Salvaging the best

TLSS works with the salvage partners nominated by our insurance company clients to supply salvage services. TLSS is able to provide vehicle valuations, accurate repair costs and salvage categories from images supplied directly from salvage companies and then discuss and settle these with policyholders. The correct salvage category and salvage value is then notified to the insurer who will subsequently settle the claim.

TLSS has worked closely with Copart (as Universal Salvage/Userve Ltd) for a number of years with our independent valuation service enhancing the engineering services offered by them. This successful relationship has evolved over a number of years with excellent quality images being provided to our engineers for evaluation. The images are supplied within 24 hours of the vehicle being on site with a comprehensive engineer’s report from Copart stating both the area of damage and any other relevant points that the inspecting engineer would realise were he to physically inspect the vehicle.

The current economic climate is increasing the pressure on those businesses that need to make salvage provisions. Profitability and margins are under pressure primarily because of conditions brought on by the cyclical nature of insurance. Whilst the salvage business is not immune from the broader issues facing the insurance sector, it often finds itself much lower down the priority list than other claims areas. Falling used car values and decreasing scrap values have led to an attempt to renegotiate rates as salvage costs begin to account for a growing proportion of motor claims costs.

TLSS believes it is possible to reduce your salvage costs by taking advantage of some of the product innovations now available on the market. Our work with companies such as Copart enables us to predict salvage values that can allow a business to ‘total’ the vehicles that are worth more as salvage than they are as repairs and vice versa. In addition, customers are able to see a return that reflects the true value of their asset which then helps to reduce the chance of dispute between company and client.

If salvage vehicles are going to be auctioned, then it makes sense for the widest pool of buyers to be reached. Copart’s online auction system allows bidding by buyers from the comfort of their own office, allowing bidding right up to the point of sale. The Copart system combines live auction features which, with pre-bidding, ensures it reaches and suits as wide a customer base as possible – which, in turn, improves salvage returns.

For those buying a number of cars, shipping is now cost effective and as a result the market for salvage is now truly global. Indeed, a growing number of buyers are now located overseas and around 17% of Copart’s online auction buyers are from mainland Europe or further afield.

The salvage sector is rightly competitive and many insurers operate a tender process to decide upon salvage providers. All reputable providers will abide by the ABI code of practice for the disposal of motor salvage – a code, which has now been in place for over a decade and appears to works well. Copart supports the tender process through their dedicated Account Management structure to ensure the right solution is provided to the individual needs of the customer.

If you would like any further information on Coparts products and services please contact For more information on the service provided by TLSS and Copart, please contact

Nigel Paget, Managing Director Copart UK