The Curse of of the cheap Gumtree carrier

Posted on December 27, 2013

The old saying if it sounds too good to be true them it probably is:

This is a tale of woe related to us by a few customers over the last year:

On Gumtree amongst other sites people have found guys offering really cheap car transporting deals. Unfortunately many of these deals are offered by couriers who hitch up a trailer  to their van and, because they are travelling near to where the car is to be picked up and delivered, only really need to cover the cost of their fuels and so offer very cheap prices.

Great economic sense and ecologically sound, you might think.

Unfortunately, a number of customers have found this to be very much more expensive than they expected.

The car is picked up on time and off the courier goes the fly in the ointment is that the majority of these guys are running illegally without the proper insurance for hire and reward vehicle deliveries; without the right driving licence to tow a trailer and the majority are running their vehicles overweight and require some rather complex licences to be able to run a van/trailer combination.

Not an issue, their problem yo might think.

It is until they get stopped by the Police or VOSA inspectors at which point they are frequently prohibited from travelling further until either the trailer and or the load on the trailer is removed. This is where it becomes the car owner’s problem.

In some cases the courier has offloaded the car in the layby or VOSA inspection area and driven off. Vosa/Police then have an untaxed and uninsured car on their hands and call a vehicle removal company to take the car to the pound.

At this point the pain really starts because you are then faced with having to pay the removal and storage charges plus you need to go and pick your car up.

The car maybe of very low value and you might decide that it is not worth picking up and decide to abandon the car to the pound. Live is just not that easy and is decidedly unfair, the pain goes on…

…you cannot simply walk away from it! You are the legal owner the fact that the carrier has dumped the car without your knowledge or consent is no excuse. You engaged someone to undertake a job illegally any costs which flow from that arrangement going wrong are down to you. Sure, if you can track down the guy from a mobile phone number on an online ad you might be able to sue him but that is likely to be a blind alley.

The message clear do the job yourself, which we prefer, or if you do use a carrier, check that:

  • They have hire and reward insurance
  • They have the correct category of licence (many couriers will have licences from outside the UK which are often mor restrictive than UK licences)
  • In order to use a van/trailer combination teh carrier must have an OPERATORS LICENCE this is issued by VOSA and permits someone to use a vehicle over 3500kgs gross vehicle weight for business. This has nothing to do with the driver licence requirement. The vehicle should also be equipped with a tachograph

If you cut any corners on this you could find yourelf saddled with a large and ever growing bill whilst you car sits in the car compound.

Be the first to leave a comment

Leave a Reply