Scrapping unnecessary checks will save honest motorists around £10 million a year


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Drivers returning a written-off car to the road will no longer need to apply for a Vehicle Identity Check

Drivers returning a written-off car to the road will no longer need to apply for a Vehicle Identity Check (VIC) to prove their vehicle matches the registration details.

As of today (26 October), the Department for Transport has scrapped the process and say it will save motorists an estimated £9.7 million a year and cut around £4.8 million of costs incurred by UK businesses.

A VIC currently costs £41 plus the time and inconvenience to people and businesses. The decision to abolish the scheme was taken following a consultation and review by the DfT.

The VIC was introduced in 2003 to stop vehicle ringing - a practice where criminals swap the identity of cars no longer economical to repair with that of a stolen vehicle of a similar make and model.

Advances in technology, and the fact that most vehicles returned to the road have been in the hands of the same keeper for seven years or more, mean this check has become unnecessary.

Scrapping the VIC scheme will make it easier and cheaper for motorists and businesses to return repairable written-off vehicles to the road.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: "The government is on the side of the honest motorist which is why we are scrapping this scheme which flies in the face of common sense and creates an unnecessary burden. It will save motorists and businesses millions every year."

Over the past 12 years, around a million checks have been made, resulting in only a handful of actual cases of wrongdoing.

Write-offs can be divided into 2 categories:

  • An actual loss where the vehicle cannot and should not be repaired (salvage category A or B) - these will not be re-registered by the DVLA
  • A constructive loss (salvage category C or D), where the vehicle could be repaired but the cost of doing so would exceed the replacement value of the vehicle

This is explained in more detail in our guide to category C and D cars.

Following the abolition of VIC the DVLA will no longer issue a vehicle registration document (V5C) for Category A and B vehicles. This will help to ensure that the most seriously damaged vehicles are processed via the end of life vehicle arrangements in line with the insurance industry code of practice for the disposal of motor vehicle salvage.

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