The DfT recently wrote to MVDA in relation to the proposal to scrap the VIC scheme. The edited extracts below indicate the thoughts of Government, particularly those areas where there are outstanding concerns and further work is required. You will recognise many of the concerns outlined over the years by MVDA and its members.
The consultation in 2012 on the future of the VIC scheme and subsequent discussions identified major concerns with the current VIC scheme. This reinforces consultation responses which appear to support the abolition or at the very least a radical alteration of how the scheme works. The main issue highlighted by respondents was around roadworthiness, for which the VIC scheme was never intended to be used. This perception of the VIC being a roadworthiness check means that we have a re-educating role to play in informing the public how roadworthiness issues should be dealt with.
The review of the VIC scheme also identified issues of consumer protection and the state of some accident damaged repaired vehicles. Publicity following two accidents involving previously written-off vehicles has raised again concerns with the quality of some accident repaired damaged vehicles. DfT would like to discuss further with key stakeholders, including the Association of British Insurers, about how this issue can be addressed and to formulate options on taking it forward.
DfT would like to give consideration to whether the insurance industry (ABI) Code of Practice (on disposal of Motor Salvage) should be given a statutory footing, enabling more control on how repairs are carried out and the categorisation of vehicles after they have been in an accident. The following points need particular consideration:
- If the insurance industry has categorised a vehicle as either A and B should it ever be repaired?
- Should it be an offence to return category A or B vehicles back to the road unless they have gone through an enhanced MOT/exceptional procedure?
- How can we stop the few category A and B accident damaged vehicles from going back on the road when there is currently nothing legally to prevent them from doing so?
- Do we want to license technicians/ body shops/ garages, accrediting them to undertake repairs on some types of accident damaged vehicles?
- With the abolition of the VIC scheme there will no longer be a VIC marker flagging the vehicle as having been in an accident. So going forward should the insurance industry be sending V5C for category C written-off vehicles to the DVLA for marking that it has sustained ‘serious damage’
- Should we continue to use the literal wording of ‘seriously damaged’ on the re-registration document, or use different wording depending on the damage sustained?
- How can we ensure that the buyer of a used vehicle knows the vehicle has been written-off and repaired, and that it has been done so to an approved standard?
- Where an accident damaged vehicle has been written-off should it then undergo a MOT, irrelevant to when the vehicle last went through one?
- Should all or some categories of written-off vehicles be inspected before going back on the road, or a sample of them depending on the nature of the damage, and who should be undertaking these inspections? If this is implemented it may require an extra level of MOT testers and VVRA body shops with an additional layer of competence and skill to be able to identify issues on repairs where they can.
- Should crash damaged vans and motorcycles be brought in scope of the ABI COP?
- We would also like to explore the supposed mis-categorisation of vehicles and the alleged misuse of category D.
The views of members on any of these points are welcome.