Millions of scrapped vehicles could be coming back from the dead because unauthorised scrap yards are reselling cars earmarked for destruction.
Thatâ€™s according to Bluecycle, an online auction house for car salvage, which says that hundreds of unregistered scrap yards are cashing in at the expense of reputable recycling plants.
It claims that up to a million vehicles a year that are taken off the road are avoiding destruction illegally due to insufficient resources available to enforce legislation governing their recycling.
Bluecycle is calling on the Government to step up local enforcement of the European End of Life Vehicles directive.
Figures from the DVLA show that approximately 2 million cars a year are taken off the road, generating some 3.5 million tonnes of scrap.
This figure has been boosted by approximately 0.5 million tonnes as a result of the Governmentâ€™s scrappage scheme, which finishes at the end of March.
The number of Certificates of Destruction issued by the UKâ€™s 1558 Authorised Treatment Facilities, however, is closer to the 1 million mark, according to Andy Latham, Bluecycleâ€™s reputation manager.
â€œIt is a legal requirement for ATFs to issue a Certificate of Destruction to prove that a vehicle has been correctly destroyed but the DVLA does not require one to confirm that it has been taken off the road,â€ he said.
â€œWeâ€™re caught in aÂ â€˜Lazarus effectâ€™ where something like 50% of vehicles scrapped donâ€™t get a Certificate of Destruction. Theyâ€™re quite literally coming back from the dead.
â€œUntil the audit trail is tightened up and more unauthorised sites are closed down, we cannot expect this figure to reduce by much, which flies in the face of the original legislation and more importantly, could put someoneâ€™s life at risk if a car finds its way back onto the road.â€