The car insurance industry has written a new and improved salvage code in a bid to ensure dangerous vehicles are kept off the roads. It’s the first time in 10 years that the current salvage code of practice has been reviewed and it’s taken two years for industry players to discuss and finalise.

The salvage code helps insurance providers decide what write-off category a car should be in – this affects whether it can be used for parts or has to be scrapped completely. The new code will be effective from 1 October 2017 and aims to reflect today’s technologically more sophisticated cars, which can be harder to safely repair.

Currently, there are four write-off categories: A, B, C and D. These will be replaced by A, B, S and N. The new definitions are:

  • A – Scrap: Not suitable to be repaired. Must be crushed without any parts being removed
  • B – Break: Not suitable to be repaired. Usable parts can be recycled.
  • S – Structural repairable: Repairable vehicle that has sustained damage to any part of the structural frame or chassis and the insurer/self-insured owner has decided not to repair the vehicle.
  • N – Non-structural repairable: Repairable vehicle that has not sustained damage to the structural frame or chassis and the insurer/self-insured owner has decided not to the repair the vehicle.

But it’s not just cars, the new code has been extended to include motorbikes and quadricycles too. Plus, anyone who makes decisions about write-off classifications, will also need to meet minimum qualification requirements.

Industry spokespeople have hailed the new code as a testament to teamwork, with all aspects of the motor industry coming together to do what’s best in order to keep our roads, and the public, safe.

‘The salvage code is a great example of the insurance industry working together for the good of the general public. 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.’
Ben Howarth, Senior Policy Advisor for Motor and Liability at the ABI

Staying safe on the roads doesn’t just come down to scrappage definitions, making sure you’ve got your car insurance sorted is just one way we can all do our bit. It’s estimated that there are around one million uninsured drivers on Britain’s roads, costing £400 million a year in accident claims and adding approximately £33 to our premiums.

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