Bought a "Scrap Car" - mantua66
Hello gent's need some advice big time.
I bought a car - a 1978 XJ6 to be precise, from a friend who's job it is to pick up cars to run in for scrap, all legal mind, they phone him and he disposes of them .... honest!
Stupidly though i did not get a bill of receipt for the car from my friend.

Now he was called in to dispose of the said XJ6 by some house clearance people / letting agency - it seems the occupier had defaulted and not paid his bills, done a disappearing act so all his possessions were disposed of including the car.
He was given the keys, was also given a hand to push the car out from the garage by the clearance people.
I was offered the car because it was just too good to be run in - its no Concourse valuable car, just a car that could be made into something descent - and i purchased it for £200.00.

I applied for a log book - which i received, Taxed and Mot'd it and all was fine until a week after doing this i get a knock on the door from "surly" CID.
Apparently the previous owner has decided to report it stolen and the Bill are accusing me of stealing it!
Previous owner is claiming he went on holiday, came back and the car was gone ..... hence why he did nothing about the letter you receive from the DVLA when a new log book is applied for in a different name.

I explained what had happened and have been given the option of giving the car back "or else"

If i don't they either arrest my friend (the scrap man) for stealing it off the guys doorstep (which never happened) or they arrest me for having a stolen car!
Personally i think they are bluffing and would have arrested me straight away and impounded the car immediately.

So i am stuck between a "rock and a hard place" .... any suggestions other than "you were an idiot for buying such a car?
The car is insured, Mot's and taxed AND in my name.

Thanks in advance.
Bought a "Scrap Car" - mike hannon
I can't help on the legal front but to me it beggars belief that the DVLA will just issue a registration document on anybody's say-so.
When I bought my last car the previous owner had to get his personal plate off it and the original number put back - he had to jump through goodness knows how many hoops for the DVLA and they even wanted to send someone to look at it!

Edited by Webmaster on 23/10/2009 at 02:05

Bought a "Scrap Car" - Dwight Van Driver
Were you there when the clearance people handed over the keys to your 'friend' ?
If not then in my book your clear as far as Theft/TWOC is concerned. If you were then you will no doubt be subjest to some interrogation.

But if they are arresting/ charging the clearance people/'friend' with Theft then they could be looking at you for receiving stolen property.

In relation to the car if Plod seizes it as evidence then you may a have a claim on ownership as Magistrates can make an order, on application, under the Police Property Act 1897 as to who ownership rests with.

This is one case you should consider getting a Solicitor on board. P.D.Q.


Bought a "Scrap Car" - Cliff Pope
A colleague had exactly this problem a few years ago over a motorbike.
It had been abandoned for some years by someone's tenant who had debunked without paying the rent. On legal advice he claimed the bike (non-working) as offset for the rent arrears, and my colleague bought it from him.

Like you, he registered, taxed, MOT'd, and also did the bike up. Some months later he was summoned to court for theft, convicted, fined, and had to return the now fully restored bike to the original owner.

There appears to be no legally secure way of aquiring an abandoned motor vehicle other than by dirsct contract with the last owner.

(Contrast the marine practice. You report an abandoned boat to the receiver of wrecks. If he investigates and deems it has been abandoned, he can legally assume title to it, and then sell it to you with indisputable title.)
Bought a "Scrap Car" - Andrew-T
some house clearance people / letting agency

Dodgy. Seems to me you could do with some documentary evidence of who these people were, never mind your friend. Might have been a total scam? Presumably your friend bought the car from the 'agency' or why would they give it him?
Bought a "Scrap Car" - bell boy
i had a car stolen by a third party landlord nearly 20 years ago
the police werent interested
the dvla sent out a new v5 to the person who had possesion of the car
no one was interested and is exactly why i have no time for CAB
i got a barrister at £50 an hour on the case and ended up giving the person with the v5 the amount he had spent on the car in betterment
left a very nasty taste
Bought a "Scrap Car" - Bill Payer
I guess the bottom line is that they had no right to sell it without the owners permission unless they had a court order etc.

The tenant could sue the landlord for the rest of his stuff which probably isn't traceable in the same way a car is.
Bought a "Scrap Car" - Mapmaker

Bought a "Scrap Car" - mantua66
Ok gents, thanks for your input - i was going to give the car back seeing as the seller (my friend) offered the the £200.00 i paid for it, may as well swallow the cost of the MOT.

B-U-T today, something very interesting happened, i decided to move the car to a safe place (lock up) never know, the Old Bill may find it and lift it.
Anyway, i got pulled by Traffic Division - because the car was reported stolen - i gave him all the documents to prove the car was mine and legal ......... and they let me go as everything was in order!

So the question still remains, should i give the car back?
The Copper who made the arrest threat i swear is bluffing, i have had dealings with the Police before, they arrest you and take the "said" stolen property back ....not give you a chance to give it back and nothing will happen.

I don't know, is it really worth it for £200.00?
Bought a "Scrap Car" - Cliff Pope
I think I'd just hand it back and depart wiser.
But as a final shot I'd have a go at contacting a more senior police officer and put a straight question - Do you think I have stolen this car, and would you seriously charge me? Why would returning "stolen goods" mean I would suddenly become innocent? Is that an offer open to any thief?
Bought a "Scrap Car" - martint123
i gave him all the documents to prove the car was mine and legal .

What were they? Logbook/V5 is just registered keeper, not owner and ISTR you didn't get a receipt from the previous owner.

Anyone can apply for a logbook for a new keeper - the only safeguard is that they write to the previous keeper and it is up to them to stop it. This has been a problem with stolen motorcycles for some years and I still can't see why the DVLA still permit it.