News story

Fraud check cut set to save motorists money

Vehicle Identity Checks won't be required to return written-off cars in roadworthy condition from October 2015.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


Returning a written-off car to the road is set to become easier and cheaper thanks to the abolition of red tape set to save taxpayers millions of pounds, Transport Minister Stephen Hammond has announced.

From October 2015 drivers returning a written-off car to a roadworthy condition following an accident will no longer need to apply for a Vehicle Identity Check (VIC).

The checks, introduced in 2003, were designed to stop criminals ringing cars – swapping the identity of cars bound for the scrapyard with a stolen vehicle of a similar make and model.

But during the last 10 years around a million checks have been made resulting in only a handful of positive results.

Stephen Hammond said:

It’s clear the scheme isn’t doing its job and it is hitting honest motorists in the wallet. The VIC scheme is nothing more than unnecessary red tape, which is why we are getting rid of it.

A VIC inspection currently costs £41 and involves an inspector from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (in Northern Ireland the Driver and Vehicle Agency) checking that the vehicle matches information on the DVLA’s database.

The decision was taken following a lengthy consultation and review by the Department for Transport. The change will have no impact on road safety as motorists will still be required to ensure their vehicle is roadworthy and has an MOT test certificate before returning it to the road.

Roads media enquiries

Published 9 June 2014