Are engineers ready for new ABI Code of Practice vehicle salvage rules?

By Charles Griffin chief executive, TEC Reports Group

From 1 October 2019 the new ABI Code of Practice for the disposal of motor vehicle salvage  will require that vehicle salvage can only be categorised by an Appropriately Qualified Person (AQP).

The difficulty with repairing increasingly complex modern vehicles safely after they have been damaged is a key factor reflected in the new updated version of the voluntary code of practice for dealing with motor salvage introduced in October 2018, which was extensively reviewed and updated for the first time in 10 years to help keep dangerous vehicles off the road.

The new requirement was developed after a 2 year review coordinated by the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and involving insurers, vehicle manufacturers, government departments and agencies, police and the vehicle leasing and salvage industries.

Compared with the existing code, it has a greater focus on the condition of the vehicle, rather than repair costs.

This step change with the ABI Code of Practice is a major advance, and puts the engineer in a position of responsibility and accountability. When categorizing salvage, the correct category must be used and aligned with the code’s requirements. 

There will also need to be a clear paper trail back to the AQP via each engineer’s unique identifier. This unique identifier will be valid for five years and failure to adhere to best practice could result in an individual’s removal.

Defined within the code as ‘someone who has a comprehensive technical education and training record, relevant to motor repair, all vehicle engineers will have passed and hold a current competency based assessment, on salvage categorisation, provided by the IAEA or equivalent industry recognised body.  

The inspecting insurance staff or independent engineer must decide to which of four categories a particular item of salvage belongs, using current ETS (Engineer Technical Sub-committee) Guidelines. Other than to correct inputting errors, data should not be removed from MIAFTR. Recategorisation may only be effected in exceptional circumstances.


The four new salvage categories are:

Category A (Scrap)

The vehicle is deemed not suitable to be repaired and has been identified to be crushed in its entirety. The vehicle must be crushed without any parts being removed.

Category B (Break only)

The vehicle is deemed not suitable to be repaired and there are useable parts that can be recycled

Category S

Repairable vehicle which has sustained damage to any part of the structural frame or chassis and the insurer/self- insured owner has decided not to repair the vehicle.

Category N

Repairable vehicle which has not sustained damage to any part of the structural frame or chassis and the insurer/self-insured owner has decided not to repair the vehicle.


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