Private car sales deemed unlawful during national lockdown

Police have reported a driver who was buying a car privately, though hinted it could be acceptable if deemed ‘essential’.

CMPG image of Volkswagen Golf
CMPG image of Volkswagen Golf

A used car buyer has been reported to court for breaking lockdown rules after buying a ‘good looking Golf’.

The Central Motorway Police Group (CMPG), which covers Staffordshire and West Midlands police, tweeted an image of a red Volkswagen Golf, adding: “A 100 mile round trip to pick it up in a private car swap deal isn’t a good or lawful reason to be out at 10pm.”

Speaking to CarDealerMagazine.co.uk, a spokesperson for CMPG said: “While it is not necessarily a breach of Covid-19 rules to buy a replacement vehicle if required for essential travel, a car swap is not deemed appropriate during the current lockdown restrictions where essential travel only is permitted.”

During the first lockdown in March, 2020, it was established that car dealers could sell vehicles through click and collect or delivery services, but Nona Bowkis, solicitor at motor trade legal experts Lawgistics, confirmed private car sales do not conform with lockdown regulations.

She said: “From the comments on this story, it is clear that people can easily confuse the guidance with the law.

“The guidance talks about essential journeys, but the law only talks about requiring a “reasonable excuse”.

“That said, doing a private car swap deal which requires a 100-mile round trip does seem to break both the law and the guidance.”

CMPG has since expanded on its original tweet, writing: “What we can say is after stopping this driver for another matter, as already mentioned, the facts were sufficient that it was right to report the driver for summons to Court. What those facts are, is the bit we can’t go into complete detail about of course.”

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