When is a Vehicle Identity Check needed?
February 2, 2011 1:24 PM   Subscribe

UK-Car-Insurance-Write-Off-Filter: My car was declared an insurance write-off after an accident. Since the accident it has passed an MOT, and has new road tax. Do I need to take it for a Vehicle Identity Check before driving it?

My car was rear-ended while stationary in traffic, doing cosmetic damage to the bumper and tailgate, but rendering it a "Category C" write off. The insurance company have paid out the full market value of the car. The insurance agent suggested that I needed to take the car for a Vehicle Identity Check, before it would be legal to drive again. As far as I can tell from my online research the Vehicle Identity Check is just used to prevent resale of stolen cars using plates from scrapped cars. In addition I don't think the insurance company have actually placed the ‘VIC marker’ on my car with the DVLA yet. The car has just passed it's MOT, has been retaxed, and re-insured, and I have the V5 with my details. Am I legally obliged to take the car for a Vehicle Identity Check now, or is that only needed if I want to sell it?
posted by roofus to Travel & Transportation around United Kingdom (4 answers total)
 
I don't think the insurance company have actually placed the ‘VIC marker’ on my car with the DVLA yet.

They may not have, but you need to make sure that it doesn't get added at all, or formally revoked if it has - if you are driving a car that is involved in an accident in future and it is down as an insurance write off, it is likely that your insurance is invalid.

The insurance agent suggested that I needed to take the car for a Vehicle Identity Check, before it would be legal to drive again.

This is your clue. If the VIC is just kicking around slowly in the system, then it may get applied to your vehicle classification while you are driving it without your knowledge and your V5 will just be out of date - it won't save you. You'll still be driving a written off car and hence be uninsured.

The vehicle is written off - classified as unsuitable for road use by the insurance company. This needs to be addressed before the car is legally allowed to be driven - an MOT doesn't count for undoing that issue (and Road Tax is an entirely separate issue). Get the VIC before you drive the car.
posted by Brockles at 1:43 PM on February 2, 2011


I take it the car is far from new if this kind of light damage rendered it more costly to repair than to write off.

Can you get "liability only" coverage, where the insurance company is not charging you for the "replacement value" of the car (which they've already paid) but will pay for anything (or anyone) else you might damage in an at-fault accident?
posted by randomkeystrike at 2:33 PM on February 2, 2011


This site suggests you need a VIC to get the documents for a Cat C write-off. The DVLA site suggests that you can only get a VIC if the car is insured, so potentially it isn't necessary for insurance purposes - but, I'd ring my insurance company to ask for certain.
posted by prentiz at 2:50 PM on February 2, 2011


The final answer from VOSA was that it is perfectly legal to drive the car, providing it is taxed and MOTed. Getting the VIC is only necessary if I want to renew the tax online (in person I can present my V5 and ID).
posted by roofus at 6:41 AM on February 8, 2011


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