Friday, 5 September 2014

VIC Scheme update

The first industry meeting scheduled by DfT following the announcement of the abolition of the VIC scheme took place in early July.

The purpose of the meeting was to inform industry about what would happen to VIC in the run up to its cessation in October 2015, and to consider what, if any, action is needed to address the many concerns raised during the 2012 ‘consultation’.

It was confirmed that there was no intention to terminate VIC early & that it would continue to run on until October 2015.  Government said it was working to ensure that this didn’t result in further inconvenience in obtaining VIC appointments.

The main focus, however, of the meeting was to discuss whether there really were problems in the following areas, whether any action needed to be taken, by whom, when and how this would work:         
  • Avoidance of the Salvage COP by self-insured fleets etc.·         
  • Sale, repair & export of category B vehicles (& other waste vehicles)·         
  • Category manipulation·         
  • Repair standards·         
  • Making consumers aware of ‘write-off’ history
At the meeting were representatives of the dismantling & salvage industry, vehicle manufacturers, body repairers, insurers, and of course Government (Police, DfT, EA, DVLA, BIS, VOSA etc.).  Lots of opinions were expressed & ideas suggested, often contradictory, some of which MVDA supported and some of which it opposed.  But it was never intended that this meeting would produce firm proposals.  Indeed DfT suggested that it was unlikely that anything would be in place before VIC ceased, and if it required legislation, probably considerably longer.  Once again it was made clear that this was a ‘deregulating Government’ and that any legislative changes would need to be ‘evidence based’.  However, at the end of the meeting several parties, inc. ABI, were asked to undertake some work in certain areas and to report back to DfT in Autumn.

It is worth briefly reiterating MVDA’s starting position on some of the main points:
  • All insurers & self-insurers must adopt the Salvage – forced by legislation if required·       
  • Salvage CoP to be overseen by independent organisation·          
  • All category A & B vehicles to be destroyed (with shells crushed) in the UK, by UK operators, with COD issued – forced by legislation if required·          
  • Much greater clarity needed on categorisation to ensure all ‘repairable salvage’ is repairable·         
  • Any changes following abolition of VIC to be based on ‘risk’ & so reduce impact on the largest volume of ‘lightly damaged salvage’ (focus attention on lower volume of extensively damaged salvage).·         
  • Tracking vehicles through the motor trade to introduce an element of ‘liability’ & to reduce/ eliminate illegal dismantling/ export
There was also much discussion around whether:
  • All salvage should be required to undergo a new MOT·          
  • Post-repair inspections should be required for all salvage, or just some types·      
  • Salvage should be repaired only by ‘approved/ certified’ (e.g. PAS125 or VM-approved) body shops·          
  • V5 for all salvage should be marked, what it should say & how prominent it should be·         
  • There is a need to mark the V5 at all if the vehicle has been repaired by an approved body shop or undergone an inspection.
So, lots of discussion, with many parties obviously having vested interests in certain outcomes.  But no clear or firm views from Government – other than ‘consumer protection & road safety’ being their priority.

It is worth noting that there currently appears to be little evidence of problems with salvage repair standards, but plenty of evidence of problems with category B vehicles, tracking vehicles, illegal dismantling etc.

As yet, there is no further scheduled meeting, but we do expect to hear news in the next few months and will keep members updated ‘as & when’.

As always, members are encouraged to contribute their views.

Motor Vehicle Dismantlers Association of Great Britain Office 5, Top Floor,
Charrington House, 17A Market St, Lichfield, Staffordshire, WS13 6JX, UK.
Tel: (01543) 254 254
Fax: (01543) 254 274 

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