Monday, 29 June 2015


West Sussex County Council's Trading Standards has uncovered a £100,000 rogue car dealer scam following one of the biggest investigations carried out by the service in recent years. Two West Sussex residents are facing a possible jail sentence following the trial at Brighton Crown Court.

A jury found Linda Atrell, 48, of Railway Approach, East Grinstead, guilty of charges under the Fraud Act, Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981 and Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008

Lucien Munn, 52, of Beechey Way, Copthorne, had previously pleaded guilty to similar offences.

The pair had been advertising and selling hundreds of cars that had been written off by insurance companies via Autotrader and Gumtree under a range of different trading names.

The WSCC team discovered the pair were systematically buying insurance write offs and then selling those vehicles without declaring that they had been written off to unsuspecting customers.

They were also falsifying service histories in order to make the vehicles appear more attractive to buyers and giving customers the impression that they were dealing with a private seller. 

The court heard during the trial that the pair also described the vehicles as “sold as seen” on purchase invoices to try and avoid liability under civil legislation for the sale of faulty or mis-described goods. 

The trading standards team spent months investigating the pair following a complaint from a customer and collected more than 64 statements from buyers and previous vehicle owners. 

David Barling, West Sussex County Council’s Cabinet Member for residents’ services with responsibility for trading standards, praised the team behind the investigation and the convictions. He said: “This is a great result, not just for West Sussex Trading Standards but for our consumers whose lives were being put in danger by these rogue car dealers.

“Throughout the course of this investigation our team spoke with customers who had real horror stories about the state of cars they purchased. We’re lucky nobody was involved in a serious accident.”

Richard Sargeant, West Sussex Trading Standards Team Manager, added: “Second hand car sales are one of the issues that cause the most consumer complaints. Conning the public in this manner is simply not acceptable and we would encourage consumers to consider using a trader from the Buy with Confidence scheme, the members of which are audited and approved by Trading Standards. Anyone who thinks they have been a victim of an unfair trading practice, should contact Trading Standards via Citizens Advice on 03454 04 05 06 or here

A Proceeds of Crime Act application was made to confiscate money made from the criminal activity. The pair will be sentenced at Brighton Crown Court on Friday, July 31. They have been warned that they could face a jail sentence.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015


Changes in the law mean that F-Gas qualifications are now a mandatory requirement for the depollution of all End of Life Vehicles (ELVs). So AutoDrain’s F-Gas training has become a vital qualification for everyday working for vehicle dismantlers.

The EA will shortly be launching a clamp-down on F-gas recovery & disposal by ATFs.

Holding an F-Gas certificate will ensure employees work in a safe and efficient manner when handling dangerous refrigerant gases, and will reduce the risk of being hit with a fine or prosecution.  

AutoDrain’s next IMI accredited F-Gas course is being held at their facility in Leeds on Wednesday 9th July 2015.

The course consists of a day's mixed practical & theory training, including a theory based online test and a practical assessment.

Each training session has a maximum of 6 places, so be quick.

The cost of the course is £177+VAT  per person.

If you are interested in booking a place please call AutoDrain on (0113) 205 9332.


The number of 'breaker' vehicles (being dismantled for spare parts by MVDA members) displayed on the MVDA website has now passed 7,000.  The most recent uploads were from Overton Garage (Aberdeen) & Dewsbury Road Autos.

If you haven't uploaded your breaker stock yet - don't delay!  It's easy to do &  FREE to MVDA members.  Contact the office if you need help.

If you aren't a member of MVDA you can download an aplication form here.  With MVDA membership costing less than £10/ week its a cheap way of advertising what you're dismantling, as well as being part of the professional vehicle recycling industry!

Tel. (01543) 254 254

Monday, 22 June 2015


That’s what may happen if you don’t act NOW!

As part of the ongoing review of the Salvage COP, Insurers have asked Government to make the sale of 2nd hand airbags illegal in the UK.  This includes all pyrotechnic devices (airbags & seat belt pre-tensioners), from all salvage categories.

In reality, it will be impossible to distinguish ‘salvage’ from ‘non-salvage’ airbags, and of course the same concerns would apply to all airbags irrespective of source.  So the only practical approach is to ban all airbag sales.  This is despite the fact 2 EU Directives on pyrotechnic devices currently being implemented by the UK do NOT make the sale of used airbags illegal.  Far from it.

Instead of reducing the availability of 2nd hand airbags, this may simply drive the trade ‘underground’, into the hands of illegal operators, or overseas.  Customers will simply buy 2nd hand airbags from abroad – there’s already plenty available on-line.  Or is Government also going to make it illegal to purchase 2nd hand airbags?

It would also seem that insurers are not concerned about the effects on repairable salvage of a ban on 2nd hand airbags.  Or are they simply happy to see more salvage move abroad?

This has very serious implications for UK vehicle recyclers, and may only be the ‘thin end of the wedge’!  Will we see the sale of other ‘safety critical items’ being banned – tyres? Suspensions? Brakes? Steering? Wheels?  The list goes on & on….

The significance of this cannot be over-stated.  What view will insurers & Government take on new-technology such as Autonomous Emergency Breaking, Lane deviation etc.? Will we see a ban on the sale of these parts?

It is by no means certain that the Salvage COP will become law.  Currently it is voluntary, so vehicle recyclers are under no greater obligation than insurers.  Even though the ABI has asked Government to legislate – this Conservative Government is strongly ‘de-regulating’ & is not keen on more regulation.
We understand that Thatcham will shortly be undertaking some work on 2nd airbags, but we have no way of knowing or influencing the outcome.  Despite UK vehicle recyclers having handled more than 225 million pyrotechnic devices since they were introduced into mass market vehicles in 1994, we are not aware of any evidence which shows 2nd hand airbags are a safety problem.  And as you know, MVDA has already undertaken research which shows that 2nd hand airbags are safe to re-use.  But this all seems to be ignored.

So, we need your help – NOW.

Government does respond to business.  So we need all MVDA members to write to Department for Transport saying that the proposal to ban 2nd hand airbag sales is not based on fact and will cost UK jobs.

To help you do this MVDA has drafted a letter for members to send.  All you need to do is add your name & address, sign it & post it!

We will be e-mailing this letter to all members TODAY


If you are a serious vehicle recycler you should be a member of MVDA - the UK's Trade Body for the professional auto-recycler.  Our members have more than 2,300 people involved in their businesses, handle 500,000 vehicles a year & issue 300,000 Certificates of Destruction.

If you want to be part of MVDA, download an application form from our website.  For just over £1/ day you can have a say in the future of your industry.  The more members we have, the stronger our voice!


HPI uncovers 649 vehicles a day for sale which have been declared insurance write-offs, BUT, says “not all insurance write-offs are created equal”. Whilst some write-offs are not fit to be allowed back on the road, HPI reminds used car buyers that others can be professionally repaired and legitimately returned to the UK’s roads.  They could even be a bargain in disguise.

Vehicles that are written off by insurers that adopt the Salvage CoP (not all do & neither do some fleets, Police Forces & other self-insurers) are supposed to be put in to one of 4 categories outlined, depending on the level of damage. The categories include those that must scrapped because the damage is too severe for repair (Category A or B) & should never be allowed back on the road again; or those that can be repaired and returned to the road, but it is not economically viable (for insurers) to do so themselves (Category C and D). These cars can be repaired with 2nd hand or aftermarket parts.  In a repaired state a category write-off vehicle is normally worth 50% - 70% of the equivalent of a non-categorised car.

Neil Hodson, Managing Director for HPI explains, “The real risk with buying a write-off is paying good money for a vehicle that’s been badly repaired, is a danger to drive, or worst still, should probably never have been put back on the UK roads in the first place. Unscrupulous sellers patch up total loss vehicles and sell them on (undeclared) to unsuspecting buyers for a quick profit. If a write-off hasn’t been properly repaired, any price is too high. However, there are write-offs that if repaired professionally, offer good value for buyers.”

If a car is categorised A, B or C by an insurance company, a VIC marker is placed against the DVLA record. VIC is an anti-crime measure managed by Government to deter vehicle crime such as ‘ringing’.  A vehicle with a VIC marker must have passed the VIC before a V5C can be obtained & the vehicle taxed. The VIC test takes place at a Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) and the nearest VIC centre can be found by visiting  The test costs £41 & the V5C is then supplied by DVLA free of charge.

Neil Hodson continues, “An HPI Check gives used car buyers the complete picture of a vehicle’s history, including revealing if the car has been an insurance write-off and if so, which category. Armed with this information the buyer is able to negotiate a realistic price for the car. Those looking to invest in a car that has been declared an insurance write-off, should look to have it inspected by a suitably qualified individual.”

The HPI Check includes a mileage check against the National Mileage Register as standard, now with over 200 million mileage readings. HPI also confirms whether a vehicle is currently recorded with the police as stolen, has outstanding finance against it or has been written-off, making it the best way for consumers to protect themselves from fraudsters looking to make a ‘fast buck’ at buyers expense. In addition, the HPI Check offers a £30,000 Guarantee* in the event of the information it provides being inaccurate, offering added financial peace of mind to used car buyers.

Sunday, 21 June 2015


In an effort to reduce the polluting smog engulfing many cities in China the Daily Mail is reporting that the Chinese Government has been cracking down on high-emission transport, resulting in a vast scrapyards containing thousands of buses, cars and trucks that do not meet the minimum emissions standards.  Gigantic mounds of vehicles have even formed at landfill sites.

The initiative was sparked by reports that the air in the capital, Beijing,  was 20 times over the air pollution limit considered healthy by the World Health Organisation, with emissions from vehicles accounting for 30-40% of the problem. The extent of the problem can be seen in Hangzhou, one of China's most picturesque cities, which in 2013 registered 239 days of smog, equating to almost 90 days more than the annual average.

The increasingly affluent Chinese society has seen a 400% increase in personal income over the last 15 years, resulting in a boom in private car ownership - there is currently one car for every two people in the city.  The huge numbers of vehicles and a lack of high-quality fuels are mainly responsible for the dense smog.

From January, new vehicles have to comply with ‘National Standard IV’ emission levels that theoretically guarantee seven times less sulphur emissions than the previous standard for diesel and three times less for petrol. But currently the high grade fuel needed represents just 3% of the market in China, due to the lack of availability, forcing most people to continue to use low-grade, high-emissions fuels.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015


Hills Salvage & Recycling, Dixons Vauxhall Spares & Merton Car Dismantlers are the latest MVDA members to add their 'breaker' stock to the MVDA website.

If you haven't added yours yet – it’s easy to do. Just login & upload a XL file.

The website displays vehicles being dismantled for 'off-the-shelf' parts & for DIY/pick-a-apart.

Customers can currently search by make & model. But we'll continue developing the system in coming months.

Contact the MVDA office if you have any questions
(01543) 254 254

Tuesday, 16 June 2015


In the run-up to the end of ‘period 3’ (February 2016) MVDA is assessing whether it is worth organizing for members a special 1-day ‘revision’ course for persons with an existing WAMITAB Continuing Competence qualification. This will also be useful for anyone wanting to take the qualification.

If there is sufficient interest from members the 1-day event could take place in Birmingham during November, possibly either the day before or the day after the AGM (Thursday November 12th). We would use one of WAMITABs experienced specialist local training bodies to deliver the course, which may include a simulated test.

At this stage the hope is to provide it at very low cost to members, but also to offer it out to non-members at a substantially higher cost (but to make it discountable against membership). The price will include a buffet lunch & refreshments throughout the day.

For the convenience of all, we thought it might be a good idea to hold it just before or just after the AGM, and to attract more members to the AGM event itself.

If there is not sufficient enthusiasm from members, we will not organize it. So please, if this is of interest to you, let us know ASAP (by e-mailing or phoning the office).

Please also let us know if you think it would be useful to have it ‘next’ to the AGM in November & how many people you would want to send.

MVDA Tel. (01543) 254 254


Radio 5 Live Investigates recently featured a 12 minute article on the sale of category A and B vehicles.  They found:

  • Over 1,800 Cat A and Bs returned to the road in last 3 years
  • Insurers don't usually check vehicle history when insuring it
  • They tried to insure a previous cat B vehicle with 10 top insurers - all accepted it
  • Its currently not illegal to put cat A or B back on road - salvage Code of Practice is voluntary
  • Police think it should be a criminal offence to return cat A or B to the road

Radio 5 Live's Adrian Goldberg, who presented the feature said they had found that "hundreds of cars coming back onto UK roads despite being so badly damaged in accidents they should have been scrapped"
He went on to say that "Logbooks had been re-issued by the DVLA allowing the dodgy motors to be sold again" even though the voluntary code of practise forbids this.
The police have told 5 Live they "believe it should be a criminal offence" to put category A and B write-offs back on the road.

A Freedom of Information request to the DVLA revealed that over 1,800 cat A and cat B write-offs had been returned to the road in the last 3 years
The programme can be heard here:

The section on salvage starts at 39min 55secs into the programme and ends at 52min 20secs
The programme previously looked at the process in which written-off vehicles can be returned to the roads on 23 February 2014.
MVDA understands that one of the key changes Government is planning to make is to stop the reissue of log books for cat A & B vehicles.

The majority of cat A & B vehicles are correctly destroyed & a COD issued, but there remains a proportion that are not. In the past 12 months, MVDA members have reported more than 300 examples of cat B vehicles being openly offered for sale on eBay.  Despite what the insurers say, clearly there is inadequate control over cat B vehicles.  Having said that, some insurers are better than others in their approach to dealing with this issue.

Monday, 15 June 2015


KAR Auction Services, the giant American auction business, earlier this week announced it has acquired Canvey Island based HBC Vehicle Services, marking its first foray into a market outside of North America. HBC specializes in salvage vehicle auctions and related services.

KAR Auction Services has an annual turnover of around $2.4 billion - with a pre-tax profit of $265m.  By comparison, Copart, in its last financial year had a turnover of $1.2 billion - with a pre-tax profit of £270m.

Jim Hallett, KAR CEO and Chairman said "This acquisition is the start of our expansion into new global markets, and we look forward to bringing our remarketing capabilities to the United Kingdom and beyond. We welcome the entire HBC team. Their reputation for exceptional service makes them a natural fit with our organization, and we are very pleased to have them join the KAR group of companies”.

Steve Hankins, Managing Director of HBC Vehicle Services, said  
“We are and will remain dedicated to our customers. With KAR’s expertise and support, we are excited to accelerate our growth plans and continue to deliver competitive services to the salvage auction industry across the United Kingdom. We look forward to finding new ways to deliver the best products and services to all of our customers.”
HBC was formed over 50 years ago as Holding and Barnes. It is the UK's 3rd largest salvage operator with a turnover of £28.6m for the year to 31 March 2014, operating from 10 sites, and a pre-tax profit of £1.52m.  Copart is largest with £126m UK turnover, Motorhog is 2nd.
In June 2013 a management buy-out bought the company from Hadsley Ltd Guernsey, owned by the trustees of the Holding Family Settlement.
The 4 directors of HBC, who each own 25% of the new company are:
  • Steve Hankins, Managing Director.  He qualified as a motor vehicle technician. Before HBC he was with Budget for 16 years as Engineering Manager and then Associate Director for supplier management and with their ACM ULR division as Associate Director with responsibility for vehicle repair and total loss.
  •  Matt Bache, Finance Director
  • Jim Chatten, Commercial Director
  • Geoff Riebold, IT Director
KAR Auction Services is a FORTUNE® 1000 company and operates vehicle auction services for sellers and buyers worldwide. It has around 13,000 employees and a turnover of $2.5 billion last year.The KAR group of companies is comprised of 3 key business unit:

1 - IAA Salvage Services (Insurance Auto Auctions)
IAA is a salvage auto auction company with a network of 169 auction sites serving the total-loss needs of insurance companies, fleet, lease and rental companies in North America.  IAA has an annual turnover of around $950m - about 38% of KAR's total business. Around 40% of ADESA's total vehicle sales volumes are done on-line. 

 2 - ADESA Auction Services
ADESA has a network of 66 wholesale used vehicle (whole car) auction sites. They are the 2nd largest used vehicle auction network in North America.  ADESA has an annual turnover of around $1.3 billion - 52% of KAR's total business. Over 50% of ADESA's total vehicle sales volumes are done on-line. 

 3 - AFC (Automotive Finance Corporation)
AFC provides inventory financing and comprehensive business services primarily to independent used vehicle dealers. AFC has an annual turnover of around $250m - about 10% of KAR's total business.
Information source: ABP Club

Monday, 8 June 2015


We have recently launched a new service for members, where you can advertise the vehicles you currently have available on site for spares.  This is completely FREE OF CHARGE for all MVDA members (it is NOT available to non-members).
The vehicles are being displayed on the MVDA website, in the ‘spare parts’ section.
There are 2 lists for:
  • Off-the-shelf parts
  • DIY/ pick-a-part vehicles
Currently the vehicles display in make/ model order.  At present there is very limited functionality but if this proves popular with members then we will further develop the system.
It is easy to upload vehicles to the system, through your standard MVDA login.
If you are interested in using this FREE service, then please contact the office (you will not be able to access the system until ‘activated’).

PLEASE NOTE. DH System users will not need to use this as DH is currently developing a much more sophisticated facility which will update automatically & display on a separate page
To join MVDA visit our website