The Traffic Commissioner for the North East of England criticised Durham-based DPM Finance Ltd. after it was found to have financed a heavy goods vehicle (HGV) that was being used illegally.

Kevin Rooney, Traffic Commissioner for the North East of England, said it was ‘unbelievable’ that DPM Finance had failed to check the validity of the license of the operator online, and declined to return the impounded HGV.

At an impounding hearing in Leeds, the regulator rejected DPM Finance’s claim that it was not aware of the HGV operator’s revoked license, and criticised it for a “high degree of fault,” stating that an ‘honest and reasonable’ company would have carried out the necessary checks.

DPM Finance had provided the driver with finance to purchase the HGV in May 2015, but when stopped in Scarborough in September 2016, the driver was found to have been driving the HGV illegally.

Adonia Freight, the company the driver was director of, had been stripped of its goods vehicle operating licence in December 2014.

In addition, the driver was found to have been in breach of EU cabotage rules by operating under a Bulgarian community authorisation, and it was the third vehicle the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) had seized from him. He was disqualified from operating for a year.

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Rejecting an application to return the HGV, Rooney stated that DPM Finance should have checked using its online system which had been in place for 15 years.

He also added that concerns should have been raised at DPM Finance over an individual who failed to produce an operator’s license in his own name.