HC Deb 27 January 1960 vol 616 cc162-3
30 Mr. Spriggs

asked the Minister of Transport (1) if he will introduce legislation to compel second-hand car dealers to make a declaration of a car's history to any potential customer, and to issue a certificate of roadworthiness in each instance;

(2) if he has studied the case, details of which have been sent to him by the hon. Member for St. Helens, of the sale of a car for normal use after it had been declared a total loss by an insurance company; and what other evidence he has received regarding the extent to which such a practice obtains;

(3) if he will introduce legislation to prohibit the resale of cars for normal use after any such car has been declared a total loss by an insurance company.

Mr. Hay

My right hon. Friend has studied the case referred to in the second of these Questions, and has written to the hon. Member. On the main issue raised, we are not satisfied that further legislation on the lines suggested would materially strengthen the existing legal safeguards against the sale of defective vehicles.

Mr. Spriggs

What is the use of the Minister saying that something will have to be done about accidents on the roads of this country if, when he has an opportunity to do something about them, he refuses to do it? Secondly, is the Minister aware that the trade is in full support of what this Question asks for? May I take this opportunity to thank the Minister for his correspondence?

Mr. Hay

I understand the hon. Gentleman's feelings, but the advice we have is that it will be extremely difficult to carry into effect the sort of proposals he has in mind. It is already an offence for anyone to offer for sale a motor vehicle which does not comply with certain legal requirements, particularly about things like brakes, steering, tyres and lighting. The difficulty arises in proving the condition at the time of sale. The customer's best protection, which is also a protection of the public's road safety, is through having an expert examination of the vehicle, before buying.