Vehicle Salvage Code gets update

The insurance industry’s code of practice for vehicle salvage has been updated, 10 years after its last review.

The new code, co-ordinated by the Association of British Insurers (ABI), will come into effect on 1 October later this year. 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.

The changes include replacing the previous salvage categories A, B, C and D with: A, Scrap; B, Break; S, Structurally damaged repairable; and N, Non-structurally damaged repairable.

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

Ben Howarth, senior policy adviser for motor and liability at the ABI, said, ‘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, Society of Motor Manufacturer and Traders director of communications and international, said, ‘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.’