New insurance write-off categories will be introduced from October 1, 2017, to help keep dangerous crash-damaged vehicles off the road.

The new set of codes will replace the current A, B, C and D write-off categories with new classes to reflect the increasingly complex repairs of new cars, according to the Association of British Insurers (ABI), which coordinates the codes.

Complex repairs have made it harder for insurers and body shops to determine how to safely fix cars and the new classes will place greater emphasis on the condition of the vehicle rather than repair costs, so that vehicles which should be scrapped won’t be sent back on to the road.

The current A, B, C, D classes will be replaced by the following:

  • A: Scrap
  • B: Break
  • S: Structurally damaged repairable
  • N: Non-structurally damaged 

The ABI has also insisted on minimum qualification requirements for individuals responsible for categorising vehicles into different salvage codes.

Ben Howarth, senior policy adviser for Motor and Liability at the ABI, said: ‘The salvage code is a great example of the insurance industry working together for the good of the general public.

‘It’s important the code moves with the times, and this update takes account of two years of consultation and extensive technical scrutiny from Thatcham Research.

‘The changes are focused on making the UK’s roads safer, and ensuring that consumers have transparency about the history of vehicles they are considering buying.’

Tamzen Isacsson, SMMT Director of Communications and International, said: ‘This announcement is a positive and significant step by industry, insurers and governing bodies to further improve safety on our roads and ensure there is clarity on whether an accident-damaged vehicle is fit for repair or should be scrapped.

‘We welcome the new voluntary code, but putting a complete stop to the unscrupulous activity of repairing vehicles that should be scrapped will require legislation.’

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