A used car boss is demanding an apology from DVLA officials after an attempt to clamp vehicles at his Bradford business led to a tense stand-off yesterday.

Faheem Rehman, who has run his one-stop car shop in Great Horton Road for 35 years, said officials turned up at his forecourt with the intention of clamping vehicles and then seizing them.

When he challenged the officials about what was about to happen, police were called for back-up.

Last night, a DVLA spokesman said the organisation worked closely with enforcement officers from VEAS (VED and CIE Enforcement System) to reduce vehicle tax evasion.

The DVLA said that, on investigation, it was confirmed the vehicles were “trade vehicles” so no further action was taken.

But Mr Rehman, whose business has 40 motors worth £200,000, said he was “stunned” by the farcical situation that ensued.

Mr Rehman said: “It was busier than Trafalgar House, there were so many police. I was in the right and just pointing out their error. The cars were on my private property so didn’t need to be Sorn or taxed – there’s a loophole in the law!”

He said one of the officials eventually agreed there had been a mistake and agreed there were no problems with the cars being untaxed.

“At that they all vanished. If they’d insisted on clamping and seizing my cars it would have cost me about £200,000 in total. We’re not short of cash. If we had to pay tax we’d pay it but we don’t.

“We bought the cars legally at auction as trade and they are on my property – not in a public place. They don’t have to be Sorn or taxed until they are sold and taken on to the road. I know what I’m doing – I’ve been in this business long enough.”

He said the officials might have made the mix-up because the forecourt is right next to an Esso service station which has public access.

“They should have checked their facts before they came out on the job. It was just embarrassing for them and annoying for me – I was with a customer when they first arrived. I saw the DVLA van park up and I thought I was doing them a favour letting them use my land to check on passing vehicles but then one of my staff told me their were getting the clamps out. I had to stand between them and the cars and stand my ground until they realised they’d made a big mistake.”

The DVLA spokesman said: “The DVLA is committed to reducing the level of vehicle tax and insurance evasion. VEAS supports the DVLA to achieve this objective.

“On this occasion, upon investigation it was confirmed that the vehicles in question were trade vehicles and so no further action was taken.”