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THE VEHICLE IDENTITY CHECK (VIC) SCHEME

The VIC scheme was scrapped in October 2015.

VIC SCHEME - BACKGROUND

The VIC scheme was introduced by Government in 2003 following prolonged problems with car crime in the UK during the 1990s.  It was aimed at the salvage deemed to be at greatest risk of being involved in ‘ringing’ – category C.  Legislation required insurers to destroy the V5 registration document and a new V5 would only be issued by DVLA once the salvage had undergone a physical inspection, to check the identity of the vehicle, at a Government premises.  Until a VIC was performed, the vehicle couldn’t be taxed or used on the road.

There were only about 50 VIC test centres in the UK, meaning that often considerable travel & inconvenience was required.  The cost of the VIC was £41.  However, once a VIC was passed, a new V5 registration document was supplied FOC , upon application, by DVLA.  The new V5 carried a warning stating that the vehicle had been ‘substantially accident damaged’

VIC was never intended to check the ‘quality of repair’ and in most cases no examination of the repair was undertaken, meaning that it was effectively useless in combating ‘cut & shuts’ and poor repairs.

Implementation of VIC is thought to have had a huge negative impact on category C salvage – on average adding £200 to the cost of repair - effectively reducing its value, encouraging export overseas (where there is no VIC requirement), facilitating illegal dismantling & undermining the insurance industries own UK salvage agents.  As a result, the number of VICs undertaken by Government was much lower than expected, and the whereabouts of about 1 million of category C vehicles remains unknown.  Over the same period, VIC only detected about 30 ‘ringers’, at an estimated cost of about £4million/ vehicle.  All the evidence suggested that VIC was neither cost-effective nor combating vehicle crime.  At the same there was growing concern about a number of other problems with motor salvage, some also relating to wider non-salvage ‘vehicle crime’.

As a result, following consultation, in June 2014 Government announced that the VIC scheme was to be abolished in October 2015.  In the meantime, Government would examine some of the most important problems highlighted by a wide range of interested parties, and consider what, if any, action should be taken.  This process, involving insurers, body repairers, vehicle dismantlers and salvage agents, vehicle manufacturers, Police and several Government Departments, started in July 2014.