Adrian Brown and The Cheap Car Trade Centre (by )

Earlier this year, Sarah and I spent my bonus pay on a second-hand car from The Cheap Car Trade Centre in Gloucester.

Sadly, they neglected to buy it a tax disc before I picked it up, so I couldn't drive it (other than the quick trip) home for a couple of weeks while the papers went through to make me the registered keeper. However, even on the trip home, the engine started to overheat, and the engine started to run badly; as the car had been stationary for a while, and had been almost entirely out of fuel, I was suspicious but it might have just been sludge from the fuel tank washing into the engine; I looked into the cooling system and found a syphon tube had become disconnected, so the engine could blow out excess coolant into the reservoir when the pressure was high, but could not suck coolant back in. Sure enough, although the reservoir was full, the cooling system was very low, so I flushed it out and filled it up after replacing the syphon hose.

All was well for a few days, but then it started overheating again. I was dropping Sarah off in Cheltenham at the time, so I stayed in the car park to let it cool down before heading home; however, it quickly overheated again, and again, and started to emit white smoke from the exhaust, and steam from under the bonnet. I pulled in another car park, and rang the RAC, who came and told me the head gasket was leaking badly.

So I rang the warranty company, who said that head gasket failure wasn't covered. So I rang The Cheap Car Trade Centre and explained the problem, but they disavowed any responsibility, so I informed them that the Sale of Goods Act made them responsible for the goods they sell being fit for the advertised purpose, which includes a reasonable life expectancy, even if they are second-hand; and this car was sold to me as "ready to drive". They told me I'd have to take them to court in that case.

So I sent them the required two warning letters, then tried to take them to court. This was hampered somewhat by them refusing to say who owned the business, which is an obligation under the Business Names Act, so I rang Gloucester Trading Standards, who pointed me at:

Office of Fair Trading Investigation into The Cheap Car Trade Centre

Which led to:

Formal Undertaking against Adrian Brown, Sole Director, Adrian Brown Limited

So Adrian Brown was the man behind the business, using his limited company, Adrian Brown Ltd, company number 04831719, which is registered as being at The Cheap Car Trade Centre's premises.

A look on the Companies House web site reveals:

REGISTERED OFFICE CHANGED ON 16/09/09 FROM: SUNNYLEA ASH LANE DOWN HATHERLEY GLOUCESTER GL2 9PS

...that's five days after his "formal undertaking" with the OFT. I suspect he changed it from his home address to his premises to divert unwanted attention at home. However, Companies House remembers all. I wonder if he still lives there. I would discourage my loyal readers from jumping to the conclusion that he does and inundating the address with junk mail or any other forms of harassment, in case he doesn't.

Anyway, knowing who to sue, I proceeded to activate the county court system.

They answered my claim with a defence (stating that it must have been me driving the car while overheating that broke the head gasket), so I was waiting for a date for the hearing when I received my last letter to them returned unopened, with "THE LTD CO THAT TRADED AS 'THE CHEAP CAR TRADE CTR' HAS CEASED TRADING AND IS INSOLVENT WITH NO ASSETS, AND HAS VACATED 333 BRISTOL RD GLOUCESTER".

I got back in touch with the Trading Standards folks, who said that they knew the company was closing, but that this action was suspended as there were county court cases in progress, so my case would probably still proceed, even though I might never be able to extract any money if the company was truly insolvent.

However, I'm still going to try. Limited companies protect their shareholders and directors by limiting their liability; the company is sued, not the people. But there's a limit to the limit. If a director can be shown to have acted fraudulently or incompetently, then they can be personally liable.

It looks like I won't get my money back, which will leave us carless until I get another bonus or something - but I'm hoping that, perhaps, the courts might find Adrian Brown personally liable. Given the involvement of the Office of Fair Trading and Trading Standards, it would appear that I'm not alone in having suffered from his business practices (the OFT judgement explicitly mentions him attempting to avoid the Sale of Goods and Business Names acts).

After all, I have little choice but to pursue this - I am scraping by with buses (which run once an hour, and don't run at all after about 5pm), being bankrupted by taxis, and begging lifts from people. This is seriously hampering my ability to live my life.

125 Comments

  • By John, Thu 10th Apr 2014 @ 10:57 pm

    He actually took £1000 off someone for a car then when she went to collect it, he took it away on a transporter and she never saw it again. She kissed goodbye to her money as well. Unbelievable.

  • By anonymous, Mon 30th Jun 2014 @ 12:17 pm

    Adrian Brown Freelance Plater Company 9E Hucclecote Road Gloucester GL3 3TQ

  • By Anonymous, Wed 17th Dec 2014 @ 5:21 pm

    Freelance Plater Company 9E Hucclecote Road Gloucester Gl3 3TQ 01452 542531 http://www.freelanceplater.co.uk

  • By Anonymous, Thu 23rd Apr 2015 @ 8:48 pm

    Adrian Brown FPC Vehicle Movements

    Potential clients beware. Read the comments above regarding this mans trading ethics.

  • By Anonymous, Thu 6th Aug 2015 @ 10:22 am

    Adrian Brown Freelance Plating Company Ltd (FPC) Tel: 01452 542531 / Mob: 07796 188054 & 07949 380372

    Current Clients: Lookers Vauxhall, Evans Halshaw, The Car People, BCA Logistics, Falmouth Diesels, Stratstone Landrover.

    This man will use your vehicles as slave cars moving other drivers (which are by law employed by him but he refuses to pay tax and NI) across the country and bill you for the fuel cost.

    This man rips people off left, right and centre forces his drivers to be out on the road more than what is legal and forces them to drive cars without MOT's across the UK. He has no interest in your driving licence or your family lifestyle.

    AVOID THIS A HOLE!

  • By LEFT CARLESS, Thu 20th Aug 2015 @ 2:32 pm

    Hi

    Can anyone on here describe Adrian Brown, I recently bought a car from a man who claimed he was an ex policeman, his sales man was Mark Dixon, they said the car came from a BMW dealer but I have found out it was not and after 1 week has serious engine fault. Trying to take them to court as I have no car and no £ to buy another one. He said his name was clive thomas - Bargain Bristol Cars but because of the link with Mark Dixon and similar stories above I am wondering if Clive is Adrian Brown? Any help would be useful Sorry for everyones misfortune on buying from these rogue dealers, its stressful and upsetting and I hope karma exists!

  • By Anon0891, Mon 7th Sep 2015 @ 12:18 pm

    He is a vicious and violent thug who attacks people when they confront him. He threatens women and believes he is above the law. He was arrested and locked up this weekend for attempting to kill a man he ripped off. Because hes been getting away with it for so long he's cock and confident and very dangerous.

  • By Mike Tesko', Wed 9th Sep 2015 @ 8:05 pm

    I was nearly run over twice by a small lorry driven by Adrian Brown last week-ewnd. In the same incident, he eventually did run me over and knock me down. Although I was temporarily dazed, I tried to make my way home, only to be confronted by the hired help (Hoodies) who used a gun to threaten me, and a blade to slash my face, and then I was pushed down into a ravine and left for dead, almost drowning in a stream. All this because he terminated a contract between us, without consultation, or negotiation, and I told him what he had done was unlawful. This man is a CON MAN, and those who work for him all know he operates illegally, including his family. Ownership of the company he purports to run, changes hands whenever he decides to go bankrupt, at one stage, he had Mike Pickett as the owner (just ione of his drivers), but he currently uses the guise of his daughter. Yet, he still maintains that he owns the company (FPC, gives orders to people who work for him, supplies uniform, paperwork,and fuel card, has no health and safety policy, and keeps drivers out on the road for as long as 15 to 20 hours per day, placing drivers lives in danger, other peoples lives in danger, and a good risk of customers vehicles becoming damaged...

    This last week-end he tried unsuccessfully to kill me, he ewmployed his hoody thugs to kill me, but I have lived to tell the tale...

    ADRIAN BROWN, your days are numbered...

  • By Anony, Fri 11th Sep 2015 @ 3:03 pm

    By LEFT CARLESS:

    I unfortunately have been ripped off by these two, Clive Thomas & Mark Dixon.

    I purchased a Volvo from them, and unfortunately the list of faults is as long as my arm.

    Within 2 days of buying it from them I called them and said that I wanted a full refund.

    Anyway, a series of phone calls and promises then made by them, they said they'd get it fixed at a garage at their cost.

    Long & short of it, I didn't see the car back for 2 weeks, they told it had all been fixed and I thought great.

    After driving the car, knew nothing had been done, and 3/4 of a tank of fuel had been used, worth about £60!

    More phone calls and texts, and they promise me a full refund.

    This never happens, and I'm feeling like I wanna explode.

    Over the series of phone calls I've been told by them that Clive has had a stint in hospital, then they tell me Mark is in hospital with cancer.

    I then spoke to a Dave I believe it was yesterday who was answering Clive's phone, he said that they would pop up today with £100 towards the cost of getting it fixed.

    They arrive today and tell me that Mark has stitched them up too, and that he's not in hospital, but gone to ground somewhere.

    After all the stories they told me I'm not quite sure what to believe, but on the plus side, they did turn up with the £100.

    Shame it's gonna cost a lot more than that to get it fixed.

    I hope no-one else gets ripped off by these guys.

  • By LEFT CARLESS, Sun 13th Sep 2015 @ 5:00 pm

    thanks anon0891 - did you have any dealings with dixon?

  • By sarah, Mon 14th Sep 2015 @ 9:34 am

    I hope you got that all sorted with the police and stuff - sounds really nasty 🙁

  • By Anon2, Tue 15th Sep 2015 @ 12:02 pm

    Hi Anony, Sounds like they are running rings around you. Did you pay Dixon or Thomas? Have you considered legal action/ contacted trading standards? It is dangerous to have these cars on the road and they know full well the cars are not in the advertised condition.

  • By Anon2, Fri 18th Sep 2015 @ 10:48 am

    I have found that the following are all the same dealers - AVOID! read above http://www.westburyontrymprestigecars.co.uk Budget Cars of Bristol http://www.bristolmotorsales.co.uk http://www.bargainbristolcars.co.uk

    If anyone has any information on these people, addresses etc it would be helpful to the police and all of us who have been conned.

  • By LEFT CARLESS, Fri 18th Sep 2015 @ 11:19 am

    Hi Sarah,

    Is there a way to PM people on here? Thanks

  • By alaric, Fri 18th Sep 2015 @ 9:21 pm

    Dear LEFT CARLESS, Alaric here (Sarah's husband!) - sadly there is no PM facility (it's actually a blog, not a proper forum!). I'll talk to Sarah and see if we can think of something!

  • By LEFT CARLESS, Tue 22nd Sep 2015 @ 3:55 pm

    Hi Alaric,

    Thanks anyway.

    Hi Anony, do you have any address info for Clive Thomas?

  • By John, Tue 22nd Sep 2015 @ 7:44 pm

    I can't believe that Brown is up to his old tricks. I don't know about him using the name Clive Thomas but nothing would surprise me. Mark Dixon must have been released from prison for good behaviour! This is the news article about him and his mates:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1347987/Cowboy-builders-convicted-900k-work-did-Bristol.html

  • By John, Mon 12th Oct 2015 @ 8:21 am

    Dear left careless I know what Dixon and Brown look like. Dixon can be seen in the link I've given above. If anyone uses a pseudonym to defraud - though I am NOT accusing Brown of this - then it is a matter for the police. I have given my personal email in previous comments above.

  • By Anonymous3, Mon 12th Oct 2015 @ 8:51 am

    Why is The Freelance Plater Company also known as FPC Vehicle Movements? The more names you have the easier it is to hide and move your assets. See Adrian Brown Ltd, The Trade Discount Centre, Cheltenham Trade Discount Centre etc etc. You take one company to court to find the assets have been moved to one of the other trading names and there's nothing to levy on. Do you see a pattern here?

  • By LEFT CARLESS, Thu 5th Nov 2015 @ 9:44 pm

    If anyone else has information on Mark Dixon please call the police.

  • By never quit, Sun 20th Mar 2016 @ 11:53 pm

    FYI - Adrian Brown is now a director of Freelance Plater Company Ltd -

    https://companycheck.co.uk/company/08254725/FREELANCE-PLATER-COMPANY-LTD/directors-secretaries.

    From 19th September 2014 to 29th Feb 2016, a Miss Jessica Brown was a director. Adrian Brown set this company up 5 years ago, so why would he not appoint himself a director until last month? Why would he appoint this young woman (his daughter?) who according to public records was only 21 at the time?

  • By Anonymous, Mon 21st Mar 2016 @ 7:36 pm

    After setting it up over 4 years ago, Adrian Brown is now a director of Freelance Plater Company. He replaces Miss Jessica Brown (his daughter?) who's directorship was terminated at the end of last month. Question: why has it taken him so long to become the director of his own company?

  • By Alessia, Sun 4th Sep 2016 @ 5:26 pm

    FPC DANGEROUS Employment adds: * Experienced UK Trade Plate Drivers Required by FPC Vehicle Movements, Gloucester  & The Cheap Car Trade Centre's premises

    Compamy owner : Adrian Brown Freelance Plating Company Ltd (FPC) Tel: 01452 542531 / Mob: 07796 188054 & 07949 380372

    (FPC) Adrian Brown and Jessica Brown (daughter) Director, Adrian Brown Limited, company number 04831719, which is registered as being at The Cheap Car Trade Centre's premises.

    Current Clients of FPC: Lookers Vauxhall, Evans Halshaw, The Car People, BCA Logistics, Falmouth Diesels, Stratstone Landrover.

    Read before you make any trade with FPC/ Adrian Brown or go to be employed by his company and take care!

    http://www.snell-pym.org.uk/archives/2010/07/07/adrian-brown-and-the-cheap-car-trade-centre/comment-page-3/

    Contact Information: Adrian Brown FPC Vehicle Movements 9E Hucclecote Road Gloucester GL3 3TQ

    They employ people and promise them 75£/ day work. The day work can be over 12 h only driving and 15h total day work. They don't pay the fuel. You use your money for fuel and you can receive it back when you bring the receipts.  They can dismiss you when they want without a notice and ask you to give the trade plates and all the paper work to any colleague (without to know him) without to have any signature for what you give. In this cases be sure you will don't receive your last salary and neither the money from the fuel. They do a lot of bad, because the Police can't do anything against them. So, take care of yourself!

    DANGEROUS Employment adds: * Experienced UK Trade Plate Drivers Required by FPC Vehicle Movements, Gloucester

    UK Based

    On a Sub Contract basis we require experienced trade plate drivers, working for our Gloucester Based company although applicants can live anywhere in the UK.

    This is UK based professional driving on trade plates.

    Daily duties will include the delivery of cars and small vans all over the UK. This will be done solo or in teams.

    Experience of the UK vehicle movement industry is essential.

    Drivers are paid a day rate for 5 days a week Monday to Friday and are paid weekly.

    A fuel card will be supplied and all fares are paid by the company.

    Uniform and ID badges are also supplied and must be worn at all times.

    An excellent knowledge of the UK road network is necessary, SAT NAV’s are not supplied and drivers will need their own.

    Some paperwork training will be given although experienced trade plate drivers will be familiar with the appraisal system and handover and collection process.

    Applications by email only please. Click on the Apply Now button to do so.

    Salary: From £18200 guaranteed possibility of £23400 Per annum

  • By Anonymous3, Mon 3rd Apr 2017 @ 2:15 pm

    If Browns daughter is running Freelance Plater or FLP Ltd as well as him, looks like she is a chip off the old block. These people are criminals who use and abuse everybody for their own ends.

  • By Anonymous3, Tue 18th Jul 2017 @ 9:29 pm

    So Adrian Brown was director of Freelance Plater or FLP Ltd for 3 months from 29th Feb 2016 to 24th May? Perfectly normal!

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