February 20 2004. Retail Motor Industry Federation chief executive Matthew Carrington has spoken out on a report by the House of Commons Environment Select Committee regarding the disposal of abandoned vehicles, which criticises the Government's handling of the End of Life Vehicles Directive.

'The current confusion over who is ultimately responsible for the disposal of abandoned vehicles is not helpful. We support the criticism levelled at the Government by the Environment Select Committee, and their call for a well organised and funded local authority system for the collection and disposal of abandoned vehicles.

'Without a scheme with some substance, this situation could degenerate further, leaving retail motor sector businesses to bear the cost of disposal alone. At the fringes of the market, we are already seeing the abandonment of vehicles at service and repair workshops, bodyshops and auctions. Vehicles that turn out to be too expensive to repair, or are not sold at auction, are never collected by their owners. '

Carrington adds: "The ability to track down vehicle owners depends on the accuracy of the records held by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency. These details often get less accurate as cars age, so the last owner of any car is always the hardest to trace.'