Irish buyers of used imports will get a much better idea of the damage to a car under a new UK write-off classification system.
With up to 11pc of cars imported here falling into the write-off category, the more transparent system could save buyers the cost and trouble of a potentially lethal vehicle.
According to car history-check experts Cartell.ie the new categorisation has "huge consequences for an Irish buyer as the level of damage sustained will now be more evident".
Up to now the UK system used categories A, B, C, D to denote the severity of damage. Now C and D are being replaced to show more specific technical details of what happened to the car.
Produced by the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and Lloyd's Market Association (LMA), the aim is to "protect the public, detect and deter insurance fraud and other criminal activities and to make vehicle histories more transparent".
It means buyers should be better able to see if a car has a write-off history and if regulations have been met.
Crucially, Cartell.ie says, the changes focus on the level of damage sustained rather than by the cost.
The severity of the write-off will be coded as:
• A (Scrap). After being inspected by a qualified assessor, the car was declared unsuitable or beyond repair. It should have been crushed in its entirety without any parts being removed.
• B (Break). Declared unsuitable or beyond repair but usable parts can be recycled.
• S (Structural). Repairable even though there was damage to part of the structural frame or chassis. But it wasn't economically worth making roadworthy.
• N (Non- Structural): Suitable for repair. No damage to structural frame but the insurer decided not to repair. There may still be some items needing replacement (steering, suspension parts).
John Byrne of Cartell.ie, welcoming the move, said: "They are moving the focus away from the pre-accident value of the vehicle and looking instead at the damage caused, whether it's structural or non-structural.
"In Ireland there are moves to regulate for the more serious write-off categories A and B, which can never return to the roads, but we should be looking at these UK moves."