Live updates


Halfords apologises after mechanic takes MOT car for 'test drive'

High Street giant Halfords has apologised after a customer caught one of its mechanics speeding in his car while it was booked in for an MOT.

Halfords apologises after mechanic takes MOT car for 'test drive' Credit: David Jones/PA

Shaun Ingram, from Saltash, Cornwall, took his Ford Focus ST in to a garage in Plymouth and unwittingly left his dash-cam running.

The camera, which Mr Ingram said was clearly visible in the car recorded almost seven hours of footage including the mechanic swearing and talking about test-driving the car.

Mr Ingram made an official complaint and Halfords apologised and offered to refund the £255 for the MOT and service.

On this occasion we have let our customer down but we want to reassure all our customers that this is an isolated incident.

We are treating this as a priority. Rest assured that we take issues like this very seriously ensuring that all 300 Halfords Autocentres adhere to all road test procedures.

The mechanic no longer works at Halfords and we are taking this opportunity to rebrief our procedures to ensure that this does not occur again in the future.

– Halfords spokesperson

Shoppers to benefit as prices in-store fall for 23rd month

Prices on the high street have fallen for the 23rd month in a row, official figures have revealed - sparking hopes of an increase in spending from consumers.

Fresh food promotions helped prompted a drop of of 0.9 per cent in March, down from a 0.4 per cent fall in February, while non-food product prices fell 2.8 per cent.

Fresh food promotions have helped fuel the drop Credit: PA

British Retail Consortium director general, Helen Dickinson, welcomed the news.

Both retailers and consumers will cheer on a hat-trick of good economic news. The consumer price index (CPI) has fallen to zero for the first time on record, boosting incomes in real terms and bringing the UK to the brink of a spell of deflation that is expected in the coming months.

Consumer confidence has also soared to a near 13-year high. Retailers will have been hoping that this translated into shoppers being prepared to splash their cash over the long Easter weekend.

With strong consumer confidence and relatively benign macro-economic conditions we can expect the nation to respond with their feet or with a mouse click in the coming weeks.

– Helen Dickinson, British Retail Consortium


Young people 'giving up' on ever owning their own home

Young people are increasingly giving up on ever owning their own home and resigning themselves to long-term renting, new research suggests.

The size of deposit needed, high property prices and low incomes were all cited as major factors blocking people from getting on to the property ladder.

The size of deposit needed, high property prices and low incomes were said to be major obstacles Credit: PA

The Generation Rent report by Halifax looked at more than 40,000 20 to 45-year-olds and 4,000 parents with children aged between 20 and 45, and found that the proportion of people saving for a deposit to buy property has fallen six per cent, down to 43 per cent, compared with a year ago.

Schemes such as Help to Buy have helped people purchase, with 53 per cent of people saying it had been positive - and the number of first-time buyers last year reached its highest level since 2007.

But Halifax mortgage director Craig McKinlay said there was a "growing group" of young people who believe they would not be able to get a mortgage.

Housing charity Shelter urged the government to take action to tackle what it called a "housing shortage".

E.ON apologises for overcharging customers

E.ON has apologised to customers and said it is continuing to automatically provide refunds to those affected by overcharging and incorrect exit fees.

The energy firm said around 48,000 potentially affected customers have either received or are due to receive a readdress payment. In the majority of cases this payment is less than £10.

Today E.ON announced it has agreed Ofgem to make a further payment of £7.75m to Citizens Advice after watchdog Ofgem found it had incorrectly imposed exit fees and overcharged customers following price increases in January 2013 and January 2014,

Although the underlying reasons are different, this is not the first time that E.ON has made this error and the company sincerely apologises to those affected.

E.ON has agreed with Ofgem to carry out an independent external audit relating to the specific breaches and to implement any appropriate recommendations.

– E.ON

E.ON paid a penalty of £1.7m in 2012 after it was found to have made mistakes in 2008 and 2011 when applying price increases.

Load more updates