NAB expresses salvage revamp concerns

The National Association of Bodyshops (NAB) has expressed concern that the new Code of Practice for the Disposal of Motor Salvage negates to protect consumers.

Representatives of NAB and the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) met with the Department for Transport (DfT) on Wednesday 8 July, to outline their concerns with the proposed new code of Practice. The new code appears to protect insurers, while exposing consumers and the motoring public to risk from unregulated sale and unregulated repair of written-off vehicles.

Frank Harvey, head of the National Association of Bodyshops (NAB), said, ‘The proposed new Code of Practice for the Disposal of Motor Salvage, although a significant improvement on the current code, has clearly been drafted to protect insurers.’

Frank continued, ‘At no point in the new code is there any mention of controlling the sale or repair of written-off vehicles. Badly damaged cars, deemed uneconomical to repair by insurers, can therefore be purchased and supposedly ‘repaired’ by anyone, irrespective of skill, ability or equipment levels. They can then be sold on to unsuspecting consumers, putting the drivers of these vehicles and other road users at risk.’

Sue Robinson, director of the NFDA, stated, ‘the NFDA fear that these vehicles, once written-off only to be repaired, could put the public at risk. Consumers often want to buy the ‘newest cars’ at the most economical prices but they may not comprehend the risk. Whilst previously written-off vehicles can look like a bargain, ‘buyer beware’. Such vehicles can end up costing owners thousands of pounds to correct unsafe repairs.’

Due to the impending abolition of the vehicle identity check (VIC) in October 2015, the DfT along with the Association of British Insurers (ABI) has asked the insurer funded Motor Insurer Repair Research Centre (Thatcham), to review the current Code of Practice for the Disposal of Motor Salvage. The code was last reviewed in 2007.