A guide to buying a salvage car

At ASM, we work to provide modern motorists to help them manage their driving finances.  Car salvage auctions are one of the main services that we offer, and we’re going to use today to take a look at how any driver can benefit from them.

So, what is a salvaged car?

Put simply, a salvaged car is one that an insurance company no longer considers fit for use on the road, in its current state.  If the total damage exceeds a certain percentage of the value of the car (ranging from 75-90 percent), it will be declared a ‘total loss’ by the insurance company and sold to us.

So, why would I want to buy a salvaged car?

Put simply, the price.  Salvaged cars can be bought at a tiny fraction of the cost of other used cars.  What’s more, many insurance firms will ‘total’ a car for reasons other than major defects in the structure or mechanics.  As a result, salvaged cars can offer outstanding value for money, with the buyer paying far less (including for the cost of repairs) than they would for the same vehicle in the used market.  Salvaged cars can be a complete bargain.

I’m in! What should I look out for when buying a salvage vehicle?

Here are our tips on finding the right vehicle to suit your needs:

  • Obtain full details of the vehicle.  All salvaged cars are damaged in some way.  However, damage can vary substantially.  You should learn your categories for rating vehicle damage.  ‘A’ damage is terrible, ‘B’ is bad and ‘C’ and ‘D’ designated workable damage. (The latter two are less common in salvage lots).   
  • Try and inspect the car. Generally speaking, a pre-purchase inspection can pay for itself.  Always ask if you can view the car up-front.  Know what you’re actually bidding on.
  • Look out for theft recovery vehicles.  One category that you should look out for is theft recovery.  If a stolen car isn’t recovered within three weeks, then the insurance company will pay the original owner and write the car off as a complete loss.  However, if the car is then found it will often still be written off as salvaged!
  • Buy from a reputable dealer.  A company like ASM has years of experience in helping our customers get their hands on the highest quality salvaged vehicles available.  The last thing you want is to purchase a vehicle from a less-than-stellar firm.

To find out more, get in touch with ASM Autos today, and we’ll be happy to help you further.


The Complete Guide to Scrapping Your Car

Every year in Britain, around two million cars are scrapped. There are many things you can do with an old car, of course, but the simple fact is that scrapping is still often the most fiscally sensible thing to do with your vehicle. Today, we’re going to look at the essential things anyone looking to scrap their car needs to know.

The regulations

The most important thing to be aware of is that there are thorough regulations in place for those scrapping cars. Vehicles must always be scrapped at an Authorised Treatment Facility (ATF) such as ASM Autos. Licenses must be issued by the Environmental Agency or the Scottish Environment Protection Agency. The regulations are in place to help minimise the amount of environmental damage caused by the scrapping sector – battery acid, gearbox oil and engine parts can all be hazardous if not disposed with properly.

Insurance write-offs

It’s worth noting that if your vehicle has been written off by your insurance company rather than by your own decision, then you’ll need to complete the V5C/3 ‘Notification of sale or transfer’ section of your registration certificate and send it into the DVLA.  The rest of the registration certificate should be sent through to your insurance company, who may then ask you to provide the rest of it.

The CoD

If the AFT agrees to scrap your vehicle, then you should be issued a Certificate of Destruction (CoD) within 7 days if you’re scrapping a car, light van or 3-wheeled motor vehicle (not including motor tricycle).  The CoD is your proof that you’ve handed the vehicle over for scrap and that you’re no longer responsible for it.

You can still scrap other types of vehicle, but you won’t be able to obtain a CoD.  The ATF should instead notify the DVLA, who will update the vehicle’s record to show that it’s been scrapped. You are then responsible for completing section 9 of your V5C vehicle registration certificate and sending it through to the DVLA. They should then send a response letter within 4 weeks.

On some occasions the ATF may instead decide to re-sell your vehicle rather than scrapping it. If that’s the case, then you’ll need to complete section 9 of your V5C vehicle registration certificate (the ‘Notification of sale or transfer’ section) and send it through to the DVLA.

A note on personalised registrations

If you’ve got a personalised registration, you’ll have to transfer the registration or fill in form V317 before the vehicle is scrapped. If you don’t do so, you’ll permanently lose your entitlement to the personalised number! If the insurance firm is responsible for scrapping the vehicle, then you’ll need to inform them not to dispose of the vehicle until the registration plated has been transferred. Again, when they’ve done this you should get a letter of no interest from the insurers confirming they’re happy to transfer or retain the number, and a copy of the engineer’s report confirming the vehicle’s details.

Get in touch

ASM are experienced scrappers who pay excellent prices. Get in touch today and we’ll be happy to discuss picking up your vehicle. You can call us on 01844 268 940 (Opt.2).


Work related road risk should ‘become a priority’

Employers and the government should be doing more to ensure that work-related road safety prioritised alongside traditional health and safety, a new report has argued.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) spoke to both the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) and the Centre for Transport Studies at University College London (UCL) to evaluate the current management of occupational road risk in the UK.

The report assesses the progress made in recent years by employers looking to manage the risks that their staff face whilst driving for work. It makes various recommendations, in particular that data related to driving improve through better recording by both the Health and Safety Executive and the police. It also calls for more effective evaluation of current road safety approaches.

The government has no current plans to make the reporting of work-related driving accidents part of RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations).

Transport minister Robert Goodwill spoke to Fleet News, saying:

“We’re not looking at incorporating road traffic accidents into RIDDOR. We already get police statistics fed into the DFT and I think we could be in danger of double-counting if we were also including that type of accident as accidents at work as well as road traffic accidents.

“I’ve not heard any compelling arguments as to why this would give us any better information of what’s happening.”

The report also highlighted the importance of analysing in-car data recorders and monitoring technology. Dr Shaun Helman, TRL head of Transport Psychology, said:

“Work-related driving remains an important area for action if we are to sustain progress in reducing road injuries.

“Although some businesses are switched on to the issue, most of the time injuries sustained on the road are not afforded the same priority as injuries sustained on work premises and sites. This needs to change.”

Between 2006 and today, more than 4,726 people died in accidents involving at-work drivers. More than 40,000 were seriously injured in the same period, making it one of the most serious road safety issues in the UK.  What’s more, the figures do not include those of commuters.

Kevin Clinton, the head of road safety at RoSPA, said:

“Injuries and deaths sustained from work-related driving remain a priority action point for both road and occupational safety.

“Up to one-third of road accidents involve someone who is using the road for work purposes.”

“This review further emphasises the need for the awareness of MORR (managing occupational road risk) to be raised and given the priority it deserves.”

The European Transport Safety Council recently released a report along the same lines. The Business Case for Managing Road Risk at Work aims to show how pro-active methods can help improve road safety management.

The BCFMRRAW says:

“Injuries and deaths sustained from work-related driving remain a priority action point for both road and occupational safety.

“Up to one-third of road accidents involve someone who is using the road for work purposes.”

“This review further emphasises the need for the awareness of MORR (managing occupational road risk) to be raised and given the priority it deserves.”

The report argues that there are various convincing arguments for preparing and implementing a work-related road risk management (WRRRM) programme. For instance, better journey planning matched with defensive driving techniques could increase road safety whilst cutting back asset and fuel use.


21 per cent of drivers still don’t realise that checking Facebook and Twitter is illegal whilst driving

A new RAC study showed that more than one-in-ten drivers also don’t realise that texting whilst driving is illegal. 61% drivers don't realise that the law still applies when the car is stationary with the engine switched on. 

It is also an offence to use a phone whilst stopped at traffic lights, during a traffic jam or whilst parked, as long as the engine is running. 47 per cent of motorists believe that checking their phone during this time is legal, with 26 per cent of drivers considering it ‘safe’.

David Bizley, the tech director at RAC, said:

“While the law is clear it seems that motorists regard using a mobile phone while stationary at traffic lights or when stationary in congestion as more socially acceptable and less dangerous than using their hand-held phones while on the move.

“They forget, for example, that when concentrating on their phone, a cyclist may pull up beside or just ahead of them and they may pull away, totally unaware of the cyclist’s presence.”

Motorists are also ignorant about the illegality of offences such as tailgating and hogging the middle lane of the motorway. 32 per cent and 42 per cent of motorists were unaware that the practises were illegal.

The difference between what motorists claim to have seen and what they will admit to doing themselves, meanwhile, is substantial. 53 per cent of motorists reported seeing other drivers texting whilst in temporary traffic. 29 per cent claimed to see this on a regular basis.

Motorists with less than 10 years driving experience are more likely to admit talking on a mobile phone. Those that have been driving for more than 25 years were less likely to be honest.  Only 7 per cent of motorists have admitted to texting in stationary vehicles whilst on the road. The figure doubles, though, for drivers aged between 17 and 24 years old.

Bizley said:

“There is a huge discrepancy between what motorists report they are seeing when they drive and what they admit to doing themselves.

“This suggests some drivers are being economical with the truth and they simply do not consider themselves as being ‘one of them’.

“Yet of those motorists who admit to having used a hand-held phone or having texted or checked out social media while driving, 90% know they are breaking the law.

Another key issue is the number of distractions that occur whilst driving.  More than a quarter of motorists admit to being side-tracked by a ringing phone, with 17 to 24 year olds again the most susceptible.

Bizley added:

“British motorists regard themselves as law-abiding and out of 35.8 million driving licence holders in the UK, around three million (less than one in 10) drivers have points on their licence.

"However, more than one million drivers have been convicted of using a hand-held mobile phone while driving since 2003, when it was made explicitly illegal.

"This prompts the question as to whether motorists are deliberately flouting the law or whether they are just unaware of exactly what is, and what isn’t legal."


Britain diesel costs remain amongst the highest in Europe

Last month we reported that fuel costs remained a major concern for British motorists.  According to a new study by the Post Office, concerns could well be justified.

The study has shown that British drivers are currently paying up to 43p more per litre than other drivers in the continent.  Even drivers in neighbouring France are paying 29p per litre less than UK motorists.

The information – which has come from the Post Office Travel Money annual report into motoring – said that even after exchange rate discrepancies were taken into account, diesel in the continent was cheaper than in Britain in 19 of the 22 countries surveyed.  ‘It does smack of a rip-off’ the report noted.

British supermarkets yesterday responded to the findings by cutting up to 2p off the cost of a litre of diesel, though critics have still argued that a further decrease is necessary.

British diesel prices are 20th out of 22 EU countries, with an average price of £1.37 per litre compared to 94p in cheapest Andorra and 99p in runner-up Luxembourg. Even the sixth placed country – Spain – was measured at just £1.11.

For a family driving 1,000 miles, a drive through France would cost £44.26 less than it would for a family making the same journey in the UK.  The same journey in Andorra would cost £65.56 less.  Petrol price gaps are still present, though less dramatic: the UK in 12th place at a total cost of £1.31 per litre compared to £1.04 per litre in Andorra.  The report said:

‘At £1.37, the UK emerged as one of the most expensive countries for diesel motoring.’

There were some positives noted in the report.  Lower pump prices on the continent combined with a stronger pound against the Euro should mean that UK drivers obtain a bumper summer bonus when driving.  Vice versa, the report advises those planning to drive into Britain to fill up before they arrive.  The report stated:

‘Lower prices in European petrol stations mean that UK tourists on Continental motoring holidays can expect their cars to drive more miles for less cash this year. Fuelled by the strong pound, pump prices have fallen in 20 of 22 countries surveyed.’

RAC Fuel spokesman Simon Williams said that UK garages were dragging their feet, and that their actions smacked of profiteering:

‘Fuel retailers must reduce the price of diesel at the pumps as the wholesale cost is now almost the same as petrol - yet average forecourt prices are still 6p a litre more expensive.

‘Transparent, fair fuel pricing is vital for the economy and to maintain the trust of motorists.  While two thirds of Britain’s 29million cars run on petrol we use twice as much diesel, around 26billion litres a year.’

Ahead of the damning report, Asda was the first to cut costs, cutting up to 2p per litre off their diesel and setting a price cap of 131.7p per litre.  Petrol prices remain unchanged at 127.7p per litre.  The supermarket chain noted that significant falls in the wholesale price of diesel meant that it could pass on cost savings to customers.