Registering written off vehicles loophole
The BBC's Rip-Off Britain has week highlighted a loophole in the registering of written off vehicles, reports MotorCheck. This means that the safeguards dealers thought they had in place to protect themselves and their customers from buying or selling on a written off vehicle may have failed them.
It is law that insurers have to report to the DVLA immediately if they have written off a vehicle. There is, however, no obligation or timeframe for this information to also be passed onto the Motor Insurance Anti-Theft Register (MIAFTR) by insurers. As highlighted by the BBC, this serious flaw in consumer protection is leaving dealers and their customers vulnerable.
According to a recent freedom of information request, as many as 80,000 vehicles a year that should be listed on the MIAFTR as written off, are not. Instead, they are being repaired and sold on to dealers who, despite conducting provenance checks with leading providers, are unaware of the vehicle's damage history.
However, MotorCheck has exclusive access to details of these written off vehicles – including photographs - which have not made it onto the voluntary MIAFTR database. It is urging dealers to cross-check their own stock against this list of vehicles.
Shane Teskey, co-founder of MotorCheck explained, 'A small number of insurers are not expediently updating MIAFTR, which means that vehicle history checks conducted by dealers are not necessarily highlighting vehicles as insurance write-offs, leaving them to unknowingly sell these onto their customers. It's not illegal to repair and sell-on written off vehicles, but a vehicle that has been through this process will be worth less than a same age make and model that is all-clear.
'Dealers are as much victims of this loophole in information as the public, although it's unlikely their customers will see it that way if they've been sold a write-off. That's why it's imperative that dealers check their historical and current stock against the list of non-listed MIAFTR insurance write-offs as quickly as possible. This way, they can be proactive in rectifying any sales they may discover.'