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VIC to go from October 2015

CAR Transplants
The VIC test may be going but we have to ensure that it isn't replaced with something worse - frying pans and fires comes to mind!
The Government has now recognised many of the arguments that the Motor Vehicle Dismantlers’ Association have brought to their attention over the last few years and recently announced that from October 2015 Vehicle Identity Checks will be abolished.

Transport Minister, Stephen Hammond announced that Returning a written-off car to the road is set to become easier and cheaper thanks to the abolition of red tape, set to save taxpayers millions of pounds, and from October 2015 those returning write-offs to a roadworthy condition following an accident will no longer need to apply for a Vehicle Identity Check (VIC).

The checks, introduced in 2003, were designed to stop criminals ringing cars – swapping the identity of damaged cars with a stolen vehicle of a similar make and model.

But during the last 10 years the 717,000 checks made resulted in only a handful of positive results (38). In its response to the Government Consultation MVDA pointed out that data revealed that some of the 38 ‘ringers’ were already known, but that real cost of the scheme was probably in excess of £125m (far in excess of published Government estimates) – that’s a whopping £4m for each vehicle detected.

But far more significantly, since 2003 there have been over 2 million category C vehicles (3.2 million VIC marked) but with only 717,000 having undergone VIC, where are the rest? No-one seems to know including the one Government department that should – DVLA. COD numbers certainly couldn’t account for the gap.

Stephen Hammond said, “It’s clear the scheme isn’t doing its job and it is hitting honest motorists in the wallet. The VIC scheme is nothing more than unnecessary red tape, which is why we are getting rid of it.”

Importantly, it seemed from Consultation responses that many people thought that VIC was a ‘repair quality check’, something it never was, but is needed.

A VIC inspection currently costs £41 and involves an inspector from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (in Northern Ireland the Driver and Vehicle Agency) checking that the vehicle matches information on the DVLA’s database.

So where does it go from here? MVDA tell us that the VIC working group (of which they are a part) will continue to consider further:
  • Re-educating the public about the VIC not being a road worthiness check;
  • Giving the Industry Code of Practice a statutory footing and identifying if we should use the road worthiness testing directives to inspect recently repaired accident damaged vehicles;
  • Addressing the consumer angle to ensure that individuals know if they are purchasing a vehicle that has been previously written-off, including the wording on the V5C;
  • Identifying what, if anything, should replace VIC – what can be used in its place as a means for the issue of a registration document following a write-off, and whether re-registration documents should be issued for category A and B write-offs in the future;
  • Do we want to allow any category A and B vehicles back on the road, and if so should this be legislated or a stronger policy message given.

  • We shall keep you informed of developments as they happen but don’t forget, your views are always welcome and we will pass them over to those involved in the decision making process - stay tuned!

    July 2014

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