Salvage Wire

Salvage Wire
Helping Automotive recyclers become leaders in their industry

Tuesday 22 December 2009


As we near the end of 2009 what can we look forward to in 2010?

The end of the scrappage scheme will allow many breakers to take a break from collections and focus on dismantling and scrapping the vehicles they have received.
Looking longer term, I do not think we will fully understand all the implications of scrappage for many months - the impact on scrap prices still has to work its way through - especially as the scrap market is global and the glut of scrappage cars will continue for a while. Parts sales could be weak for a while - too much stock will depress prices, and then as the parts supply is used up prices will strengthen, but in the current economical climate how many customers will want to pay the higher prices?
Residual Values of vehicles could maintain current strength for a while, but these will start to reduce once Scrappage ceases as demand reduces and stock levels of new vehicles increase, causing discounting and distress selling by manufacturers and importers.
VAT change will have an impact on parts and VAT qualifying vehicles, smart businesses have been focusing on VAT qualifying units in the recent weeks and promoting them to ensure that as many as possible are sold. Another 2.5% doesn't sound too much, but on a £10,000 vehicle that is another £250 on the invoice.

Overall though I believe that the Motor Salvage Industry in the UK is a very resiliant sector, that is always looking where they can make a profit, and has the flexibility to survive and come through the year as a stonger, leaner and more efficient operation. All that is needed now is for the Environment Agency to focus on getting illegal operators compliant or taking them out of business - now that would be a real bonus!

Tuesday 15 December 2009

Salvage Parts Stock Control

I know I have been on about this before, but I still believe that a decent stock control system is going to be essential for any supplier of 'green' parts in the future.
Visited an excellent site yesterday, A1 BM Spares in Stevenage ( who have had software from Pinnacle for about 1 month and are getting to grips with all the functionality. You can see from their web site that they are using it very well already, uploading images and detail about the parts available. Not bad for a first time.
As always the effectiveness of any software is only as good as the information that goes into it, and this needs discipline, entering all the donor vehicle details, parts available, pricing, images ec, and recording all the sales, recording all "none sales", i.e. enquiries that could not be satisfied either because parts were not available or too expensive. Only when a few months (or years) worth of this data has been collected will the software really come into its' own as a full stock management system, then the users wil be able to see parts turnover, profit, parts in stock etc.
Pinnacle is expensive, and there are alternatives, so my recommendation is to view a few of the options, talk to some of the users and make your own mind up, but get yourselves a decent system and give the bosses head a break!

Saturday 12 December 2009

Top Gear and the Twingo

Just caught up on the last Top gear programme, what was Jeremy doing with that Renault Twingo, what a waste! I hope that the Renault PR department are happy with their investment, because in my eyes it did not do them any favours, the wanton destruction of property is bad enough at best, but to a few pepole, the fact that a 'professional' journalist abused a car in that way only encourages them to do the same.
I hope that Renault followed the Association of British Insurers Code of Practice and have scrapped the car.
As for the loss of Ross Kemp, no worries!

Friday 27 November 2009

ELV's and the environment

Approximately 2 million vehicles are scrapped annually in the UK, just looking at the numbers is mind boggling, that means 10 million tyres, 7 million litres of oil, and up to 4 million airbags are removed from vehicles and recycled every year.

A recent study by the University of Colorado said that recycling oil from ELV’s in the states saved over 3 million tonnes of CO2 – enough to offset the entire CO2 output of the US for 45 hours this year.

The UK Government has put some very tough targets for reduction of emissions that mean all areas of business have to make their own contribution over the coming years, and the motor salvage industry is already making a contribution to this.

85% of each ELV is already being recycled, and the EU target for 2015 is 95% of the vehicle to be recycled, tough, but achievable target.
One significant advance towards this target would be the use of ‘green’ parts in insurance repairs, and there are a number of projects ongoing that are investigating this in more detail. I believe that there are a number of areas where the motor salvage industry can improve and really push the use of green parts, and these are inventory and parts quality.
Admittedly there are a few salvage operations in the UK who are setting the standards, but the vast majority need to review their operations and put some significant improvements in place.
Inventory: Many salvage companies operate the inventory management system that is in the bosses head, so when the phone calls, or e-mails come in the yard cannot answer the question without going into the yard to check the vehicles and see if the part requested is still available, and then quality may be questionable as it has not been checked.
Operations need to have a full inventory of each vehicle, detailing the vehicle age, mileage, specification etc, and what parts are available. Better still, these parts should have already been removed, cleaned, tagged and stored, and the inventory system marked with a quality standard, 1 for as new/very good, to 3 for poor quality.
The leap in customer service that would produce will be very noticeable, any enquiry can be met with an immediate response giving full details of the parts available, if this enquiry then progresses into a sale the parts are easily removed from stock, packed and shipped.
On my travels around the UK, I estimate that only 10% of the salvage businesses operate a full inventory system that can meet future customer service requirements, which means that 90% can improve in some way, those that are not looking at how their business can improve will fail to lower UK emissions, and will not survive into the new, lower emissions, world that will be our future.

Thursday 26 November 2009

Relieving the Economic Woes

Last year the US threw about $250M at sustainable technology development. Small beans compared to the Billions of dollars in bail out money already used on US banks.
Will the banks be the architects of the type of economic boost that the world economy needs? I don’t think so, but engineering and innovation in all areas, when properly funded, can deliver massive economic boosts, also keeping white collar jobs in an otherwise harsh world.

We need economies with 'real' engineering, not financial engineering. Whilst the bankers and financiers have been messing up our economy engineers have been developing some major advances, have a look at one example.
Since the Euro 1 emissions regulations of 1993 to the current Euro 5 (Oct 2009) engineers have cut diesel particulate emissions by 94%, NOX by 75% and carbon monoxide by 69% whilst making vehicles lighter, safer and more fuel efficient - this is real engineering. has details of a very successful programme in the UK that is delivering benefit to the engineering community through the extra-curricular support of school activities.
Also recently in the news was the appointment of a new Chief Executive of the Engineering and technology Board (ETB). The ETB is an independent organisation that promotes the contribution that engineers, engineering and technology make to our society. The new Chief Executive, Paul Jackson, acknowledged the need to build foundations for future economic success rests with organisations like ETB and the encouragement of young people to pursue careers in engineering and technology.
We need more of this, and proper joined up thinking between ALL engineering organisations, to promote engineering as a profession to be proud of, that is rewarding, and one where you can make a difference.
Let’s hear from all engineers out there, how can we get engineers into positions where they can influence the politicians, and get the public on their side, because without a reliable and integrated infrastructure (power, transport, water etc.) we are going nowhere!

Monday 23 November 2009

It Just Takes One…Engineer

It Just Takes One…Engineer
This is a guest article by Rachael Dalton-Taggart, Acting President of the CAD Society.
Anyone who has read my recent CAD Society articles or heard my presentations will already be used to the mantra: Engineering is not being chosen by the majority of kids in the western world because of its bad rap. In fact, survey data suggests that more parents encourage their kids to be actors than engineers. I believe that kids (and parents) can easily choose engineering, if they were in fact educated about what it is, as opposed to being subjected to the constant media blitz of Hollywood, ‘Extra’, ‘People’ magazine, ‘US’ magazine, etc.
To crystallize this, my nephew, living in the UK, is currently pursuing media studies and math at the age of 16. But this summer he made an unexpected visit to an engineering center (that happens to be in the F1 Triangle). He sent the email below as a result. It would seem that engineering is a possibility in his future. For all you engineers out there, what would you advise him to do? (Please send comments)
(Note: There has been no editing to this message. This is his own work which is pretty good for a 16 year old.)

Hethel Engineering Centre – The point of view from a 16 year old

It’s hard for a person like me to work out what to do in the future. There are so many different opportunities and so many different paths to take and there is that worry that I might take a route that is not suited for me and end up somewhere I don’t want to be. I envy the people that know exactly what they are going to do in the future.
Because of my love of maths though, I had the opportunity to go to the Hethel Engineering Centre in Norfolk on a school visit. Hethel is a small place in the middle of Norfolk, England. Some of you may know about the car manufacturer Lotus who build their cars right next door to the Engineering Centre and work closely with the companies held within.
There are about 15 different companies based within the centre although when I visited there were almost 30 different companies on site showing off some of their technology and career opportunities. To name a few, Scion Sprays, P1 Motorsport, HAAS and Active Technologies.
It was a brilliant experience to find out all about the things that were being developed on the site. Scion Sprays is a company dedicated to fuel injection systems for small engines. They have been working for 5 years on the development of a brand new piece of kit for motorbikes and mopeds that not only makes the fuel injection kit small, but doubles the MPG and enables a limited throttle control, therefore getting rid of the need for a limiter on the bike. Then if you wanted to get rid of the limitation of the throttle, because it is computer controlled, all you need to do is upload the new software to make this so. It’s a fantastic bit of kit.
Stepping away from the automotive side of things there was a company called C-MAC MicroTechnology who specialise in designing micro chips that can carry on working in some of the harshest environments for all sorts of companies around the world. They have some of their chips in the Airbus A380, Circulating the earth up in space and in some missiles around the world.
One thing I got from almost all the engineers I talked to was that there are two things needed when going into engineering. Maths plays a big part in Engineering. You don’t have to be a maths genius but a good knowledge of maths really helps you in an engineering job. The second thing is a passion. One guy even went as far as to say that the grades you get from school doesn’t mean that much. The most important thing is that you come into somewhere you wish to work and you come straight out and ask the boss for one. This shows a dedication showing that you really want the job even when you may be scared about what you are about to say.
I have been really inspired by what I saw at the centre. I still do not have a clue about what I’m going to do in the future but my eyes have really been opened to the possibility of me entering the career of engineering. As one engineer said, “There is a shortage of engineers across the globe,” could I be the one to fill this gap?
If you want to know more about the CAD Society’s volunteer program, please visit:

Wednesday 14 October 2009

More on UK salvage yards

I have visited a number of yards this week and seen many different styles of operation and varying success stories.
The most successful yard was run by a father and son team who are big into exporting and believe that relationship and trust are the keys to successful business. They recently received an e-mail from a customer in S E Asia who told them that they had been recommended by his father - checking records highlighted that they had done business with the father in the late 70's and early 80's. what better recommendation can you get?
The poorest yard was still being operated in the style of the 1980's, reliant upon local customers, not willing to advertise or use technology to promote the business - unless this yard gets a major influx of enthusiasm and ideas it will, to put a Monty Python slant on it, cease to be.
Most yards are specialising, know what sells well and where it sells, and working very hard to make a living for the owners and provide steady employment for the staff, all done in the face of increased competition, greater red tape, Environment Agency demands, and increased costs, but they seem to be the forgotten face of the business, recycling 85% of each vehicle, ensuring that environmental standards are at the highest ever, and keeping local government and national Government at bay by complying with all requests - however stupid and time consuming.
Support them where you can, buy previously used parts for your own or your friends cars, and ensure that scrap vehicles always go to licensed operators, otherwise the next time you wnat them they may not be there, or the parts you need will have already been exported.

Friday 9 October 2009

UK Salvage Yards

All this talk of recession, job losses, and other depressing things, isn't it great to see an industry bucking the trends.
I have visited at least 6 yards this week, and all were busy with customers coming and going, and the phones never stopped ringing.
All said that the last few months have seen the numbers of enquiries for parts increase as more customers look to repair their cars rather than replace, and many of the yards confirmed that there is still considerable amount of vehicles and parts being exported from the UK to all parts of the world, including Europe, Africa, Middle East and Australia/New Zealand.
One overriding factor that I saw in all the yards this week; they are family run operations where husbands and wives, parents and children, brothers and sisters all work happily together, employing local people, helping the community repair their vehicles at lower cost, and generating a legacy that they can hand on to their children and grandchildren.
And as their children and grandchildren come into the business they will find an industry cleaner than ever before, a professional industry that is improving standards year on year, an industry that has a global reach, an industry that we can be proud of.
Next time scrappage is mentioned in the media or by government remember the yards that are treating these vehicles, de-polluting them to remove the hazardous elements, recycling the vehicles and parts, as well as creating revenue for UK plc by exporting parts, scrap metal etc, or helping others repair their cars at low cost and saving the environment by not having to produce brand new parts.
Now if we can get insurers to use 2nd hand parts in insurance repairs!

Monday 14 September 2009

Air Bags

I see from the latest BVSF (British Vehicle Salvage Federation) magazine that Air Bags are on the agenda again. The BVSF are joining the groups actively campaigning for the current Association of British Insurers (ABI), Code of Practice for Motor vehicle Salvage to be re-written with the clauses about the re-use of non-deployed air bags removed.
As stated previously in this blog it is common practice in the USA to allow air bags that have not deployed in an accident to be re-used in another vehicle, saving costs and the environment. This is entirely safe and with correct legislation, safeguards, training and consumer protection should be accepted by all - including Insurance companies.
We all need to support the BVSF as it works with the US based Automotive Recyclers Association and make representations to the UK Motor Insurance Industry to get the Code of Practice updated.

Saturday 22 August 2009


Car broke down yesterday, very busy Friday afternoon, the RAC were brilliant, they couldn't repair the vehicle so the got me and the car the 110 miles home, and then collected the car again today and took it to the garage for the repair, I cannot fault them!
It appears that the fault is the Fuel Pressure Regulator, a known problem, hopefully the repair will be quick and I can get the car back early next week.

Thursday 6 August 2009

The US scrapyard!

During my recent holiday in the US, enjoying ‘gas’ at $2.50 a gallon (approx 40 pence per litre!), I took some time out and visited Nordstrom’s Automotive in South Dakota ( - thanks to Benji Steffs for showing me around.
So many differences between their operation and the UK, Nordstrom’s rely mainly on their local customers for business, either through their sales teams based in the office or travelling locally, or their ‘u-pull-it’ facility, where customers come in, pay a flat rate and remove the parts that they want for their vehicles.
Difference to the UK, well many salvage parts operations can be up to 70% mail order, in some cases delivering worldwide - so have limited local customers.
The US also does not have the stringent environmental requirements that apply in the EU, no End of Life Vehicle regulations there!
They still have legal requirements to keep the land clean, and ensure that their hazardous waste (tyres, batteries etc) are removed to specialised operators, gas goes into their own tanks for re-use in their vehicles, and when the tanks are full each member of staff gets 10 gallons for their own vehicles. Oil keeps their heating system going in the winter.
Working conditions outside are very weather dependant, hot and dusty in the summer, cold and snowing in the winter. Consequently they have large indoor working and storage areas giving a working environment than many UK operations could only dream about!
Vehicles come from many sources, mainly insurers, and Nordstom’s make the decision on what they do with the vehicle – scrap it, use it for parts, or sell as repairable. They do not have restrictions like the Association of British insurers Code of Practice, so they can re-sell non-deployed air bags (under strict guidance), and they can section vehicles and sell these parts to body repair centres for insurance repair. I saw a front end section from a Honda Accord that had been cut at the base of the ‘A’ pillars and across the floor and sent to a body repairer, the repairer had then expertly removed the section of the front wheelhouse that they required for the repair and returned the rest of the front end section to Nordstrom’s for further sale/sectioning, paying for the parts that they removed.
The different standards in auto recycling is highlighted by my experience in the US, the standards set in the UK are much tougher, especially around the removal of unsafe vehicles and vehicle documentation, areas currently not mirrored elsewhere in the world. ELV regulations mean that the EU is leading the world on environmental and recycling targets, and the US show the benefit of using ‘green’ parts in automotive repair.
I believe that there will soon be a time where a global standard in auto recycling will begin to appear, taking the best of the UK, Europe and US standards and bringing a lasting benefit to the whole auto recycling industry.
This may take a few years to develop and bring to fruition, maybe start with a European Salvage Code and then work forward; as usual comments and ideas are welcome from all.

Friday 10 July 2009

Repair standards and how this could impact the Motor Salvage industry.

Repair standards and how this could impact the Motor Salvage industry.

20 years ago very few standards were in place in the motor vehicle accident repair industry, most body repair centres relied upon manufacturer approval or the support of local garages for their workflow.
Since then there have been enormous changes in the body repair industry, many bodyshops have closed their doors and those that have survived have done so on tightening profit margins whilst having to invest heavily in the business.
One of the latest investments in the UK is the Kitemark scheme from BSI British Standards, supported by Thatcham, the Motor Insurance Repair Research Centre.
This scheme is one of the very few in the marketplace that concentrates on repair standards rather than customer service standards, and is designed to develop a robust cross industry standard for the body repair industry, ensuring that vehicles damaged in accidents are repaired efficiently, effectively and safely by competent professionals working with the correct equipment and technical back up.

This scheme will drive up repair costs, well trained technicians will be able to demand increased salaries, repairers will have to finance their investment in training and equipment, and repair methods for some of the new vehicle construction techniques and exotic materials now appearing in motor vehicles will be more costly than some current methods.
When coupled with the current economic climate and severe downward pressure on vehicle values there is a strong possibility that more vehicles will be written off and disposed of as repairable salvage.

I am regularly asked about repair standards in the motor salvage marketplace, as once a vehicle moves into the UK salvage market it comes under the voluntary ABI Code of Practice for Motor Salvage, and this does not address repair standards.

So why not implement the Kitemark scheme for repaired motor salvage?
There are a number of very valid reasons for doing so, including:

Repair Standards and Quality, a vehicle repaired by a Kitemark approved repairer will have been repaired to a satisfactory standard by trained staff using the correct equipment, whereas a vehicle repaired in a salvage yard may not be repaired to a safe and satisfactory standard.
The vehicle will perform correctly in the worst-case scenario of another accident.
The vehicle has been repaired using correctly obtained parts, either new or second hand – i.e. not stolen or from an older vehicle.
It could be possible to have a process in place to remove the previous total loss marker from the vehicle following satisfactory repair

As in all cases, there are some compelling reasons for not implementing any initiative, including:
During the last eight years the motor salvage market has gone global!
Motor salvage is moving across borders in great numbers, a lot is going to Eastern Europe and then to Russia, some goes to the Middle East and Asia, and customers are even coming from China. A lot of these countries have much lower costs than the UK and our local salvage companies and repairers are finding it very difficult to compete, if you add the cost of repair standards to the UK salvage market then a lot of businesses will just cease to deal in this type of vehicle, leaving the way open for more salvage vehicles to be exported and could result in the closure of a number of UK based salvage businesses.

The Kitemark scheme is a voluntary, UK only, operation that has not been mirrored in other parts of the world, so a vehicle could be repaired at a UK repairer that does not have kitemark accreditation, or outside of the UK, to a high standard and put back into use quite legally.

All motor salvage dealt with by UK insurers should be categorised and recorded on MIAFTR (the Motor Insurance Anti Fraud and Theft Register), this data is then available to the general public through the various car data check schemes, if the customer decided to use these sources of information they would know the vehicle history and they can then make a choice - walk away or complete further checks on the vehicle if they wish, however if customers fail to use the information available then it is at their risk.

So how do we resolve this conundrum and look towards implementing sensible repair standards for salvage vehicles that will not cause significant harm to the motor salvage industry.

There are two areas that need to be focused on, and these involve salvage practices and repair standards:

The UK has the tightest salvage standards in the world – the adoption of the voluntary Association of British Insurers Code of Practice for Motor Vehicle Salvage has seen significant benefits to the UK, salvage categorisation should ensure that badly damaged vehicles are removed from circulation, and the steps taken to control vehicle documentation have significantly reduced motor vehicle fraud. Additional efforts with Motor Salvage Operators Registration, ELV (end of Life Vehicles) Licensing and Vehicle Identity Checks have only added to the controls in place to ensure that the general public are dealing with legitimate businesses and vehicles.
Unfortunately these controls are UK only, and there are no similar schemes in place anywhere around the world, so we need to look at the introduction of a European Salvage Code (ESC) that would offer similar benefits in the removal of vehicles from circulation and prevention of fraud.

Kitemark is too narrow and needs to widen its’ focus in the following areas.

The motor salvage industry must be included in the scheme, specifically with a view of:
Green Parts – use of second-hand parts in insurance and motor salvage vehicle repairs.
Parts standards – Setting the standards for quality of green parts and customer service.
Repair standards – setting the standard for quality repairs, enabling customers to purchase repaired salvage with confidence.

As with the ABI Code of Practice, Kitemark needs to be extended to the whole of Europe, and include repair standards, and sharing of information between member states.

To ensure full coverage Kitemark needs to include motorcycle and commercial vehicles.

Without this type of input and inclusivity there will always be ways of getting around the standards, and customers will suffer as a result. Additionally there is also the possibility that the Kitemark scheme would go the way of many other initiatives and fall apart within a few years if it fails to encompass some of these critical issues and close the potential gaps.

I appreciate that this cannot be implemented in a few months, and some of this could take many years, but the EU have already shown what can be done by implementing the End of Life Vehicle Directive (ELV) that is fully in place across all member states - Legislation that has set a standard and is being mirrored in other parts of the world, so lets set our sights high and work towards a consensus across the EU that promotes efforts to eradicate fraud, reduce the possibility of poor or unsafe repairs, and increases recycling by the sensible use of green parts in all types of vehicle repairs.
The UK motor salvage marketplace, by virtue of the controls already in place, should be at the head of any operation to drive up standards, an opportunity that should be grasped by all with an interest in the motor salvage industry, and a combination of the UK Motor Salvage Associations, Thatcham, Kitemark and the ABI would be an unstoppable force across Europe.

Monday 16 March 2009

Total Loss Register - Uk and the USA

MIAFTR – The UK Total Loss Register

The US has recently introduced legislation that protects consumers, auto auctions and dealers from motor related crime, legislation that enhances the professional standing of the motor salvage industry, combats vehicle crime and assists the US motor insurance industry.
With the support of the ARA, NADA, ASA and many others, Senator Trent Lott and a bipartisan list of colleagues have drivien total-loss disclosure legislation through congress.

Can the US learn from the experience of the UK Total Loss Register?

You could ask why the Motor Insurance Industry is so concerned about combating vehicle crime. Surely, the fact that there is crime shows the need for insurance products.

If crime was allowed to get out of hand then insurance would be a product that few could afford as insurers premiums reflected the need to make a profit, so insurers have a commercial need to keep crime levels under control and ensure that their products are competitively priced whilst being able to protect their customers who are unfortunate enough to become a victim of crime.

UK Insurers therefore work individually and collectively through the Association of British Insurers (ABI) to combat vehicle related crime.
The ABI is funded by, and represents the UK Insurance Industry, and has a number of programmes and codes of practice in operation. These codes of practice must be adhered to by all member companies of the ABI. In many cases, the various codes of practice are so successful that government legislation is not required, and there are situations where legislation is reliant upon the code of practice operating correctly.

One aspect of this effort to control vehicle related crime is the Motor Insurance Anti-Fraud and Theft Register (MIAFTR), administered on behalf of the ABI.
UK Insurers log the details of all motor insurance claims where a vehicle has been written off as a total loss, or where vehicles have been stolen and remain un-recovered on this database. The MIAFTR database now contains over 3 million individual claims records, and maintains links with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), Police National Computer and Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA).
Identification of stolen vehicles enables Police Forces in the UK to identify the owner/insurer very quickly through the Police National Computer, and the development of mobile Number Plate Recognition systems enables the police to be pro-active in running checks on suspect vehicles.
The Vehicle Identity Check (VIC) is designed to detect and deter criminals from disguising stolen cars with the identity of written off or scrapped ones, and MIAFTR provides the platform for electronic transfer of data to VOSA who administer the VIC test.

MIAFTR is a programme available to the insurance industry only, so MIAFTR data also feeds the publically available HPI check. HPI have been checking the histories of used cars since 1938, and through their investigations have helped hundreds of thousands of people avoid purchasing cars that have been stolen, clocked, written off, or that have unpaid finance against them, saving them unnecessary costs and heartache.

MIAFTR is an important part of the insurance industry Code of Practice for the disposal of vehicle salvage. The code details the four categories of salvage, the handling of vehicles and (possibly as importantly) vehicle data and documentation. The code ensures that those vehicles too badly damaged to go back into use, including flood and fire damage, are broken for spares, treated as end of life vehicles, and the vehicle documentation is securely destroyed.
Vehicles deemed to be suitable for repair and re-use are also covered by the code, with the more heavily damaged vehicles coming under the statutory VIC check, which must be completed satisfactorily before vehicle registration documents are re-issued by DVLA. This is one case where statutory legislation is reliant upon a code of practice; here the correct operation of the Code of Practice for the disposal of Motor Salvage drives the categorisation and identification of vehicles that require a statutory test before they can be allowed back into use.

MIAFTR has been developed over a number of years into its current web based version. Development has been hampered however, by the many other companies who use the system, including motor insurers and government agencies that have required additional time to update their own processes and systems.
The US now has the opportunity to develop a clean sheet operation that can provide the highest quality data at the lowest possible cost with minimal administration, an opportunity not to be missed.

The rest of the world will be watching the US with interest, if the VIN Disclosure Legislation succeeds in setting up a successful nationwide system that sets the example for the rest of the world, politicians will be able to claim that they are tough on crime, there will be considerable benefits for consumers, motor salvage industry and motor insurers and it could even provide business opportunities for the companies involved.

Sunday 8 March 2009


The Motor Industry is claiming all sorts of bailouts and benefits from the government, but one part of the industry that is bucking the recession is used cars, especially those vehicles that customers are looking to downsize to.
Before Christmas 2008 many vehicles were struggling to reach trade prices at auctions, many are now up to £1,000 over trade, why?
Well the decreasing numbers of new vehicles being sold mean that there are smaller numbers of vehicles going through the part exchange route and onto used car forecourts, smaller numbers mean less stock, and with demand still being high for some vehicles prices are going up.
So if you have a Ford Focus sized vehicle, or a Fiesta equivalent and you are looking to change the car in the near term have a real good look at the market and make sure that any part exchange offer is in your favour, manufacturers are struggling to sell new cars, so discounts are high; dealers need good stock, so trade in values should be really positive. All of this equals a smaller amount of money for the customer to put in to change their vehicle.
Shop now, as prices may not hold!

Hire Cars

Just had a hire car for a few days whilst in N Ireland, booked a Ford Focus, but they did not have any in stock so i got upgraded to a Renault Laguna Sport Tourer, nice car that I enjoyed driving. One thing really niggled though, this 'Credit Card' key, a large plastic component that you put into a slot in the dashboard so you can start the car. Wouldn't be so bad if this was all you had to do, but you then need to push the Start button to fire the car up, and then when you want to stop you push the Stop button and then have to pull the card key out of the slot - why two separate actions to stop the car? I tried pulling the card out of the slot when the engine was still running, the car bleeped at me and a message on the dashboard told me that the card had been removed, but the engine did not stop. Great! On my normal car when i want to stop I just twist the key and pull it out, one smooth swift action. Why can't Renault do the same?