Salvage Wire

Salvage Wire
Helping Automotive recyclers become leaders in their industry

Friday, 9 May 2014

Back to Basics?

Do you look back to the ‘good old days’ and wish that life now was as easy as it used to be? You cannot deny that the advance of technology has made a difference, vehicles are much cleaner and less polluting than they used to be, transfer of data and news is easy and quick, we could not work without computers and phones, the list goes on….

Was it better 20 years ago? When the first Code of Practice for Motor Salvage was introduced it was designed to prevent unsafe vehicles coming back into use, it targeted those who stole vehicles to change the identity to a written off vehicle, and it raised professional standards in vehicle salvage and car breaking operations. It did exactly what was required at the time and has proved to be a valuable document since.

The Code of Practice is still operating today, but it is being undermined by a number of factors.
  • It is voluntary - companies can choose not to use the code and stand behind the fact that it is voluntary so not enforceable on the industry.
  • It is being ignored by self-insured fleets - so damaged vehicles can be sold with no history of the damage sustained to the vehicle, potentially dangerous to subsequent vehicle owners.
  • Companies interpret the code in their own way - there have been lots of reports of mis-categorisation over the recent months and speculation about the reasons for these categorisation decisions normally focus on the increase in salvage revenue for motor insurers.

Is it time to go back to basics? A slightly amended code that reflects current vehicle design and manufacturing processes, supports green recycled parts, and complements government policy could be adequately enforced by the ABI and provide consistent vehicle categorisation; this simple action would restore full credibility to the code, continue to advance the auto recycling and salvage industry, raise professional standards and continue to protect consumers from lack of categorisation or poor categorisation decisions.

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