A WOMAN who believed her beloved car had been scrapped was surprised to see it being driven around town.
Mary Tobin, 65, says she was given £120 scrap money by a garage in Uxbridge, which told her it would cost £900 to repair a fault.
That was in July 2013. Since then, friends and family members have spotted the mint green year 2000-registered Volkswagen Polo being driven around the borough.
On Monday, Mrs Tobin saw it herself for the
first time, near her home in Parkfield Avenue, Hillingdon.
“That was my little car – because of the colour it’s easy to spot,” she said.
“Two young people were driving it. It’s been all spruced up and looking quite good. It was 100 per cent my car.”
Mrs Tobin said she had decided the car was not worth repairing.
“They said I could have the car back unrepaired, but it would cost £200 in labour to put the faulty part back in, so I thought ‘there’s no point’,” she added.
“So they said if I wanted to scrap it they would take it off my hands.”
Mrs Tobin signed the log book and told
the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) that the new owner was the garage. She has not been able to afford to replace the car.
“It’s the first time in 30 years I haven’t had a car,” she said.
Mrs Tobin started using the garage on the recommendation of her son-in-law and had her car repaired there several times.
“I’ve spent a lot of money in there over the years,” she said.
The garage says they decided to use Mrs Tobin’s car as a project for their trainee mechanics.
The manager said: “I can understand why she’s upset and I will be writing to her to explain what we did.
“There’s been no financial gain on this car. We still own it and it has only just been back on the road.”
We asked the opinion of an independent car mechanic from Hillingdon – who did not wish to be named – who said: “A company can do what they want with it once someone has sold it to them for scrap.”
The DVLA website also makes it clear that a garage is legally entitled to do what it wants with a car, even if ‘bought for scrap’.
The agency’s website advises the following: “You must scrap your car at an authorised treatment facility (ATF) if it’s reached the end of its life and you no longer want to keep it.
“It can then be handled and dismantled in an environmentally friendly way.
“You can only get an authentic certificate of destruction (CoD) from an ATF. You should ask the company collecting your scrap vehicle which ATF your car is going to and make sure that they’ll arrange for that ATF to provide a CoD.”
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