RAC Cars News


Industry Organisation Calls For Better Tracking Of Written-Off Vehicles

By raccars Published

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When there is an accident on the roads of the UK and a vehicle that is involved becomes an insurance write-off, experts argue that not enough is currently being done to ensure that cars left in this potentially dangerous state are kept off the tarmac for good.

At the moment, the DVLA deals with about half a million write-offs a year, but does not actually keep a record of the extent of the damage or whether the vehicle then returns to the road after repairs, according to Auto Express.

National Association of Bodyshops spokesperson, Frank Harvey, said that this means cars which might pose a threat to the safety of the driver and other road users can go back into circulation even if they are only really fit for scrapping.

Insurers currently put written-off vehicles into four categories depending on the severity of the damage done to them. But vehicles which are part of a fleet may not receive this kind of categorisation at all because insurance is handled internally. In either scenario, the DVLA does not actually take note of this information and so problems are bound to occur, according to Harvey.

The call made by Harvey, for better regulation of cars which are written off in accidents, would involve the creation of a national register which can be used to keep track of vehicles that are being scrapped and salvaged. In addition, he wants to see the establishment of regulations to which the companies involved in this industry must adhere, in order to ensure public safety.

Many vehicles which are considered to be an insurance write-off are ultimately sold at auction, at which point they can pass into the hands of anyone with enough cash to purchase them. And at this point, they disappear from the radar and may be resold without any mention of the incident in which they were previously involved.

People who are buying second hand cars are often urged to check for signs of damage and repair in order to identify whether or not the vehicle has indeed encountered an accident in the past. But not all repairs are visible to the naked eye and the creation of a register to track insurance write-offs and prevent dangerous cars from returning to the roads, will no doubt, be welcomed by both drivers and industry bodies alike.

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