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Vehicle checks which cost motorists almost ?10 million a year have been abolished by the Department for Transport. Since 2003 drivers who wanted to return a written off car to the road have needed to apply for a vehicle identity check (VIC) to prove their vehicle matched the registration details.
But the scheme - described by Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin as an "unnecessary burden" - has been scrapped. The VIC was introduced to stop vehicle ringing - where criminals make it easier to sell stolen cars by swapping the identity of vehicles no longer economical to repair with a stolen vehicle of a similar make and model. The DfT said that during the past 12 years around a million checks have been made, resulting in only a handful of cases of wrongdoing.
Officials believe advances in vehicle security already deter the low-level criminals that the VIC scheme was set up to combat, while the development of online resources allow identification to take place without paper checks.
Scrapping the VIC - which had a ?41 fee - will save motorists almost ?10 million a year and cut around ?4.8 million of costs incurred by businesses, the DfT added.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: "I'm delighted to scrap this unnecessary burden which Labour created as part of their war on the motorist. The decision to abolish the scheme was taken following a consultation and review by the DfT. The Department said it will continue to work with the insurance and motoring industry to protect consumers when purchasing used vehicles.
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