Vcheck is calling for dealers across the UK to support its call for a change to the law around write-off data.
The company is lobbying the industry and government to compel insurance companies to register write-offs with industry databases to protect both dealers and motorists.
Adrian Mierzwinski, founder of Vcheck, said: “We have highlighted the issues of write-off vehicles for two years and seen a minimal movement to address the problem. There seems to be a deadlock between the insurance companies, MIB and large provenance providers. It is now time that more positive action is taken to force change and protect dealers from unknowingly selling write-offs as ‘provenance check clear’ vehicles to motorists who risk financial loss and a potentially dangerous, unroadworthy vehicle.”
In recent study of used cars, 16,700 vehicles listed on a leading classifieds website were identified as ex-salvage, of which 4,000 were deemed to be write-offs, but not registered on the MIAFTR database.
Dealers face damage to their reputation and legal action if they unwittingly sell a write-off to a consumer.
Last year, BBC One’s Rip-Off Britain consumer watchdog show looked at two of the UK’s largest dealer groups – Pendragon and Arnold Clark – which offered for sale cars discovered to be insurance ‘write-offs’.
Presenter Angela Rippon told viewers of the show that a “little-known legal loophole” led to the failure to document almost 100,000 “write-off” vehicles a year.
While insurers must inform the DVLA of vehicles it has written off, legislation does not require them to register the vehicles on the Motor Insurance Anti-Fraud & Theft Register (MIAFTR).
MIAFTR is the sole source used by most provenance check services – including HPI and Experian – to help retailers and consumers identify a severely damaged vehicle.
Mierzwinski added: “We understand the change for a legal requirement to record all vehicles in MIAFTR is not an overnight update, so in the meantime, we’re offering a solution to help dealers to protect themselves from the vehicles which slipped through the net, at a fixed and affordable cost. Our aim is to protect motorists in the UK, and any problematic vehicles should be detected before being advertised.”
Dealers can support the campaign by sending an email of support via the Vcheck website https://www.vcheck.uk/.