DOZENS of motorists claim they have lost thousands of pounds after a car dealership went under.
VIP Car Sales Ltd in Mereside Road was served a winding up order and placed in compulsory liquidation on March 6.
Cheshire Police this week confirmed that it is investigating a number of complaints against the company, and two people have been arrested and released on bail.
Several readers contacted the Guardian saying they are out of pocket as a result of the Knutsford company closing down.
Alan Booth, from Sale, bought a 2014 Toyota Yaris in a part-exchange deal in February, but never managed to get his hands on it.
“I went down to buy a car. It was advertised on the internet so I went based on what I saw,” he said. “I liked the car and a price was agreed. I said I would pay the £7,800 balance, but the credit card machine wasn’t working so I could only pay for it via bank transfer.
“I did that on the Monday and went down on Wednesday to pick it up, and was told the car wasn’t ready. I never got the car.”
Another man from Salford said he took his car to VIP Car Sales Ltd in February for the company to sell, and was hoping to use the profits to buy a house.
VIP Car Sales Ltd put the car up for sale at £22,250.
The motorist said: “After many weeks of not receiving any money and hearing no word of a sale, I went down to get the car back. It was still there on the forecourt.
“I was told that someone had bought it and the money would be sorted out in a matter of days.
“Time went on and it never happened. I have lost the house I wanted to buy for my uncle because of this.”
Knutsford resident Roger Cross says he is wondering when he will get his car back.
The used car he bought last year from the company was faulty so he took it back to be fixed.
He said: “I bought the car, picked it up and I thought something wasn’t quite right with the engine, so I took it back. They did some work to it, I picked it up, but it still wasn’t right. I got a courtesy car and left mine with the company. This was in October, and I still haven’t had it back.”
According the London Gazette – the public record of corporate insolvency – a petition to wind up VIP Car Sales Limited was presented to the courts on November 2, 2016 by Santander Consumer (UK) PLC, which trades as Santander Consumer Finance.
A spokesman for the Insolvency Service – an executive agency, sponsored by the Government’s Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy – confirmed that VIP Car Sales Ltd had been placed in compulsory liquidation.
The spokesman said: “The matter is with the Insolvency Service’s Birkenhead and Blackpool office. As a liquidator of a company, the official receiver’s general functions are to secure the assets, realise them and distribute the proceeds to the company’s creditors, and, if there is a surplus, to the persons entitled to it.”
After being placed in compulsory liquidation, the company’s website and social media accounts were removed, along with all stock from the forecourt and showroom.
Cheshire Police says it has launched an investigation following allegations made against VIP Car Sales Ltd.
It says the force has received a large number of calls relating to the company and officers are working hard to progress all of the claims.
Det Insp Claire Jesson from Macclesfield local policing team said: “This is an extremely complex investigation and we’re currently following a number of lines of enquiry.
“So far we have received in excess of 50 calls relating to the company and officers are working tirelessly to progress these.
“I urge anyone who believes that they may have been a victim, or anyone who has any concerns, to email the investigation mailbox email@example.com and officers will respond to your enquiry as soon as possible.”
A 45-year-old man and a 36-year-old woman - who cannot be named for legal reasons - have been arrested on suspicion of theft of motor vehicles and fraud, respectively, as part of the investigation, and are currently on police bail pending further enquiries.
Anyone with any information in relation to the investigation is asked to email their name, address and brief circumstances firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anyone who does not have access to an email address can call 101 quoting incident number 278 of March 3, 2017.