Royal and SunAlliance (R&SA) is to run a vehicle inspection pilot for its motor lines.

Under the scheme, which will be launched on 6 May, motorists will have their cars placed on cover subject to an inspection carried out by an engineer.

R&SA is running the pilot in conjunction with vehicle security specialist Toad.

An R&SA spokesman said: "The customer will be visited by a Toad engineer, who will take a look at the vehicle and check its registration and so on. The aim of the programme is to validate information at policy inception rather than waiting to check information at the claims stage."

It is understood that, under the scheme, R&SA will pay around £15 to £20 for every inspector that is sent out to assess the condition of a car.

Toad is expected to run the vehicle inspection pilot in conjunction with five as yet unnamed motor insurers.

According to one insurer: "Obviously, one of the main objectives of the pilot is to combat fraud.

"It's surprising how many customers back off when they realise that an inspection will be taking place."