Guide To UK Salvage Titles

When a vehicle has been involved in an accident or has acquired damage where an insurance company has been involved, there is a likelihood that the vehicle in question will be allocated a salvage title. The key principle is to prevent unsafe vehicles from been returned to the road and show an indication amount of damage in relation to its sales value. white salvage vehicle

Insurance Inspections

When an insurance claim has been made a professional qualified inspector will attend the car, van or motorbike and do a detailed report on the cost to repair in relation to its value at the same time identifying any structural damage, that may flag up that this vehicle should never be repaired and sold for spares only or totally crushed. The inspection will bring a conclusion of which salvage title that vehicle will now be labelled as and what will be recorded with the DVLA. Of course it is possible that no salvage title is applied if that vehicle has little damage or has been recovered free of damage.

An Agreed Code

There are several bodies that have come together to agree a set code so all involved in the salvage and insurance industry work to the same ethics and standards. This is supported by the police, trading standards and the DVLA.

Catergory D

This is when the damage can be repaired for costs below the vehicles pre accident value. This takes into account the cost of parts and labour and Value Added Tax.

Catergory C

When the vehicle is still deemed as repairable but the estimated cost to repair is above its pre accident value. There are still many who will buy cars with this title and then do the labour themselves, or have access to cheaper components. When repaired, all vehicles have to go through a Vehicle Identity Check (VIC) issued by VOSA to be able to return to the road.

Only salvage operators can buy the following vehicles from an insurance company or though an auction.

Category B

When the damage is so severe it is deemed that the vehicle not only is uneconomical to repair but unsafe too. In theory these vehicles will only be bought by licensed operators to strip down for parts and then the remainder to be disposed of within EU requirements. Salvage buyers must be licensed to ensure members of the public do not buy in order to repair.

Category A

Damage is too severe and vehicle must be crushed. There can be various reasons why a car is labelled this way, from there being no parts of any value, complete burn outs and sometimes there are legal reasons to be labelled this way. Nothing can be removed from it and should be stored securely until disposal. Identification numbers should be removed immediately.

Sometimes you may see vehicle labelled as

Category X

This does not appear as an official label, but it used sometimes to identify a car that has no recorded damage.

  • Even when a vehicle has been professionally repaired a salvage label will remain recorded at the DVLA and be part of its history. Resale Value Of Repaired Salvage Vehicles
  • It should be said that when any vehicle has been allocated a salvage title its value is likely to be less than one without a title, even if it’s overall condition is better. It is always recommended to perform a vehicle check before purchase, to ensure it has never be deemed as a total loss.