More write-offs than ever on UK roads
Thousands of motorists are driving potentially dangerous cars as the number of vehicles on the road that have previously been written off increases. The National Association of Bodyshops (NAB) has previously called on the Competition Commission to review their position on write-offs during an investigation into the private motor insurance market.
However the Competition Commission say that they have no plans to review this further stating that despite the evidence they received during the investigation, they judged that write-offs were an issue relating to the supply of used cars and not related to the provision of Private Motor Insurance and related goods and services.
Frank Harvey, Head of NAB, commented “The dangers caused by written-off vehicles making it back on to the road are very real and understandably cause great concern to all road users. NAB submitted evidence to the Competition Commission indicating that the consumers of used cars are often unable to detect when a vehicle has been in an accident, or are able to assess the quality of repairs which have been conducted. As the insurance industry is responsible for the sale and disposal of most write-offs to vehicle salvage operators and also all repaired write-off vehicles must be insured before they are returned to the road, NAB believes that this is an issue that should fall under the Private Motor Insurance investigation.
“NAB believes consumer detriment extends beyond the purchase of previously written off vehicles that have been subject of ‘ringing’ or those that have been unsatisfactorily repaired. Ringing is when a vehicle is stolen that matches the details of a written off vehicle and the written off vehicle’s identity is used to mask the stolen vehicle’s identity, thus attempting to legitimise the stolen vehicle which is then sold to an unsuspecting purchaser. Written-off vehicles not only place other motorists and pedestrians at risk but also result in further insurance claims which then lead to an overall escalation in insurance premiums.
“NAB urges the Competition Commission to undertake further investigations into write-offs to make certain that consumer safety is protected by ensuring a history of vehicles that have been repaired is made available. If the Competition Commission still feels that this does not fall within their remit we would welcome any guidance on which government departments would be best placed to investigate these matters.”