AN ALARMING RISE in the number of vehicles being abandoned or are untaxed has brought about a clampdown by Moray Trading Standards officers.
The number of such vehicles is currently four times those reported in previous years – while a sharp increase has been noted in unlicensed second-hand car dealers operating in the region.
Trading standards and community safety officers have been working together in dealing with untaxed and uninsured vehicles being parked up in residential streets, with community safety officer Willie Findlay saying that vehicles already in a poor condition are also being abandoned on waste ground – with an adverse effect on such amenities for local people one of the results.
Mr Findlay said: “The scrap value of vehicles has fallen of late and the temptation is all too great to dump them or pass them on to unauthorised breakers and back street garages.
“Moray Council will remove these vehicles and the last owner or registered keeper will be liable for any costs incurred. It is important, if passing on a vehicle even for no cost, that you complete the V5 document and notify DVLA. Don’t rely on the other person to do it – it is a criminal offence for you not to do it.”
Trading Standards manager Peter Adamson added that warning letters have been issued to a “significant number” of people in the region who have been seen to be running unofficial businesses selling used cars.
He said: “We have advised them of the need to get a specific second-hand dealer’s licence and to also make it clear to purchasers that they are in business and that anyone buying a car may have additional consumer rights when things go wrong.
“Where this advice has been ignored, we are also in the process of preparing criminal reports for the procurator fiscal’s office and hope that these will result in court action against the individuals concerned.”
Anyone with information about an abandoned vehicle should contact Moray Council on 01343 543451 or complete the online form at www.moray.gov.uk
If anyone has concerns about a second-hand car they may have bought, or want to report a suspected rogue trader, they should contact trading standards through the Citizens’ Advice consumer service on 03454 040506.