Salvage Wire

Salvage Wire
Helping Automotive recyclers become leaders in their industry

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?