One village in Vietnam's north specializes in repairing old cars and putting them back on the road or just selling their spare parts.
Every day thousands of old cars, trucks, and special purpose vehicles are taken to Te Lo village in Yen Lac district, northern Vinh Phuc province. Owners of recycling yards buy the vehicles for tens of millions of VND and will repair and repaint the vehicles and sell them for hundreds of millions of VND.
Other vehicles they take for less money are stripped for spare parts. All of the old vehicles find some part of them returning to the streets and going through a new life cycle.
According to Mr. Nguyen Van Quang, one repairer, he doesn’t care why the vehicle comes to him, whether it’s been in an accident or is too old to be on the road anymore. He thinks of them as “living vehicles” and “dead vehicles”. The “living vehicles” are those than can be repaired and resold, while the “dead vehicles” can be stripped for spare parts.
Te Lo village has around 400 recycling yards for old motor cars and also old motorbikes. The trade first appeared in the village in 1995 and is now an industrial zone.
“Finished” products are sold to people who want to buy an ultra-cheap motor vehicle. “The two parties agree on a price for the vehicle, but the registration is the responsibility of the new owner,” said Mr. Ha Van Luu, manager of the industrial zone..
Vietnam has more than 100,000 motor vehicles that are too old to be on the roads anymore. Many owners, though, continue to drive them illegally.