Previously based on considerations such as repair costs and pre-accident value, the code review focuses on the assessment of ‘structural’ and ‘non -structural’ damage.
Vehicles deemed structurally damaged, but repairable, will be marked with an ‘S’ on their V5C registration certificates and the following status: “This vehicle has been salvaged due to structural damage but following a technical evaluation declared suitable for repair.”
The salvage code review also affects current categories for write-offs and will be marked as the following:
A – Scrap
B – Break for parts
N – Non-structurally damaged repairable
The changes have been backed by insurance providers, manufacturers, the government, the police and salvage industries. Although in place from 1 October, the changes may take a while to filter through the used car market.
What does this mean for car buyers?
The changes have been put in place to protect car buyers by preventing unsafe vehicles being on the roads and prevent criminal activity. It should provide buyers with a more transparent view of the vehicles condition, offering the chance for a potential bargain, whilst also giving peace of mind when buying a second-hand car.
What steps should I take when buying a second-hand car?
There is always a risk in buying a second-hand vehicle when you don’t know the full history, that’s why the new code review is designed to protect the buyer as much as possible. But we would always recommend that you take these steps to ensure you are fully protected:
- Always take a test drive
- Carry out a full history check, you can do this by contacting the DVLA with the cars registration number
- Check the MOT history
- Check for any gaps with the service history
- Get a technician to look over the vehicle for any repairs
- Check the price and condition of other similar vehicles online
You can also have a look at our top 5 tips when you go to view a used car.