Highways England Introduce a National Schedule of Repair Costs for Network Damage


24/06/2019: Highways England introduced a National Schedule Of Repair Costs For Network Damage (Green Claims). 

We have spoken with a number of those involved, to include the author of the schedule and HE’s General Counsel.  We were asked ‘what do you think of the new rates?’ Whilst informed comment could not be made in the absence of further information we replied: 

Why bother?  There exists a perfectly good system under the ASC’s:
Base Rate (£) + Uplift (%) = maximum charge to a TP

Why did the Authority not instruct contractors to abide by the above, contractually agreed process, which HE’s CEO, Jim O’Sullivan confirmed is relevant? We left the Authority to ponder this.

Currently, the ‘transparency’ assured is lacking.  We have requested more data and understand this will be forthcoming. The process sees charging move away from incident-specific calculations to ‘composite’ rates. However, in the absence of the rate make-up, analysis cannot occur and further comment would be unhelpful.  Comparing the rates with historical charges will be undertaken when source info’ is provided, ideally this week and consideration given to the higher thresholds cited, replacing the £10,000 ASC limit.

Whatever comes of this process, at present we are, as ever, glass half-full and providing substantial insight to those behind the process.  Change is needed.  Whilst HE convey an insurer-benefit spin, the new AD contracts see the Public Authority at the forefront, about to handle 1,000’s more claims.  That the process is presented as needing to address insurer concerns about rates, requires reconsideration.  Operatives, plant and materials rates are not in themselves the issue.  The problem has been twofold:

  • Under £10k, Contractors fail to use the agreed rates, overstated claims and misrepresent.

  • Over £10k, Highway England rubber-stamp invoices for payment and seek reimbursement without reconciliation.  Unsurprisingly, we have never seen a correctly priced claim from the Authority

Our initial submission has set out a number of aspects which we believe need to be considered but seeks greater detail.  We have also put forward suggestions for improving the process from HE’s perspective, several ideas which appear to have been well received. The new process presents an opportunity, one we are keen to embrace and build upon.  We were asked not to make further reference to the 06/2019 procedure on www.englandhighways.co.uk  until discussion progresses.  We have agreed to this, voluntarily revamped the home page and the links now include contact & abbreviation pages to assist those involved in this specialist area.

We wish to ensure Highways England do indeed give the insurance industry the benefit of the rates they have been able to secure in a competitive market. We know these rates.

Motorway Maintenance Subsidized by Insurers


Do not be bamboozled by Highways England or their contractors.  There are many facets to a claim, lots of figures, much documentation but most issues come down to the basic cost of a component whether it is an Operative (person on the ground), Staff (office worker), Plant (vehicle) or Material (barrier, nuts and bolts etc.). 

Pricing should NOT be complex. It is made to appear complicated to hide the systematic exaggeration undertaken in the name of Highways England on an industrial scale. The process of billing in some areas could not be simpler … cost + uplift = maximum charge to you. But:

  • this aspect of the contract is kept secret from the very people who need it (Third Parties)

  • Kier Highways have (coincidentally?) failed to comply with the contract

  • Even if you could find the above formula, Highways England and Kier will keep from you:

    • the ‘cost’ (£) and

    • the uplift (%)

But we reveal them - click here.

Image - BD14CXE Kier Highways AIW vehicle £36.91 / hour to a Third Party, half that to Highways England, containing two AIW (Asset Inspection Watchmen), about £25 / hour each to Highways England … £65+ / hour to a Third Party … though after 5pm, because they work 8am to 5pm, they are said to be paid 1.5x** their salary and are charged to a Third Party @ almost £100 / hour. Of a weekend, said to be paid double-time**, they are charged at £130 / hour.

*AIW do not work 8am to 5pm, they work shifts. It is claimed they work ‘core hours’ (office hours of 8am to 5pm to justify the uplifts applied.

** AIW’s tell us they are NOT paid the uplifts.

V5C Sees Previous Keeper Detail Disappear

05/2018 - The latest Registration Certificates appear to have fallen victim to GDPR (?).  A new keeper of a vehicle will receive a V5C displaying their name at Section 1 'Registered Keeper' but at Section 2 where previously 'The Previous Registered Keeper' details were printed, they will now be presented: 

No more previous keeper detail

No more previous keeper detail

Never mind that the previous keeper could well be the vendor, that you may need to contact this person and the information is on a document held privately i.e. not on public display, it appears the info’ is now considered sacrosanct. Let’s hope the DVLA reviews its release of keeper information to enable prompt and painless release of the record which has to date often proved a quick means to verify an account and resolve a claim.


We continue to assist insurers and their insureds by providing 'Keeper At Date of Event' (KADOE) information, personal records from the DVLA's keeper register.  Understandably, this is not without restriction however, we are seeking to ensure the permitted reasons are extended to those which are most frequently required by insurers - own VRM.

We understand that where a vehicle is involved in a staged collision (for example), it 'takes 2 to tango'; the complicity involves not just the Third Party, but your own insured.  

As for helping your insured, we would be pleased to assist both you and them by confirming (in the absence of a V5C) that your insured is, as they should be, the registered keeper.  However, thus far, our attempts to be permitted such an approach electronically have been unsuccessful!  This should be explained to the insured who will need to make their own approach, likely using a V888 - click here. Unfortunately, whilst a KADOE request would likely take a few days, the V888 response will probably be weeks.

In the meantime, our clients are reminded of the need to seek information in accordance with 'permitted purposes' and to email CMA for an up-to-date application form. 

The following documents may be of interest and assistance:

We continue in our attempts to ensure both you and your insured's are assisted by being able to make inquiries of own (insured) vehicles:

  • involved in a collision

  • that have been stolen

We will continue to service those requests where fraud is suspected. 


Car Crime; who cares?

Have the police resigned themselves to the fact that they are little more than a recording facility?  A vehicle theft is (eventually) placed on the PNC LoS (Police National Computer Lost or Stolen) register in the hope this ‘negative’ will become a ‘positive’ and the scales of justice are once again balanced … since 16th century, Lady Justice is regularly depicted wearing a blindfold representing impartiality.  Whilst the ideal is that justice should be applied without regard to wealth, power or status it appears this can now be equally applied to the failure to see the harm a vehicle theft causes:

  • inconvenience, hardship and financial loss to the original victim

  • profit to a thief – without deterrent

  • substantial inconvenience and loss to an Innocent purchaser unknowingly acquiring such a car

  • wasted police resources

19/10/2017, reported by the Association of British Investigators:

‘My car was parked on my driveway – the next morning it was gone’

I immediately called the maker’s On Call service, which I’d subscribed to, to see if it could be traced or immobilised. The chap on the line was very sympathetic, but explained I would need to speak to the police first before he could do anything. So that’s who I called next, to be told that only the “investigating officers” could speak to the On Call service and that they’d phone me back. This they did; seven hours later.


I was asked a few cursory questions and then told: “We won’t be able to investigate this further.” It felt like the ultimate box-ticking exercise.

I’m told my car is now likely on its way to Africa or Eastern Europe. That’s shocking enough. But it’s the casual acceptance of its fate that will be my lasting impression of the whole sorry episode.

The full, frank and concerning episode can be read by clicking here.

Possibly it is time for the authorities to embrace the work undertaken by insurers, their representatives, vehicle information suppliers, security experts and the likes of IAATI UK?  The police have 'better things to do' than dealing with vehicle crime at its lowest level but it is here to stay and on the increase - dramatically so (about 30%).  Nationwide there is an inconsistent approach to the subject, a lack of knowledge (how many stolen vehicle squads remain?) and therefore a lack of deterrent.  Archaic processes remain and it appears the approach to recording a vehicle theft is little more than it was in the 80's with a crime report being endorsed:

"vehicle left locked, secure and unattended.  Unable to assist re' suspects".  

There is so much more that could be done to deter theft, protect those who are offered a stolen vehicle and enable police officers to get on with 'priorities' and 'performance indicators'.

Highways England Contractors & Inflated Claims

The Earl of Lytton (26/06/2017) stated, in response to the Queen’s speech:

“I welcome the attention being given to the question of spurious personal injury claims in motor accidents, but Highways England’s own contractors are apparently not averse to submitting inflated “green claims”, as they are known, for highway infrastructure damage caused during motor accidents.

These increase insurance costs, too, and appear to be outwith the contractual arrangements with Highways England, and yet nothing seems to be done about them”.*

Over the past years Claims Management & Adjusting Ltd has collated much information to demonstrate, as an example, Kier Highways Ltd., did not price claims against Third Parties (drivers, fleets & insurers) in accordance with their Area 9 contract from day one and that Highways England failed to uncover the conduct – or failed to address it.  That we caused KHL to abandon their first methodology in late 2015 evidences non-compliance from the outset.  Current charging is claimed to be consistent with the contract but this is disputed ... and Area 9 is currently the subject of an investigation. 

We provide further information at www.EnglandHighways.co.uk

*Hansard – click here

Road Deaths; Careless Human Behaviour?

5-year road-fatality high. Government figures show that the number of people killed on British roads rose to 1792 in 2016, the highest figure since 2011.

Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart’s director of policy and research, says: “Although cars are getting safer and there has been a step change in new road investment, careless human behaviour and increasing traffic levels are cancelling this out.” – full story – whatcar.com 

Pedestrian deaths saw the largest year-on-year rise at 10 per cent, followed by car occupants (8 per cent).

Some 24,101 people were seriously injured on Britain’s roads in 2016 – full story metro.co.uk

2016 Reported Road casualties in Great Britain, report; – Road Casualties 2016 

New Vehicle Salvage Codes

1st October – New Salvage Categories

The updated insurance industry code of practice for dealing with motor salvage, published in June 2017 came into effect yesterday 01/10/2017.  The new code reflects the increasing complexity of newer vehicles which can make it harder for damaged cars to be safely repaired. It also has a greater focus on the condition of the vehicle rather than repair costs. Changes include:

  •  Replacing previous salvage categories A, B, C and D with
    • A: Scrap
    • B: Break
    • S: Structurally damaged repairable
    • N: Non-structurally damaged repairable
  • The scope of the code has been increased to include some guidance on motorcycles and quadricycles
  • Minimum qualification requirements have been introduced for all individuals who categorise vehicle salvage.

The new code can be read here:- Salvage 2017

The old code can be read here:- Salvage 2007

2017 Crime Survey

20/07/2017  – The ONS (Office for National statistics) published its Statistical bulletin:

Crime in England and Wales: year ending Mar 2017 – Crime in England and Wales year ending Mar 2017

It appears to have been missed by many.

‘Most categories of theft in the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) estimates showed an apparent reduction compared with the previous year’s survey but the only statistically significant decreases were in the subcategories of other theft of personal property (16%), other household theft (13%) and vehicle-related theft (10%).’

But page 20 of the report is specific and demonstrates the increase in vehicle crime we have noticed:

Theft of Motor-Vehicle is up 19% when compared with 04/2015 to 03/2016.   The reported thefts almost reach 100,000, the recorded figure being 97,152.   This equates to about

  • 260 / day
  • 11 / hour

So a vehicle is stolen every day, 24-hours / day every 6 minutes (or less).

The statistics do not identify the recoveries but we would be surprised if there is anything like 50% being found.  So that’s about 50,000 vehicle which ‘disappear’.  If they have a value of £10,000 each, the loss is £500 million.

The theft rate equates to about 1 in every 380 licensed vehicles on our roads.

IAATI has called for greater attention to the problem which sees victims suffer inconvenience, distress an financial hardship whilst being a lucrative trade for those involved in just about every facet of criminal activity.

If you have an interest in vehicle related crime, are associated with the auto-theft industry, IAATI membership is encouraged – click here