Vehicle removal specialist Remove My Car is calling for DVLA to present clearer guidelines when disposing of a vehicle.
The company, which works with a national network of Authorised Treatment Facilities (ATFs), believes that the only way of cementing a solid audit trail for every end of life vehicle (ELV), is for the authorities to enforce the law more effectively. And the DVLA must take tighter control over the Registration Document (V5C) in order for this to happen.
Recent figures show that 1.7 million vehicles are taken off Britain’s roads every year and up to 500,000 of these are not recycled to environmental standards. However, this could be because they have been scrapped correctly, but the required Certificates of Destruction (CoD) have not been issued. As a result, DVLA believe the cars have been sold within the trade using section 9 of the V5C or have been scrapped illegally. Remove My Car is calling for the DVLA to impose tighter control of the V5C (log book) and, on a quarterly basis, question the whereabouts of all vehicles registered to the ATF that have not been issued a CoD. This would provide clearer, more accurate figures on car disposal rates.
Steve Queen, Managing Director of Remove My Car explained: "At the moment it is the law that an ATF has to issue a Certificate of Destruction to every single ELV that it recycles. The CoD only applies to cars that are scrapped, not those that are bought, repaired and then sold on. The cars that are escaping the recycling statistics are most likely to have been scrapped without CoDs being issued. The only way to prevent this is to exercise tighter control over the V5C and the DVLA should be leading the line on this."
The key to ensuring ATFs comply with the law, according to Remove My Car, is rigorous enforcement. At the moment, an ATF can buy a car and the customer sends section 9 of the V5C to DVLA. This informs DVLA that the vehicle has been sold to the trade, but there are no rules about how long the vehicle can remain in the trade. This means that if a car is recycled without a CoD being issued, it will escape official environmental statistics and DVLA will have no official record that the car has been recycled and believe it is somewhere in the motor trade.
Steve Queen added: "The only solution that we can find to the CoD debate is to introduce regular check-ups on the ATFs, with fines for those vehicles that are unaccounted for. We would also welcome the introduction of time restrictions – if an ATF has bought a vehicle and not issued a CoD, that vehicle should only be permitted to be in the trade for a maximum of 12 months. Additionally, there should also be documentation for each sale, so that there is an audit trail within the trade. This would not only protect the consumer but would also help us to more accurately identify how many cars in the UK are being scrapped in line with environmental legislation."