VRA Safety Checklist For Buying Damaged Vehicle

VRA Safety Checklist For Buying Damaged Vehicle

Here are a few things to remember when considering buying repairable salvage

  • Only buy from a reputable salvage dealer, such as an VRA member
  • Always get a printed receipt showing all of the following information: Vehicle details (make, model, registration number); total price paid (inc. any additional fees); category of the salvage; sellers full contact details, inc. their registration under the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013
  • Never buy category A or B salvage
  • Beware of any statement to the effect that the accident is ‘unrecorded’.  Insurers can be slow in updating their records so the accident might be ‘recorded’ on MIATFR at a later date
  • A lot of salvage sold does not come with MOT, tax, service history or spare keys.  Sometimes there are no keys.
  • It is illegal to drive salvage from the site where you purchased it.  But many VRA members offer delivery services at competitive rates.
  • VRA members can often source the parts required for repair of salvage
  • Internet salvage auctions are now widespread.  To participate, you will normally need to register with the auction company.
  • All salvage sellers are required by law to record details of who the vehicles are sold to.  They will require proof of identity, including photo ID
  • Many salvage sellers provide brief damage descriptions, as well as images.  But the quality of information provided is often poor, inconsistent & should not be relied upon.  Damage descriptions can be useful in highlighting damage that is not obvious in images, but is provided only as a guide – not as an authoritative list of damage.
  • Salvage agents do not receive copies of the insurance engineers damage inspection report that was used to decide whether the vehicle was a ‘write-off’.  So they are often unaware of the full extent of the damage themselves.
  • Always inspect the salvage you are interested in buying before bidding or buying.  All reputable salvage sellers will allow you to inspect the vehicles on their sites, including starting it.
  • If buying salvage via Internet Auction, you are usually given prior opportunity to view & examine the salvage.  If you bid on & buy salvage under these conditions, you have no come-back if the vehicle does not live up to your expectations, and the seller is under no obligation to give you a refund.  Internet Auctions are exempt from the Distance Selling Regulations.
  • Be aware that the price at which you buy salvage at auction is usually not the total price that you pay.  Many salvage auctions now levy other charges, such as ‘buyers premium’ and ‘loading charges’.  These can add a further 10% to the sale price.
  • Most salvage agents will levy a daily ‘storage charge’ for customers late in collecting their purchased vehicles.
  • Typically this is £10-20 / day.  However there is usually a short ‘free storage period’ within which purchasers should collect their vehicles

Spare Parts

The use of second hand vehicle parts is as old as the motor car itself, and is probably the single greatest success story in the reuse/ recycling of any consumer product. Apart from saving you money & creating employment in the UK, it has enormous environmental benefits.

find out more about spare parts

Sell or Scrap a Vehicle

Selling your vehicle to someone advertising in a local newspaper or on the Internet, especially if they have no premises & operate with just a mobile number, is fraught with risk. Chances are they are illegal. To avoid fines for speeding, parking or tax offences, only use VRA members.

find out more about selling

Buy a Damaged Vehicle

Buying salvage can be a great way to save money, & get the vehicle you want for a fraction of forecourt prices. But to make the most of it you need to understand exactly what you’re doing; in particular, what to avoid.

find out more about salvage

About the VRA

VRA represents the interests of members to Government, other industry sectors & consumers. It provides advice & guidance to members, and encourages professionalism in order to give confidence to ‘consumers’ that its members are operating legally & that they meet certain standards

find out more about VRA