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NHS worker hits out at used car dealer over faulty Mini

PUBLISHED: 12:14 09 April 2020 | UPDATED: 17:38 09 April 2020

Marina and Jason Patchett. Photo: Jason Patchett

Marina and Jason Patchett. Photo: Jason Patchett

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An NHS worker has slammed a used car dealer for selling a Mini with faults that mean she cannot drive it to work.

The Mini Marina Patchett bought from Bonds. Photo: Jason PatchettThe Mini Marina Patchett bought from Bonds. Photo: Jason Patchett

Marina Patchett, who is looking after coronavirus patients at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, bought the 2009 Mini for £3,000 from Bonds Car Sales on Ber Street in February.

Since buying it, the healthcare assistant has had to spend £1,600 on repairs with another £1,000 of work still needed.

James Snelling, from Bonds Car Sales, apologised and said he would pay for the repairs but could not at the moment because of the coronavirus crisis.

Mrs Patchett, 41, from Tunstead, said: “I’m paying MOT, insurance and tax for a car I can’t use.

The website of Bonds Car Sales in Norwich. Photo: Bonds Car SalesThe website of Bonds Car Sales in Norwich. Photo: Bonds Car Sales

“Working with people who have coronavirus, I just don’t need all this stress on top of it.”

Her husband Jason is now taking her to work at the NNUH each day but he feels that is putting him at risk of catching coronavirus.

Mr Patchett took the car for a test drive before buying it and thought it was stuttering, but he put it down to the fact he was not used to driving manuals.

But Mrs Patchett said she knew something was not right when she drove it for the first time.

“It was really stuttering,” she said. “I called James (Snelling) and he said it was probably because it had been on the forecourt for a while. We took it back to them for them to look at. They changed the battery and some other bits but it still was not right.

“He (James Snelling) said it was running like a dream but you could tell something was wrong. The rev counter was still shooting up and then we realised there was an issue with the clutch.”

They took it to a different garage and paid £1,600 for a new clutch, gearbox and exhaust repairs.

Mr Patchett also sent two letters to Bonds and asked for a refund.

Mr Snelling called them last week and said he would pay them but Mr Patchett said he was waiting for confirmation.

In response, Mr Snelling said: “I have explained to them that I will work with them and refund the costs but there is not much I can do at the moment (because of the lock down). I do apologise to them but I am not in a position where I can give them the money.”

Several Bonds customers also complained to this newspaper last year about the quality of their cars.

Sophie Leney, head of Norfolk County Council Trading Standards, said: “Used cars are the most complained about business sector in Norfolk and nationally. We take a staged approach to enforcement which does sometimes lead to criminal prosecution where the business ignores our advice and continues to flout the law.”

•Visit www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer for advice


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