Drivers returning a written off car to the road no longer need to apply for a Vehicle Identity Check, the Department for Transport have announced. The move will save motorists an estimated £9.7 million a year and cut around £4.8 million of costs incurred by UK businesses.
From 26 October drivers returning a written off car to the road will no longer need to apply for a Vehicle Identity Check (VIC) to prove their vehicle matches the registration details.
The VIC was introduced in 2003 to stop vehicle ringing – where criminals make it easier to sell stolen cars by swapping the identity of cars no longer economical to repair with a stolen vehicle of a similar make and model.
Advances in technology, and the fact that most vehicles returned to the road have been in the hands of the same keeper for seven years or more, mean this check has become unnecessary.
Scrapping the VIC scheme will make it easier and cheaper for motorists and businesses to return repairable written off vehicles to the road.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin says: “This scheme which flies in the face of common sense and creates an unnecessary burden. “It will save motorists and businesses millions every year.
“During the past 12 years around a million checks have been made, resulting in only a handful of actual cases of wrongdoing.”
In scrapping the scheme the Department for Transport says it has also taken into account:
major advances over the past decade in vehicle security which deter the low-level criminals for whom the VIC scheme was initially set up to combat
advances in online resources, which allow secure checks to take place without a paper check
vehicles being equipped with increasingly sophisticated mechanical and electronic security methods
A VIC currently costs £41 plus the time and inconvenience to people and businesses. The decision to abolish the scheme was taken following a consultation and review by the DfT. (Source: DfT press release.)