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A trip down memory lane - a tale of 2 halves?

Bentley
Latest find on ebay - looks tempting?
We are all aware of the insurance scandals but this reader, who wishes to remain anonymous saw half a Bentley for sale and put his thoughts down on paper - well worth a read!


Let’s take a trip back in time. It’s the 1980s. Car crime is hitting the headlines. ‘Cut and shuts’. Nasty criminals buying insurance write-offs. Welding front and back ends together. Then selling the death traps as ‘straight’ cars. Concern is growing. Insurance industry is starting to get a little worried - Government might legislate. Insurers start to think about how they can ‘head this off’. What about a Code of Practice for handling salvage to prevent criminals getting hold of these vehicles in the first place? A fine and admirable concept. It’s worked up into a proposal and is eventually accepted by industry and government. Phew, job done! A nice document. Keep it nice and vague. Everybody can be seen to be buying into it - without actually committing anything at all. Those that want to work to the rules can; those putting money before conscience can opt out. But no-one will ever know! Problem solved.

Fast forward to 2013. Illegal dismantling/ scrapping/ export of vehicles is widespread. DVLA has lost control over movement of vehicles - really doesn’t know what’s going on - Government only interested in de-regulating, cutting costs and jobs for the boys - Environment Agency doesn’t know where to start - Most UK salvage now owned by insurers - and sold worldwide over the internet.

Ah but there is something happening. The VIC scheme is under review. For some reason huge numbers of vehicles are going missing – no VIC, no COD, reflecting a much larger problem with vehicles ‘dropping out’ of the UK system. The changed economic conditions mean that insurers have to work harder and smarter, and so does everyone associated with them. Salvage is an ideal opportunity. Don’t forget, the COP is voluntary - nobody actually signs up. There’s no transparency so no-one can ever be sure about categorisation. Editing damage repair estimates is an ideal way of ‘correcting’ categories. Certainly improves income! What about ‘de-categorising’ write-off vehicles. Let’s try it. But what about the buyer? Who cares – take the money! Anything goes now!

But wait a minute. Someone’s noticed - the Police, vehicle manufacturers, dismantlers, salvage agents. They’ve realised what’s going on. Oh hell! Some girls killed in a cat B vehicle put back on the road! Say nothing. Keep quiet. Play it down. Blame someone else. Move along please – nothing to see here. Oh bugger – now everyone can see what’s for sale on the internet – at the salvage auctions and on eBay. What’s that? ½ a Bentley on eBay? Surely not – that was what VIC was all about? Back to square one? Good earner that. Well, I’m all right jack – got friends in the right places. Not my problem. It’s a free market. Yeah – anything goes! Happy days!

This is the view of one our readers but here at atfPro we have to agree with where he's coming from. Are you concerned about the activities of the insurers or have we got it all wrong? Get in touch and let us know.

January 2014

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