Update to the Salvage Code of Practice




Q: What changes are being made to the categorisation codes and why?

A: The codes for categorising vehicle salvage have been updated to classify repairable salvaged vehicles by ‘structural’ and ‘non-structural’ damage rather than in relation to repair cost. This change has been made to standardise the codes by the level of damage sustained, rather by repair cost.

The previous categorisation codes of A: ‘Scrap’, and B: ‘Break’ remain, and the new codes: S: ‘Structurally damaged repairable’ and N: ‘Non-structurally damaged repairable’ have replaced old codes C and D, which described the relationship of potential cost of repair to Pre-Accident Value (PAV).

Q: What does ‘structural damaged’ mean?

A: This means that the repairable damage to the vehicle affects the main welded or otherwise permanently assembled vehicle body. Detailed description of the variations around this definition can be found in the new Code of Practice.

Q: Are the changes regulatory?

A: No. The Code of Practice for the Categorisation of Motor Vehicle Salvage (COP) is a voluntary publicly available Code of Practice which is used by the insurance industry and can be used by others.

Q: What’s the role of Thatcham Research and ABI?

A: Thatcham Research: Thatcham Research’s role has been to co-ordinate the technical redevelopment of the COP.

ABI: As the trade body for the insurance industry, we have co-ordinated input from all the country’s major motor insurers to ensure the new code gives consumers adequate transparency about the condition vehicles were in at the time they were declared a ‘total loss’.

Q: When will the changes to the COP go live?

A: The new category codes will go live on 1st October 2017. 

Q: Who supports the Code?

A: The Code has been formally approved by the Association of British Insurers (ABI), Thatcham Research, the Motor Insurance Bureau (MIB) and UK Motor Insurers. The Department for Transport (DfT), Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) and Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) were involved in the consultation process. It is fully supported by The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Q. Will the DVLA be informed of the changes?

A. Yes, as of October 1st 2017 the DVLA will identify vehicles which have been subject to an S ‘Structural damaged repairable salvage’ codification. A note to this effect will be added to the vehicle’s V5C document.

Q. What will the v5C note say?

A. The V5C note will say: “This vehicle has been salvaged due to structural damage but following a technical evaluation declared suitable for repair”