The South African Insurance Association (Saia) has launched its VIN-Lookup website, which allows the public to receive a brief description of a vehicle using its vehicle identification number (Vin) to ensure it has not been previously written off.
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Data is sourced from the industry’s Vehicle Salvage Database (VSD) and serves as a means of gaining a better understanding of the status and history of a vehicle. Three boxes will need to be filled with the following information: Name, ID number, and vehicle Vin.
“The launch of VIN-Lookup is a contribution of the non-life insurers to helping address the problem of purchasing unsafe repaired cars from vehicle salvage houses,” says Saia manager Zakes Sondiyazi.
As it stands, the VIN-Lookup website is capable of retrieving vehicle salvage records and information regarding code three (rebuilt), coder 3A (spare parts only), and code four (scrap-permanently demolished). This is the first phase of the company’s three-phase plan. The second phase is scheduled to be available closer to the end of 2023 and will offer records and information on written-off vehicles or code two vehicles.
“Of the 14 million registered vehicles in South Africa, less than a third is insured (ie, less than five million). Therefore, the industry’s VSD will likely have less than 3% of vehicles that are written off, and most of these are vehicles that can either be rebuilt, or can only be used for spare parts, or should be demolished,” explains Saia CEO Viviene Pearson.
It must be noted that the information provided by the Saia website relates to the information provided by insurance companies and what they have classified the vehicles as. The Saia has stated that its website is not a complete log of all vehicles in South Africa, and if the public wants a broader one, then they should contact the Department of Transports NaTIS system.
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