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Cars (Sale After Accidents)

Volume 884: debated on Tuesday 21 January 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) whether he will seek powers to ensure that the registration books of motor vehicles which have been written off by insurance companies as a total loss after being involved in road accidents are handed in to the licensing authority and only reissued when the rebuilt vehicle has been certified as roadworthy by a competent inspector;(2) if he will take steps designed to protect the prospective purchaser of a car that has been written off as a total loss after being involved in an accident and subsequently repaired;(3) if he will seek powers to ensure that when a car has been completely written off by an insurance company, after being involved in an accident, this information is stamped on the log book, or the information given to the intending purchaser in another way.

A system of this kind was tried some years ago by agreement with some of the motor insurers but gave rise to many anomalies without compensating benefit to road safety. I do not believe that it would be advantageous to reintroduce it. It is already illegal to offer an unroadworthy vehicle for sale; but there is no evidence from the accident statistics that vehicles which have been heavily repaired are less safe than others of their age and type.