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DVLA still has work to do to improve vehicle recycling

Remove My Car
They might have given us toy cars to play with at CARS 2014 but Remove My Car have serious concerns about DVLA when it comes to the real thing.
Standards in the vehicle recycling industry are improving but the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) can still do more to ensure that end of life vehicles (ELVs) do not escape official recycling statistics.

That’s the message from vehicle recycling specialist Remove My Car, which cites the recent Scottish Cash Ban and revised European ELV recycling targets as significant improvements in the industry but argues that the DVLA should do more to clear confusion surrounding Certificates of Destruction (CODs) and V5C vehicle logbooks.

A total of 1.7 million cars are taken off UK roads each year but figures claim that 500,000 of these escape official statistics, and there are widespread concerns that these vehicles aren’t being recycled in line with environmental standards. However, there is every chance that these cars are being recycled properly, but the lack of an established audit trail means they are unaccounted for.

Steve Queen, Managing Director of Remove My Car, believes that by tightening up the recycling process and setting limits on how long a vehicle can remain in the trade, overall recycling figures will present a more realistic view of industry numbers. He believes that the solution lies in updating the logbook and bringing it more in line with the recent EU directive that dictates at least 95% of an ELV should be recycled.

Steve Queen said: “While it is great to see higher recycling targets for ELVs, there is still no specific section in the existing V5C logbook for vehicles that are recycled, and yet there is for exported vehicles.

“When a car is sent to be recycled there is no section in the V5C that acknowledges when, where and why it was recycled instead of salvaged or exported. By updating the logbook, the DVLA will have a clearer idea of where vehicles sold for scrap are in the recycling chain and we won’t have so many ‘ghost’ vehicles that have fallen off the radar.”

While Remove My Car is calling for an updated logbook, the company is also questioning the high number of vehicles that are claimed to be escaping official figures. The company believes that because of the outdated logbook, there is no way of knowing how long an ELV has remained in the trade. Again, stricter regulation from the DVLA will clear up just what justifies a recycled ELV, whose responsibility the COD is and just how many ELVs are being recycled according to environmental standards.

Reuben Symonds from Symonds Auto Salvage, one of Remove My Car’s nationwide network of ATFs, echoed Steve Queen’s concerns that the 500,000 figure is inaccurate. “No ATF can say that 100% of their cars are issued with COD’s, unless they are doing extremely low volume. After all, we are all human, but this surely cannot amount to 500,000 cars?”

“I’d challenge anyone to try and illegally scrap 500,000 cars each year, logistically it’d simply be impossible. The act of illegal scrapping conjures up images of underground scrap yards that are working outside the law, but these places just don’t exist these days. What you’ll find nowadays is that ATFs are incredibly cautious when it comes to the law, and some won’t take a car if there’s no logbook, even though they legally can do so with photo I.D and a recent utility Bill.”

Here at atfPro we have expressed our opinions regarding DVLA on several occasions over the last year. If you have any views on what they could do to improve the situation, let us know - email us here.

August 2014

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