Used car and van dealership fined after claiming GDPR meant it couldn’t ID alleged dodgy driver

  • Used car and van dealer wouldn’t reveal identity of driver said to have committed traffic offence
  • Vansco Ltd says it was constrained by data protection rules as driver was provided by third party
  • But vehicle retailer is found guilty, fined and ordered to pay prosecution costs

Time 6:54 am, June 13, 2024

A used car and van dealership has been ordered to pay more than £1,600 after claiming data protection laws meant it couldn’t identify a driver believed to have committed a traffic offence.

Vansco Ltd found itself up before West Hampshire Magistrates’ Court in Southampton on Tuesday (June 11) in relation to an incident on November 15, 2022.

The driver of a white Ford van belonging to the dealership was said to have flouted traffic laws near Fareham but police were unable to identify who was behind the wheel.

After linking the van to the dealership, officers asked for the name of the driver but were told it couldn’t be provided.

This led to the Southampton-based firm being charged with failing to give information relating to the identification of the driver of a vehicle when required.

Car Dealer was in court during a previous hearing, on February 15, in which a not-guilty plea was entered and the case was put forward for trial.

The case returned to the same court, where Vansco was found guilty of the charge and handed a fine of £900.

The outfit was also ordered to pay prosecution costs of £400 and a victim surcharge of £360, taking the total money owed to £1,660.

At the previous hearing, which wasn’t attended by Vansco because bosses were at a funeral, magistrates heard that the dealership said that it had been unable to provide the details requested by the police because of general data protection regulation (GDPR).

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Lawyers representing the firm said the driver in question was one of several used by the outfit who are supplied by a third party.

Vansco is far from the first automotive retailer to be taken to court for such a charge, with Car Dealer reporting on several similar cases in recent times.

Last week, we brought you the news that struggling used car dealer LR Trans Ltd had been ordered to pay a total of £1,510 for an identical charge at Worcester Magistrates’ Court.

The same court also fined Morris Autos and TJ Vickers £660 apiece after admitting to separate counts.

That came after used car firm Top Cars Telford was fined £666 for failing to name a Mercedes-Benz driver who was caught breaking the law.

Under section 172 of the Road Traffic Act 1988, failure to identify a driver is punishable by a fine and up to six penalty points on a driving licence.

Jack Williams's avatar

Jack joined the Car Dealer team in 2021 as a staff writer. He previously worked as a national newspaper journalist for BNPS Press Agency. He has provided news and motoring stories for a number of national publications including The Sun, The Times and The Daily Mirror.

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