The Curious Case Of The Red Mazda

Tue 23rd Jul 2019

A young couple from Exmouth found themselves on the wrong-end of a bizarre loophole which left them unable to use their garage and driveway.

Kieran and Danielle Luxton returned from a short break and without a place to park their car after finding a red Mazda parked on their driveway. Forced to park on the road, the couple, who have one child and are expecting another, contacted the local council and police expecting the matter to be solved swiftly. But a legal loophole meant that as the car was insured and taxed and parked on private property there was little the authorities could do to intervene.

The Luxtons were told that due to the Mazda being on private property, the matter was a case for the civil courts.

Speaking to the Mirror, Kieran said: “It was an awful situation. I thought you could just ring the police and they would speak to who owned it when they tracked them down, but they don’t do that.

“I was told we couldn’t block it in as it’s illegal, and if you pay for someone to pull it off your land, any damage done you are liable to pay for it. Had we taken it to court we would have had to pay court fees.

“I was shocked, as I expected there to be some sort of law to help with matters like this, as I assumed it would be trespassing.”

After several attempts to track down the owner, the couple took the risk of getting the vehicle towed to a council-owned field near their house, which soon prompted the Mazda to disappear, but not before the couple had paid £30 for the privilege. 

A technicality in the law means that if the car is legally allowed to drive with insurance, tax and valid MOT then neither the council or the police will touch the vehicle. Ironically if the car had been damaged whilst the Luxtons were moving it from their drive then they could have been taken to court.