England Highways

Damage to Crown Property [DCP] Claim Costs

MoT Check Before You Buy – Lawful is Insufficient for HE

2019 – You have bought a car, it passed its last MoT and is lawfully on the road BUT … if it should unexpectedly catch fire Highways England’s Green Claims team will check its MoT history and no matter that it has a valid, current, MoT, you will be considered to be partly or entirely (?) at fault.

And you are now twice as likely to suffer a vehicle fire:

  • from 01/01/2017 to 31/10/2017 Highways England recorded 1477 fires
  • from 01/01/2018 to 31/10/2018 Highways England recorded 2717 fires

An increase of almost 100%.

Case study: 09/2018 – an MoT’d vehicle caught fire resulting in £1,000’s of damage to the road surface.  Highways England reviewed the online records and discovered it had failed its MoT in 2015 and 2016 – though clearly the issues had been addressed as the car subsequently passed both its 2017 MoT first time (without failing).  But seemingly, it is NOT the current status of the vehicle that concerns Highways England but its history. To quote a claims handler

‘… as based on the MOT history we believe some culpability exist …’

Green Claims | Highways England | The Cube | 199 Wharfside Street | Birmingham | B1 1RN

The vehicle was in a road worthy condition at the time of the accident yet Highways England consider the driver or insured at least in part responsible for a fault or wrong i.e. they will be blamed because … the vehicle has, in its history, failed a test.

To understand how many vehicle this applies to, we have sought information via WhatDoTheyKnow.com

However, vehicle fires and spills are numerous and it is believed many result from poor maintenance of the highways, a failure to attend to litter and debris.  Indeed, spills have more than doubled in the past 5 years and our concern is that this may be as a result of  litter and debris.

Fluid Spills double – click here

We have asked Highways England to explain this onerous stance that appears to adversely affect the value and desirability of vehicles that have failed an MoT in their history.  To date they have failed to do so. We will also be seeking their explanation for use of a vehicle that had failed an MoT historically … a Highways England Land Rover Discovery Gs Sdv6 Auto.  DU63KSJ burst into flames the MoT history is as follows:

  • 06/09/2016 PASS @ Mileage 128,002 miles
  • 21/09/2017 FAIL @ Mileage 177,414 milesReason(s) for failure
    Nearside Windscreen wiper does not clear the windscreen effectively (8.2.2)
    Nearside Front Lower Suspension arm rubber bush deteriorated resulting in excessive movement Rear bush. (2.4.G.2)
    Advisory notice item(s)
    Offside Front Lower Suspension arm rubber bush deteriorated but not resulting in excessive movement Rear bush. (2.4.G.2)
    Nearside Front headlamp assembly feels slightly loose.
  • 26/09/2017 PASS @ Mileage 177,414 miles

If the Green Claims explanation is correct and such vehicles are a liability, why do Highways England use them on the road?

In the event your vehicle does catch fire and you are accused of negligence by Highways England, you may wish to ask them to produce their report in support of such an accusation – 05/03/2019 reminder to the Public Authority to inspect vehiclesclick here.

For more about fires, click here.