Opinion: Why don’t authorities properly penalise rogue traders?

GW columnist, Andy Parsons on why the industry needs a tougher approach to unscrupulous mechanics

Opinion: Why don’t authorities properly penalise rogue traders?
Image: Bigstock.

A recent story on Garage Wire tells of a “mechanic” servicing cars on the pavement.

Andy Parsons of Shortfield garage in Surrey.

We’ve probably all seen this happening, whether it be your have a go DIY’s or to mini businesses being run from a drive, all though thankfully, it’s not to common a problem in Godalming.

I don’t think many of us would seriously object to someone doing their car minor maintenance.

After all, many of us have a crack at painting the walls, changing a tap or laying a new floor in our abodes.

However, like all things, if it has a direct effect on your fellow man than it’s not on.

Spilt oil, noisy foot tunes or work in progress heaps sitting on the pavement, I think, is not an acceptable way to behave.

Take this to the next level and you have someone purported to be a mechanic carrying out regular service and repair, charging for his services and paying not a bean in tax or rates.

Mr Mir of Slough I guess has been doing this for a while, with evidence collection and enforcement (strange word in these circumstances) going back to 2017.

So, how do we put a stop to this?

We recently had Environment Enforcement Officers issuing fixed penalty notices to local office workers who threw their fag buts on the ground.

This is a worthy “bust” but probably not as heinous a crime as oil in the paths and waterways and debris and parts strewn over the area.

So one would think this could come into their jurisdiction.

But it appears that this was already the case with Mr Mir.

My first question would be, why was it such a drawn-out procedure?

Surely it should be a much shorter time line – why did it have to take two years?

Secondly, if this man blatantly ignores court requests why do we namby pamby around issuing a meaningless fine?

From what I can see he’s supposed to pay £480.

Probably a couple of days work at most, which he probably won’t pay anyway.

OK, I’m starting to rant now, but as a responsible business owner I spend thousands employing and training staff, disposing of waste in the proper receptacles and paying for the privilege, insuring against harm to the public, rent, rates,VAT, PAYE, Corporation Tax – yes still ranting – but it’s not even that.

More than anything I feel sorry for the poor beggars who live near the Mr Mir’s of this world.

We need to take a much tougher line, now.

And lastly, just to finish as my blood pressure starts to return to normal, we haven’t even talked about licencing.

Share your comments below.

Home Page Forums Opinion: Why don’t authorities properly penalise rogue traders?

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  • #177492 Reply

    A recent story on Garage Wire tells of a “mechanic” servicing cars on the pavement. Andy Parsons of Shortfield garage in Surrey. We’ve probably all se
    [See the full post at: Opinion: Why don’t authorities properly penalise rogue traders?]

    #180850 Reply
    Ken Lister

    Totally agree 100% !

    #180851 Reply
    Mark Bradbury

    I would welcome a splash of oil on the pavement in place of the neighbours who chuck mattresses and sofas etc out on the the pavement

    #180852 Reply
    Lorraine Breading

    We have said for years that the trade should be licensed. Vehicles are dangerous pieces of equipment and if poorly maintained can KILL. Why haven’t the government taken this seriously. They do in other parts of Europe.

    #180853 Reply
    Stuart down

    I agree the rogue traders need to be dealt with and support licensing mobile mechanics. But whilst ranting bear in mind there are many of us that are insured, do pay tax and go out of our way to ensure the environment is not damaged and all of our waste is correctly disposed of.

    #180854 Reply
    mike wenban

    So ban mobile mechanics and breakdown repairs? Many are legit and provide services that are needed. They do have the advantage of very low overheads but they do not have the benefits of fixed premises most garages offer mobile/repairs breakdowns as well?. I do mobile repairs but often I will prefer to recover it and fix in a workshop, everything I need and out the dark, weather and interfering customers/passerbys.

    Same can be said for all businesses mobile shops, chippys, dog groomers it goes on. A whinging garage owner just complaining out of greed at the end of the day, we all had to start somewhere and he can always go mobile himself if he thinks they have it so easy.

    Looks like he wrote this himself for an advert.

    #180857 Reply
    Eddie Bamber

    What’s a noisy foot tune ?

    #181205 Reply
    Steph Savill

    Whistle blowers, quicker enforcement, naming and shaming locally, fines and a monitoring process should all play a part here. But the big one is to have a joined up licensing scheme for servicing and repairs managed by the IMI, RMI and SMMT working together, perhaps. And maybe there’s more of a role for insurers here?

    #181976 Reply
    nigel samson

    I started my business as a mobile mechanic in 1989 and progressed to being a garage owner in the mid 90’s. i am a time served technician with an HNC in mechanical engineering so i believe i am qualified to a suitable standard. My point is just because you choose to go mobile it does not make you a ‘rogue’ in fact quite the opposite you need to prove you are able to work in extreme conditions on all types of vehicles in all types of weather. Maybe if a few of these self righteous garage owners gave it a go they might have a different opinion.

    #189259 Reply
    Paul Michell

    So I wonder why the Trade bodies & organisations, who are keen to promote safe, legal, trained and competent repairers do not themselves raise prosecutions of these rogue traders, after all surely these bodies are there to protect and enhance the repute of the trade?

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