Selling your classic car? It's FREE to list your car on Honest John Classics | No thanks

How can I trace a classic car?

I am an officer of a classic car club. I have received an email from someone who wants to “trace” a car that belonged to her late father, and was stored locally. (Her father hasn’t been a member for 15+ years, but was known to the club.) I can confirm the car still exists, albeit semi-derelict. As club official, what should I do? The car was apparently sold by the landlord to cover storage costs, and the car has since been re-sold on eBay. The club had no involvement in either sale. What is the legal position about cars sold to recover outstanding storage costs? The car is not a Bugatti, or Aston Martin, but will be quite valuable if ever restored!

Asked on 30 June 2012 by DY, Kings Norton

Answered by Honest John
If you store data, you have to conform to the terms of the Data Protection Act. You are not the police or a car parking enforcement agency. So what you have to do is get permission from the current owner in your records to pass those details to the person enquiring. If you don't get that permission you cannot legally pass on the information.

The same happens to me. If a reader complains about the car, I have to get permission from them to pass their complaint on to the manufacturer or the warranty provider or whoever. A business that is owed money for services to a car and who is in possession of the car has a right of lien over it.
Similar questions
In your October 12 column you responded to a query about a car scraped while parked on private land. You recommended that the owner should ask the DVLA for the other car keeper’s details. I found myself...
There has been correspondence in your column regarding demands for excess parking and other matters on private land, where the only way the company would know the car keeper’s name and address is from...
I received a promotional mailer today, addressed to me personally as the keeper of a car with my registration plate. At first I was amused at the marketing, but on reflection I have concerns about how...
 

Ask Honest John