DVLA URGED TO VET ALL BARN FINDS

A surge in the num­ber of log­book ap­pli­ca­tions leads ex­perts to call for tougher iden­tity checks

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Front Page -

A n as­so­ci­a­tion of ex­pert theft in­ves­ti­ga­tors is ask­ing the DVLA to take more ac­tion over a grow­ing cri­sis where stolen clas­sic cars are be­ing stored for a long pe­riod and then be­ing re-reg­is­tered as barn finds.

The In­ter­na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Auto Theft In­ves­ti­ga­tors (IAATI) says it’s cur­rently far too easy for car thieves to re-register clas­sics with the DVLA af­ter a suit­ably long cool­ing off pe­riod.

It claims crim­i­nals are are ap­ply­ing for new V5Cs with lit­tle to no ques­tion­ing. Com­mu­ni­ca­tions di­rec­tor Dr Ken Ger­man says: ‘There’s been a lot of barn finds be­ing pumped through the DVLA’s queries of­fice lately. Un­for­tu­nately, the sys­tem is be­ing abused by thieves.’

The DVLA has fought back crit­i­cisms, stat­ing that although sit­u­a­tions like this may hap­pen, it’s not a com­mon oc­cur­rence.

‘All the things the DVLA are sup­posed to check aren’t get­ting checked’ DR KEN GER­MAN, IAATI COMMS

Alead­ing group of ex­perts are call­ing on the DVLA to do more about barn find-re­lated car crime. The IAATI says it’s cur­rently too easy for crim­i­nals to steal cars, and have them re-reg­is­tered as barn finds with the DVLA.

The in­sti­tute re­ports that crim­i­nals are steal­ing clas­sics and with min­i­mal ques­tion­ing from the DVLA, can get the car re-reg­is­tered.

Com­mu­ni­ca­tions di­rec­tor Dr Ken Ger­man says: ‘There’s been a lot of barn finds be­ing pumped through the DVLA’s en­quiry of­fice lately.

Un­for­tu­nately, the sys­tem is be­ing abused by thieves. It’s be­com­ing far too easy to have stolen cars rereg­is­tered as barn finds. Most of the time, if you have a regis­tra­tion for it you will prob­a­bly get an age-re­lated num­ber­plate for the car.

‘All the things the DVLA are sup­posed to check seem­ingly aren’t get­ting checked. It ap­pears as long as some­one has an old buff log book, they can get the forms through.’

The DVLA has fought back against the crit­i­cisms, stat­ing that although sit­u­a­tions like this may hap­pen, it’s not a com­mon oc­cur­rence. David Whit­bread, me­dia re­la­tions of­fi­cer for the DVLA, says: ‘ We’ve not seen any rise in these sit­u­a­tions – in fact, we haven’t seen much change in the num­ber of regis­tra­tion of barn finds.

Auc­tion an­a­lyst Richard Hud­sonE­vans thinks it’s com­mon sense that some barn finds aren’t le­git­i­mate. He says: ‘I’m amazed they keep coming out the wood­work. Where do they all keep coming from?

‘In­ter­est­ingly, many so-called barn finds end up mak­ing se­ri­ous money be­cause they’re pop­u­lar at the mo­ment. A lot of peo­ple like the idea of them­selves be­ing the first peo­ple to re­store a car.’

Sil­ver­stone auc­tions have had big suc­cess with barn finds, even sell­ing £1mil­lion-worth of them at its sale at the 2014 Lan­caster In­sur­ance Clas­sic Mo­tor Show. Bosses from the com­pany in­sist that these types of cars go through strin­gent checks to en­sure they don’t have a che­quered past. A spokesper­son says: ‘All of our cars go through vig­or­ous vet­ting in­clud­ing HPI checks.’ MS

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