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Other licensing

Car boot sales licence

You do not need a licence to have a Car Boot Sale, and you do not need a planning application to be submitted to the Borough Council provided that both of the following conditions are met: 

  • they are held on open ground eg fields, and are not within the grounds of a building, and
  • the total number of days where events are held on that land does not exceed 14 in any one calendar year

However, despite the above, anyone wishing to hold a sale, even just one, MUST still give the Council at least 28 days written notice of the first event to be held. This should also say on which day(s) of the week the sales are to be held example - Sundays; the times of the day when the sale will operate, and provide the names and contacts of the land owner and the operator in charge of the sale. A map will also be needed with the site identified, together with the location of the access points to that site. This written procedure of giving notice is not a planning application. It is required under the Local Government Miscellaneous Provisions Act 1982.

If you are in doubt, please always contact the Planning Control or Telephone: 01827 715341.

5 Great tips for car booting

1) Most people selling at car boots are private individuals - not traders, so you have fewer consumer rights if you buy from them than you would if you bought the same item in a shop. They are only required to describe their goods correctly, so 'caveat emptor' or 'buyer beware' very much applies.

2) Many old and damaged products find their way on to car boot sales. Be careful when buying used goods, especially toys and electrical items. Check for damaged wiring, and sharp edges and ask if they come with instructions.

3) Unscrupulous traders may try to sell fake goods at car boot sales. Counterfeit DVD's are often of poor quality, some may even be blank, and computer software may not work.

4) We advise you don't buy or sell items like irons, car seats or electrical fires at car boot sales, and if you are selling toys, inspect them to ensure there are no sharp edges or points, or small parts that can be pulled off.

5) If you are buying goods to sell for profit or you sell at car boots on a regular basis, you are very likely to be considered a trader under the law. As such you must give buyers the same consumer rights they have in a shop and comply with business laws.

Mark Ryder, Head of Warwickshire Trading Standards Service said: "Buying and selling at car boot sales is now one of the UK's favourite pastimes, with thousands of people attend such events each week during the Spring and Summer months.

Car boot sales can be great places to pick up a bargain, but consumers buying second hand goods need to be vigilant if they want to avoid being ripped off, or even hurt!"

  • For consumer advice telephone 0845 404 0506
  • For business advice telephone 01926 414044

Last updated Tuesday, 5th September 2017

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