Council Cashes In On Car Sales

By Londonist Last edited 120 months ago
Council Cashes In On Car Sales


In a new twist to London’s already byzantine parking restrictions, turns out that motorists can be fined for displaying a ‘For Sale’ sign in their car without a street trading licence.

Penge motorist Luigi Alija has been fined £350 plus costs by Bromley Magistrate’s Court after trying to sell his car in the time-honoured fashion by putting a notice inside the window. Bromley Council consider this to be street trading and slapped Alija with a £100 fixed penalty after it was spotted by eagle-eyed enforcement officers.

Head of Street Environment Peter Turvey said, ‘It is illegal to sell anything in the street unless you have a street trading licence and cars are no different to other goods. There is a risk that without a system of licenses, street trading causes nuisance and danger.’

Curiously, a legally-parked, taxed, insured and MOT’d car only falls foul of Bromley Council’s Neat Street campaign if it displays a ‘For Sale’ sign. The campaign urges residents to report obstructions on roads or pavements, such as vendors without a street trading licence, though it doesn’t seem to apply to companies advertising themselves with sign-written vehicles.

Bromley Council are not the only local authority to cash in on cars for sale - Barnet Council hit businessman Victor Abrahams with a fixed penalty last year for the same offence. Barnet say they are investigating ways of differentiating between individual sellers and the nuisance rogue car traders using London streets to flog dodgy motors which the legislation is supposedly aimed at.

In the meantime, better stick to the small ads.

By Beth Torr. Image by blech in the Londonist Flickr pool.

Last Updated 13 March 2009