The Association of British Insurers (ABI), co-ordinates the code

The Salvage Code is the result of a number of years of engagement with multiple stakeholders including insurers, vehicle manufacturers, affected government departments and agencies, police and the vehicle leasing and salvage industries.

The new code reflects the increasing complexity of newer vehicles which can make it harder for damaged cars to be safely repaired. It also has a greater focus on the condition of the vehicle rather than repair costs. Changes include:

  • Replacing previous salvage categories A, B, C and D with
    A: Scrap

    B: Break
    S: Structurally damaged repairable
    N: Non-structurally damaged repairable

  • The scope of the code has been increased to include some guidance on motorcycles and quadricycles
  • Minimum qualification requirements have been introduced for all individuals who categorise vehicle salvage. Applicants are required to meet the requirements of an Appropriately Qualified Person as defined in the Code of Practice for the Categorisation of Vehicle Salvage. "A comprehensive technical education and training record, relevant to motor vehicle repair."

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, 'Manufacturers design and build vehicles to the highest possible safety standards. Today's 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.'

The latest version of the new Code of Practice for the Categorisation of Motor Vehicle Salvage is now available.