trading Standards officers do this by working closely with the dealers to ensure they understand the consequences of unacceptable level of complaints. The team gives them advice, guidance and reviews their procedures.

The project has seen a 43 per cent decrease in complaints regarding the most complained about dealers. Those who do not follow Trading Standards advice and guidance may be subject to enforcement action.

Essex County Councillor Roger Walters, Cabinet Member responsible for Trading Standards, said: “It is a simple approach but one which is working well.

"We talk them through the safety risks and explain the consequences of continuing to trade in the way they have been.

"This is often enough to get them to change their ways without us going down the legal route. But the team is clear we will take enforcement action if the trader doesn’t raise its game.”