Thursday, 19 July 2018

Abandoned car towed away after complaint

AN abandoned car has finally been removed from a Henley street more than two months after

AN abandoned car has finally been removed from a Henley street more than two months after being dumped.

The black 55-plate Toyota Avensis was left outside Simon Waller’s house in Greys Road at the end of April and he reported it to the DVLA three weeks later.

Its bodywork was extensively dented and scratched while the front bumper was held on by cable ties.

Mr Waller, who runs the Motodrome car dealership in Sonning Common, checked online and discovered its vehicle tax and MOT had expired in March, meaning it can only be kept on private land. It must also be declared off-road, which hadn’t been done.

Mr Waller rang the DVLA then Thames Valley Police about a month after that. He was told both times that something would be done.

He also told South Oxfordshire District Council but the authority traced the owner and was told he planned to move it so couldn’t dispose of it as an abandoned vehicle.

At one point the owner returned to remove some possessions. Mr Waller challenged him but he appeared not to speak English and wouldn’t respond. The DVLA’s enforcers eventually removed it shortly afterwards.

Mr Waller said: “That car was in a dreadful state. I didn’t do anything when it first appeared but eventually I wondered why it hadn’t moved. I found it had no MOT or tax, so it wouldn’t have had insurance either.

“I’m glad it’s gone but disappointed with how long it took. It’s ironic because, as a motor dealer, I’m familiar with the law on these things. Resolving this was a bit of a busman’s holiday.”

Thames Valley Police can legally tow untaxed vehicles but only does so if they are parked dangerously or being driven. It refers all other queries to the DVLA.

In January, a W-plate Renault Clio was towed from Harpsden Road after seven months and a blue Renault Scenic was removed from the Tesco car park off Reading Road at the same time. Neither had paid its tax or passed its MOT.

Once a vehicle is towed, owners must pay a £1,000 fine or it will be crushed or sold.

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