The National Salvage Group has launched a new database designed to consign ringers and irreparable vehicles to the scrap heap rather than being illegally returned to the road.
Ringing, the practice of giving a crash damaged car a new identity and selling it on as a clean vehicle, is rife in the motor industry. It costs the salvage industry and consumers thousands of pounds a year, and can lead to injuries and death.
NSG claims one in seven cars checked by HPI has been written off and one in three has a hidden history.
The NSGenius database, set up with the support of Merseyside Police, can be accessed by the police, insurers and NSG members. It classifies more than 500,000 vehicles, ranging from whether they should have been destroyed to whether they were repairable.
The Association of British Insurers says 550,000 cars a year are written off.
NSG general manager Alison Carey said: “We believe our database will go a long way towards helping rid the motor salvage industry of irresponsible and criminal activity.”