Policy on when a vehicle is non-driveable

The claims representative must consider a vehicle non-driveable when it is obviously or reasonably unsafe to drive.


At numerous points in the claim, from (primarily) first notice of loss through to repairs or write-off, the claims representative reviews the condition of the vehicle in determining if it is non-driveable.

Important: ICBC cannot prevent a customer from driving their vehicle; some customers will choose to drive their vehicle even when it is unsafe. The claims representative tells the customer not to drive the vehicle when it is unsafe and manages the claim per non-driveable vehicle procedures.


The following types of damage, grouped by level of safety, make a vehicle non-driveable.

Obviously unsafe
A vehicle is obviously unsafe when it has visible damage that either
  • prevents the safe operation of it, or
  • causes further (consequential) damage if driven.
Examples include the following:
  • Extensive structural damage to the body, doors, windows or interior.
  • A broken part of or fluid leaking from the powertrain (engine/motor and drivetrain) and chassis.
  • Failing or otherwise malfunctioning electrical system and electronics.
Reasonably unsafe
A vehicle is reasonably unsafe when both
  • damage exists at a tangible level, and
  • the customer does not feel safe driving the vehicle.
    Exception: When the customer indicates they feel safe driving the vehicle but the claims representative has doubts about the vehicles safety, the claims representative can still tell the customer not to drive the vehicle and manage the claim per non-driveable vehicle procedures.
Examples include the following:
  • A compromised safety device such as the airbag light blinking.
  • Evidence of biohazardous materials in or on the vehicle.
  • Loud unusual noises the customer hasn't heard before the crash.
Other considerations
Certain losses make operating the vehicle simply illegal. Examples include the following:
  • Vandalized brake lights.
  • Stolen driver's side seat or seat belt.
  • Perceptibly loose steering wheel.


Helping keep unsafe vehicles off the road is a key component in ICBC's committment to road safety.

Applicable policy/legislation