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Knowing Your Van Parts – Knowing Who to Avoid

Getting rid of a van (or any other vehicle for that matter) isn’t a simple matter of just taking it to a junk yard, or even giving it to someone to take away.

There are procedures that have to be adhered to and paperwork which must be filled in, to avoid legal problems and criminal charges from occurring.

Buyer (and seller) beware

You only need to look online, at auction sites or even simply in the back of the local paper to see that there are many people who are trying to offload spare van and car parts, or even entire vehicles. Some of these sellers will no doubt have good intentions and be genuine, but it is sadly true that there is a whole illegal market operating out there, which can lead to trouble not just for the seller, but the buyer who is really unaware of what they’re getting into.

What to avoid when buying or selling

As a rule of thumb you should never buy spare parts or a vehicle from someone who simply offers you either an email address or a mobile telephone number, and appears to have no business site, yard or properly registered premises from which to sell vehicles.
Similarly, you should never sell your vehicle or spare parts to someone who is operating with only a phone number or email. You are running the risk of your vehicle being sold on without the DVLA being informed. This is problematic for a number of reasons:
- The vehicle may end up being driven without tax or an MOT or any form of insurance
- It could end up being exported overseas without your knowledge
- It could be used for criminal activities

Illegal and unsafe

It can be a real shock for some drivers who sell on their vehicle in good faith and find that six months down the line speeding tickets, parking fines and insurance claims turn up on their doormat – totally unexpectedly. Very often, in these cases, there is little the driver can do. They’ve sold their vehicle on, but they are still liable and responsible for it as they didn’t go through the proper channels in order to dispose of it safely and legally.

Trust your judgement and only use industry approved businesses

When looking to buy parts you should really only trust MVDA approved businesses and sellers. These are businesses that are approved by the Environment Agency as ATFs (Authorised Treatment Facilities for vehicles at the end of their lives).

If a vehicle is going to be destroyed the ATF you have contacted should always issue you with a Certificate of Destruction. The date this is issued to you is the date you cease to have any responsibility for the vehicle. Make sure that you get a receipt from the business so you can prove that you’ve sold the vehicle on, in the case of any problems arising.

What to do if you suspect someone is operating illegally

You can always check on the Environment Agency website to see if a person or business has the correct license to be operating as a buyer and seller. Anyone licensed to dismantle vehicles should have the following certificates:

  • Hazardous Waste Registration
  • Waste Management Permit
  • Waste Carrier’s Licens

If you still cannot find the correct information then you should call the Environment Agency direct to talk to them.

If you want to buy used van parts safely and legally contact VanService. We are an MVDA member and are listed with the Environment Agency.