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Salvage code updated to help keep dangerous vehicles off the road

Press release   •   Jun 14, 2017 14:17 BST

The updated insurance industry code of practice for dealing with motor salvage is being published today, ten years after it was last reviewed.

The Association of British Insurers (ABI), which co-ordinates the code, is sharing the results of an extensive review ahead of the new code coming into effect on 1st October 2017. It follows two years of engagement with multiple stakeholders including insurers, vehicle manufacturers, affected government departments and agencies, police and the vehicle leasing and salvage industries.

The new code reflects the increasing complexity of newer vehicles which can make it harder for damaged cars to be safely repaired. It also has a greater focus on the condition of the vehicle rather than repair costs. Changes include:

Replacing previous salvage categories A, B, C and D with

A: Scrap

B: Break

S: Structurally damaged repairable

N: Non-structurally damaged repairable

The scope of the code has been increased to include some guidance on motorcycles and quadricycles

Minimum qualification requirements have been introduced for all individuals who categorise vehicle salvage.

Ben Howarth, Senior Policy Adviser for Motor and Liability at the ABI, says:

“The salvage code is a great example of the insurance industry working together for the good of the general public. It’s important the code moves with the times, and this update takes account of two years of consultation and extensive technical scrutiny from Thatcham Research. The changes are focused on making the UK’s roads safer, and ensuring that consumers have transparency about the history of vehicles they are considering buying.”

Tamzen Isacsson, SMMT Director of Communications and International, says:

“Manufacturers design and build vehicles to the highest possible safety standards. Today’s announcement is a positive and significant step by industry, insurers and governing bodies to further improve safety on our roads and ensure there is clarity on whether an accident-damaged vehicle is fit for repair or should be scrapped.

“We welcome the new voluntary code, but putting a complete stop to the unscrupulous activity of repairing vehicles that should be scrapped will require legislation.”

The new Code of Practice for the Categorisation of Motor Vehicle Salvage can be seen in full here.

Thatcham Research is the independent voice of automotive safety & repair, advising motorists, insurers and vehicle manufacturers to help reduce accident frequency, severity and costs and to realise the vision of ‘Safer cars, fewer crashes’.

As well as its world leading crash and track research, Thatcham Research tests and accredits crash repair parts, vehicle repair technicians, and a number of other products and services within the collision repair industry for insurers, motor manufacturers, equipment manufacturers and suppliers.

A founder member of the international Research Council for Automobile Repairs (RCAR), Thatcham Research has also been a member of the European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) since 2004.