A modified vehicle is a vehicle that differs from it’s original factory standard specification for fitting of either after market parts or optional items added to it.

All vehicle modifications are material information and MUST be disclosed to your Insurer. Failure to do so may invalidate your Motor Insurance policy.

A Kit Car is an motor vehicle that is assembled from a set of parts that a manufacturer sells and the buyer then either assembles into a car themselves, or retains a third party to do part or all of the work on their behalf. Usually, many of the major mechanical systems such as the engine and transmission are sourced from donor vehicles or purchased from other suppliers.

Kits vary in completeness ranging from as little as a book of plans to a complete set with all components included.

Flat-Rated simply means that the premium is set at one level, but that premium will depend on a number of factors, including the age of the car and how powerful it is, whether it is garaged, where you live and how old you are etc…

Flat-Rated policies do not require or accumulate (earn) any no claims bonus, however if you do have a no claims bonus to use, you can normally attach the no claims bonus to one of these policies to keep the bonus ‘Live’ so it does not expire (as No Claims Bonus does expire after 2 years if not used) however a discount will not be given for the no claims bonus.

Please bear in mind though that if you do attach a no claims bonus to one of these types of policies and you do have to claim for any reason then the no claims bonus would still reduce as it would on a standard motor insurance policy.

Vehicle Identity Check

The Vehicle Identity Check (VIC) is a scheme to help stop stolen cars being passed off as repaired accident damaged cars. This is also known as ‘ringing’. You can check if a vehicle needs a VIC and submit your application online.

How a VIC marker is set

Insurers should notify the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) of all cars ‘written off’ within salvage categories A, B or C. This notification will set a ‘VIC marker’ against the DVLA vehicle record. While a VIC marker remains set, DVLA won’t issue a registration certificate V5C, or vehicle licence reminder V11.

The VIC marker will only be removed when the car passes a VIC.

Checking a vehicle’s identity

The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) carries out the VIC. It’s designed to confirm the car’s identity and help ensure that the genuine car is returned to the road.

The VIC takes around 20 minutes to complete and involves comparing the details on the DVLA vehicle record against the car presented. The VIC is a check of identity, it doesn’t look at the quality of the repair or confirm roadworthiness. If you have any concerns regarding these aspects, you should seek the opinion of an independent expert.

Once a car has passed a VIC, the V5C issued will be annotated to show ‘substantially repaired and/or accident damaged; identity checked on dd/mm/ccyy’.

Confirming if a VIC marker is set

You can check if a VIC marker is set, by making a vehicle enquiry through the Vehicle Enquiry section of DVLA’s vehicle online services. To make your enquiry you’ll need to know the vehicle registration mark and vehicle make.

Once you make an enquiry the VIC marker will only show if it’s been set against the vehicle record by DVLA.

 By phone

You can also check if a VIC marker is set by contacting VOSA on 0300 123 9000.

Applying for a VIC

A VIC is available at 56 VOSA locations. You’ll need to complete a VIC1 application form and submit this to VOSA, together with the correct fee (see the table below).

You can submit the form online as long as you want to pay by either credit or debit card or have a VOSA pre-funded account. VOSA cannot collect your card details online, but will contact you for this once your VIC1 application form has been received.

Once your application has been processed, VOSA will notify you of your appointment.

Full instructions and the terms and conditions are given on page three of the VIC1 application form.

Test type Normal fee Out of hours fee
Vehicle Identity Check £41.00 £50.00
Appeals £41.00 £50.00

Taking the car for a VIC

When you take your car for a VIC the following must apply:

  • repairs must be conducted and the car must be roadworthy and capable of being driven under its own power
  • if it’s over three years old, the car must be covered by a valid MOT if it’s being driven to the VIC
  • the person driving the car must be insured
  • the car must display front and rear number plates if it’s being driven to the VIC – for assistance in obtaining number plates, contact VOSA on 0300 123 9000

A car can be driven directly to and from a pre-arranged VIC without road tax.

Following a VIC

If VOSA confirms your car’s identity

If VOSA is satisfied with the identity of your car, you’ll be given a VIC20 pass certificate. DVLA will be electronically notified of the pass result.

You can apply to DVLA for a V5C using the V62 form. If your car was a category C ‘write off’ you should declare this when completing the form, as you are exempt from paying the V62 application fee.

If you submitted a V62 form to DVLA before taking your car for a VIC, you’ll have received a VIC notification letter from DVLA. This letter should now be returned to DVLA, with the declaration completed.

If VOSA cannot confirm your car’s identity

If VOSA cannot confirm the identity of your car, you’ll be issued with a VIC failure notice (VIC21), which will give the reasons for failure. VOSA will refer the case either to the police or DVLA for further investigation. VOSA will monitor its progress and tell you of the outcome once complete. This may take several weeks.

If following investigation, the car’s identity is confirmed as the original, VOSA will issue a pass result. However, if the car’s identity cannot be confirmed, the VIC marker will stay on the vehicle record and DVLA will not issue a registration certificate.

VIC appeals

If you don’t agree with the result of the test, you can make an appeal to VOSA. Appeals must be submitted on a VIC17 form, together with the correct fee.

Source: www.direct.gov.uk

For any motor policy, be it a car, van or motorcycle, you do not get days of grace to pay your premium.

You must pay your renewal premium on or before the renewal date otherwise all cover provided by your policy will cease, you will then be driving your vehicle uninsured and open to prosecution by the Police.

It is vital that you take notice of your renewal invitation and contact us prior to the renewal date to pay your premium or to make any changes in cover so that we can obtain a revised renewal premium for you, otherwise you will become uninsured.

If you are paying by installments via Direct Debit, then your policy may be renewed automatically, it is important that you contact us at least 10 days before the renewal date of your policy if there is any alterations as this may change your monthly payments. If you wish to lapse the policy then again please let us know prior to the renewal date of your policy as if you tell us on the day it will be too late to stop the 1st payment going through.

In any instance make sure you contact us before your renewal date, because there are no days of grace allowed by insurers.

Registering an imported vehicle

When a vehicle is imported for use in Great Britain (GB), it must be registered and taxed with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). This must be done as soon as possible as the vehicle can’t be used or kept on public roads.

New vehicles

A ‘brand new’ vehicle can be driven to GB and registered as ‘new’ provided the vehicle:

  • is registered within two weeks of collection – this may be extended to one calendar month at peak periods, eg before 1 March and 1 September
  • only has reasonable delivery mileage – DVLA considers reasonable delivery mileage to mean the vehicle being driven from the pick up point to home using a direct route
  • hasn’t been previously permanently registered
  • has been stored before registration and is a current model or is a model that has ceased production within the last two years

Advice to importers is to transport rather than drive vehicles from the port to the first destination.

New vehicles must have a certificate of conformity as proof of type approval from the supplier or vehicle manufacturer.

Left-hand-drive vehicles from within the European Community will need a certificate, issued by the Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA), under the Mutual Recognition scheme. This shows that changes have been made to the vehicle, making it suitable for use on British roads.

Vehicles that haven’t been subject to European type approval will be subject to one of the following tests, they are:

  • car – Individual Vehicle Approval (IVA)
  • light goods vehicle – Single Vehicle Approval (SVA) test if it is a (up to 3,000kg)
  • motorcycle or quadricycle – motorcycle SVA

You can drive your vehicle to and from the pre-arranged appointment before the vehicle is registered.

Import information pack

You can order an ‘import pack’ from the DVLA form ordering service. This provides all the necessary information and forms needed to register an imported vehicle.

Previously used vehicle

As part of the registration process DVLA must be sure that an imported used vehicle, that’s less than ten years old meets the required standards.

They are:

  • European type approval standards
  • UK construction and use
  • road vehicle lighting legislation.

Cars, motorcycles and light goods vehicles, first registered in another European Member State, must have a certificate issued by VCA under the Mutual Recognition scheme. Larger goods vehicles will need full UK type approval before they can be registered.

Cars, motorcycles and light goods vehicles first registered in a country outside of the European Union must pass the IVA, SVA or MSVA, as appropriate.

Vehicles moving between GB and Northern Ireland (NI)

Vehicles registered in NI that move to GB are no longer classed as being imported to GB. Also, vehicles registered in GB moving to NI are no longer classed as being imported to NI.

These vehicles can keep their GB or NI plates and tax disc, or they can request the registration plate to where they are going, GB or NI.

The vehicle registration certificate Northern Ireland (V5CNI) should be used to aid registration in GB and applications should be made at a DVLA local office. The vehicle registration certificate (V5C) should be used to help registration in NI. Applications should be made at The Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA), Coleraine.

Insuring your vehicle

Before you can register and tax your vehicle you’ll need to get a British insurance certificate using the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) from your vehicle.

We are able to assist with insuring your imported vehicle.

Vehicle tax

Vehicle tax will be payable in line with the vehicle’s first registration date in the UK. If the vehicle has been previously registered abroad, the date it’s first registered in the UK will determine the amount of vehicle tax that’s payable. DVLA will also allocate a vehicle registration number appropriate to the vehicle’s first registration abroad.

Registering and taxing the vehicle

You can apply for registration at your nearest DVLA local office. The application takes about a week. There is no ‘over the counter’ service.

You will need to take the following documents to the DVLA local office (photocopies or faxed copies are not acceptable):

  • completed application form V55/4 (for new vehicles) or V55/5 (for used vehicles)
  • a £55 registration fee (if applicable) and the required fee for the vehicle tax (cheques or postal orders made payable to DVLA Swansea)
  • a current British certificate of insurance
  • foreign registration document and any other papers relating to the vehicle
  • evidence showing the date the vehicle was collected (normally the invoice from the supplier)
  • evidence of type approval
  • a current British MOT test certificate (if applicable)
  • the appropriate HM Revenue and Customs form
  • a ‘Declaration that a vehicle is new’ form V267 (if applicable), available for download or from a DVLA local office
  • documentation confirming your name and address (a list of acceptable identity documentation can be found on the link below)

Registering and taxing the vehicle won’t take place unless you have the necessary documentation. In some cases the DVLA local office may wish to see the vehicle to check its identity.

Construction and Use requirements

Vehicles kept or used on the public highway in the UK must at all times comply with The Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 (as amended).

Copies of regulations aren’t available from the Department of Transport or DVLA. They can be obtained from any library or ordered from The Stationery Office Ltd (TSO).

Source: DVLA

September 2001 saw the most dramatic change to UK car registrations since 1963, when the alphabetical suffix was introduced to mark the age of a vehicle.

As of 1st September 2001 DLVA introduced not only a totally new format, but also new regulations in terms of print, size, layout and style of number plates.

New Style registration plate example

The new registration marks are made up of seven characters. There are three parts to the registration mark, each with a separate meaning.

In the example above “51” represents the 6 month period from September 2001 to February 2002.
In the”AB” shows that the vehicle was first registered in Anglia (A) at the Peterborough office (B).

  • The first two letters show where the vehicle was registered, the local memory tag.
  • The two numbers indicate the age of the vehicle, the age identifier.
  • The last three letters give a unique identity to a vehicle, the random letters.

Full List Of Local Memory Tags

From September 2001

Local Memory TagDVLA officeLocal Identifier
APeterboroughA B C D E F G H J K L M N
NorwichO P R S T U
IpswichV W X Y
BBirminghamA – Y
CCardiffA B C D E F G H J K L M N O
SwanseaP R S T U V
BangorW X Y
DChesterA B C D E F G H J K
ShrewsburyL M N O P R S T U V W X Y
EChelmsfordA – Y
FNottinghamA B C D E F G H J K L M N P
LincolnR S T V W X Y
GMaidstoneA B C D E F G H J K L M N O
BrightonP R S T U V W X Y
HBournemouthA B C D E F G H J
PortsmouthK L M N O P R S T U V W X Y
HW Reserved for the Isle of Wight
KLutonA B C D E F G H J K L
NorthamptonM N O P R S T U V W X Y
LWimbledonA B C D E F G H J
StanmoreK L M N O P R S T
SidcupU V W X Y
MManchesterA – Y
NNewcastleA B C D E G H J K L M N O
StocktonP R S T U V W X Y
OOxfordA – Y
PPrestonA B C D E F G H J K L M N O P R S T
CarlisleU V W X Y
RReadingA – Y
SGlasgowA B C D E F G H J
EdinburghK L M N O
DundeeP R S T
AberdeenU V W
InvernessX Y
VWorcesterA – Y
WExeterA B C D E F G H J
TruroK L
BristolM N O P R S T U V W X Y
YLeedsA B C D E F G H J K
SheffieldL M N O P R S T U
BeverleyV W X Y

Age Identifier

Age identifiers will continue to change twice yearly in March and September.

YearMarchSeptember
200151
20020252
20030353
20040454
20050555
2006 0656
20070757
20080858
20090959
20101060
20111161
20121262
20131363
20141464

Current Age Identifier for September 2020 is 70

To ensure that you do not lose out financially following a motor accident that was not your fault, you would have to assess your claim and prove that the other person was negligent.

These negotiations are often difficult and could be very time consuming where legal action is necessary.

How you might lose out financially:

Neither Third Party nor Comprehensive Insurance offers protection against all possible losses and even after a minor accident you could incur costs. For example, you may have to pay an excess on your policy, incur hire charges whilst your vehicle is being repaired, pay for your vehicle to be towed to a garage, or suffer loss of earnings due to injury even if the accident was not your fault.

These losses can be recovered from the person at fault, through negotiation or litigation, but why should you have to pay a solicitor to recover your losses.

What does Legal Protection cover?

Typically, your policy would probably cover you for

  • Policy excess
  • Loss of earnings
  • Car hire charges
  • Your vehicle repair costs (if third party)
  • Personal injury damages
  • Medical fees
  • Loss of use
  • Damage to personal effects
  • Vehicle recovery
  • Storage charges
  • Out of pocket expenses

You may also be able to get cover for a replacement hire car should your car be immobilised due to an accident that is not your fault.

An explanation of the categories of a vehicle write off are listed below:

Category AA vehicle which should have been totally crushed, including all its spare parts.
Category BA vehicle from which spare parts may be salvaged, but the bodyshell should have been crushed and the car should never return to the road.
Category CAn extensively damaged vehicle which the insurer has decided not to repair, but which could be repaired and returned to the road.
Category DA damaged vehicle which the insurer has decided not to repair, but which could be repaired and returned to the road.
Category FA vehicle damaged by fire, which the insurer has decided not to repair.

Theft – These vehicles have not been recovered and ownership rests with the insurer who made the total loss payment. They are able to repossess the car as soon as it is identified, even if it has been bought innocently.

Vehicles categorised as A, B or C require a VIC test before the DVLA will issue a new registration document. This will then be noted on the V5C.

Notes

VIC – Vehicle Indenty Check

DVLA – Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency

V5C – New Vehicle Registration Certificate

After the accident get as much on the spot information as possible!

Get hold of the names and addresses of independent witnesses before they lose interest and leave the scene. If you have a video or camera in the car, get pictures before vehicles and property are moved. Also, make a sketch plan of the accident while the details are fresh in your mind.

  • Ask the other drivers involved for their names and addresses and make a note of their car registration numbers together with the make and model.
  • Ask for the name of their insurers and also, if possible, their policy number or certificate number.
  • If anyone is injured, produce your certificate of insurance. If you cannot do this at the scene you must produce it at a police station within 24 hours.
  • There may be injury to people or animals or damage to vehicles or property. If so, you are required to give your name and address, the name and address of the owner of the car you are driving and its registration number to anyone with reasonable grounds for wanting them.
  • Tell your insurers about any statement made at the scene by any of the parties. Do not discuss whose fault it was. If you do, you could create problems for you and your insurers in the handling of your claim.
  • You must tell your insurers as soon as possible – even if you don’t intend to make a claim. This is a condition of your policy.
  • Ask us for an accident report form. When completing the form include as much information as you can.

To Get Your Car Repaired

If you have a comprehensive policy:

Ask us for advice. Take your car to a competent repairer and tell your insurance company immediately. If your insurance company recommends a garage then take your car there if possible. This may avoid the need to get a separate estimate and could speed up the repair considerably.

Many insurers’ recommended repairers will be able to provide you with a courtesy car whilst your vehicle is being repaired.

Unless your insurer has special arrangements, send a repairer’s estimate to them. They will check it and if it is agreed they will authorise repairs subject to your completing a satisfactory claim form.

When you collect the car after repairs you will have to pay the first part of the claim if you have an excess on your policy. You pay this money direct to the garage, whether or not you were to blame for the accident. Your insurers may also ask you to pay a part of the cost of repairs if your car is put into a better condition than before the accident.

If you are registered for VAT, pay any VAT due to the garage and claim it back from Customs and Excise. If you are not VAT registered your insurer will pay it.

The cost of repairs is your responsibility until your insurers have agreed to pay.

For your peace of mind, you may want to obtain confirmation from your insurer that they accept liability and will pay the cost of repair.

  • If you have chosen third party fire and theft cover, your policy will not cover accidental damage to your car. You therefore have to pay the repair bill yourself or claim from the other driver if he or she was legally liable for the damage.
  • Write to the other driver saying that you intend to claim from him/her.
  • Say that you hold him/her responsible and ask him/her to tell their insurers.
  • Write direct to their insurers, if you have details, quoting the other driver’s policy or certificate number.
  • Send a repairer’s estimate as soon as possible – their insurers may well ask you for additional estimates.
  • Tell your own insurers that you are claiming against the third party.

The other driver should tell their own insurer of the accident.

They will only be able to deal with your claim if the other driver asks them to. They can only act on the instructions of their own policyholder.

On receipt of your letter the third party may settle your claim themselves or may pass the matter to their insurers. If they consider their policyholder entirely to blame they will pay your claim provided they have full information. If they consider that you were entirely or partly to blame they may refuse your claim or suggest a compromise.

The third party may refuse to co-operate at all in which case you should seek advice from your insurance company, insurance adviser, motoring organisation or solicitor. You may, at the end of the day, have to take legal action against the other driver; your policy may have a legal expenses section which will cover your costs.

If Your Car is Stolen

Tell the police immediately then tell your insurer and ask for a claim form.

Be prepared to wait a while in case your car is recovered. A great many cars taken without the owner’s consent are soon found abandoned.

If property is stolen from your car tell the police immediately and then tell your insurer.

Most comprehensive policies protect you against loss of or damage to rugs, clothing and personal belongings which are in your car. Policies set a limit on the value of such property. Check your own policy for details. See back page for advice on beating the car thief.

No Claims Discount

The discount is usually reduced by two steps after a claim. Whenever a claim is made under a motor policy, the discount will always be affected unless your insurance company can recover its costs from another party.

If your insurer can make a full recovery or is only stopped from doing so by a knock-for-knock agreement, your no claim discount may not be affected.

Similarly, if you recover all your uninsured losses (such as accidental damage excess) then your discount may not be affected.

Sometimes your no claim discount will be reduced at policy renewal time if a claim is expected to come in, or is still waiting to be settled. The discount may be reinstated if your insurer subsequently doesn’t have to pay out under the policy.

Recommended Repairers

Many insurance companies have lists of approved repairers. When you tell your insurance company about the accident ask them for the name and address of the nearest recommended repairer. You are not obliged to use a repairer recommended by your insurance company although this will speed up handling of your claim and you may not need to obtain a repairer’s estimate at all. Many insurers have arrangements with their recommended repairers whereby you may be able to use a courtesy or hire car free of charge whilst repairs are carried out.

Similarly, many insurers have arrangements with specialist windscreen replacement companies. Keep a note of these in the glove box of your car.