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Plans for virtual car passports

A concept for a “virtual vehicle passport” has been put to the bodyshop industry, as a means of reassuring consumers of vehicle repair quality and accident history.

Former senior police officer John Dwyer is pushing for the creation of an internet database of vehicle ownership, finance and accident and repair history. He believes it could be crucial in eliminating malpractice in accident repair, particularly if linked to the PAS125 BSI/Thatcham Kitemark programme.

Dwyer has consulted with IT specialists and hopes to have a pilot database operational within a year. He is calling for input from accident repairers and insurers.

The campaigner has outlined the concept for the virtual vehicle passport to Thatcham chief executive Peter Roberts, arguing that the system would help alleviate concerns about the body repair industry’s ability to properly repair modern vehicles containing ultra high-strength steels.

Roberts plans to discuss the proposal with partners in the PAS125 standard.

Dwyer, former assistant chief constable of Cheshire, originally considered a national repair database to help car buyers check for accident history. But the system could record repairer details, providing traceability for incorrect repairs, finance information and whether it has been previously stolen.

“I’d like to create a one-stop shop for the public to obtain all the info they need before buying a second-hand car. A logbook-type system would provide an audit trail for all aspects of car ownership and would raise industry standards,” said Dwyer.

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