There are many who still think how we record cash damaged cars is still insufficient and encourages cheap repairs that are unsafe. Frank Harvey who is head of NAoB, suggests a National Register should be set up and a specific code of practice put into force. All crashed vehicles are categorised based on the cost to repair by insurance companies rather than a rating by a safety professional and because some cars do not go through the insurance process, many unsafe cars are not categorised at all.
A Large Excess
Vehicles that can bypass this process are those bought and sold by hire and leasing companies, who by underwriting any damage to their own vehicles at a high level, saving business insurance premiums and then they just sell the cars at auction when accidents occur. It has become a normal practice for large organisations who lease cars for their employees also. They have calculated that the unlikely event of an accident compares favourably to savings on premiums. it therefore relatively easy to buy these at auction and repair them to a low quality and sell the on, where the buyer is none the wiser. It is a bit like having a large excess that is worth the full value of the car.
Classified X, D, C or B
Normally when insurance companies classify a car, they decide how much it will cost to repair, with different makes and models having different criteria’s, based on parts and labour costs. Clearly an older Mercedes worth £10,000 will probably still cost more to repair than a newer Fiat worth the same amount and therefore more likely to be classed as a write off. insurance companies also factor in what they mat received as a salvage vehicle at auction, which in many cases is not that much different than the fully running vehicle.
A Salvage Register
A register would deal with all badly crashed cars irrelevant of insurance classification so that buyers are fully aware of what they are parting their money for, at the same time specific detailed MOTs could be brought in to check over all repaired vehicles. It is fair to say that there are many out there looking for a bargain who buy salvaged vehicles in order to own a new car, who are fully aware of what they are driving, yet take the chance, any new register and MOT would keep this at bay.
As it stands, nothing is in the pipeline, even with calls from trade professionals.