Principal and owner of Kent Mitsubishi and SsangYong dealership Humphries and Parks Marcus Joy has offered Ukrainian and British charities a ‘hub’ where they can drop vehicles before they go off to Dover and on to Ukraine.

  He met Ukrainian and British representatives of Car4Ukraine at the Kent County Show in July, where the organisation had a trade stand.

“It was a chance meeting but we stayed in touch. I had an idea that is already proving to be useful. We have parking capacity here in West Malling that is just at the confluence of the M20 and M26, south-east of London and pointing towards Calais. 

“One of the issues of volunteer groups has been where to put these vehicles before they get exported, particularly if they have faults or are without MOTs and require trailering, and this location is an obvious solution.”

Car4Ukraine is a grassroots Ukrainian civilian organisation that has so far delivered 298 pick-up trucks to the Ukrainian armed forces where they perform a variety of tasks.

The first two trucks were deposited at Marcus’ Kent base by another volunteer, Irishman Patrick McIntyre, on 30 August.

British Car4Ukraine volunteer Richard Lofthouse explained: “It’s a valuable contribution by Marcus and it’s also a great fit for this broader endeavour. Mitsubishi is a revered brand in this context. The fantastically reliable and hardy L200 pick-up truck is one of the greatest vehicles of all time. 

“Of over a thousand vehicles of this type that have gone over to Ukraine from the UK since the invasion last February, perhaps half have been L200s. SsangYongs have been less evident because they are much newer. We are only targeting older trucks, some of them 10 to 20 years old and still fantastic.”

The offer is open to all volunteer and charity groups, approximately a dozen of which have been active in the UK over the past year. Some focus on ambulances and others on SUVs, pick-ups and even civilian cars. The main requirement is that they are 4×4 and diesel, offering another opportunity given the recent expansion of London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s Ultra Low Emission Zone out to the M25.

From Left: Marcus Joy and his three sons who all work in the business, Bruno, Sam and Soren Kingsland-Joy