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Too Good To Be True

Seen that perfect car??

Wow it looks great and seems really cheap!

You go and have a look, ticks all the boxes, looks great drives great and price seems much cheaper than all the others!!

You pay your money and drive away with what you think is that perfect car, you have been driving it for a couple of years and only realise that the car is worthless when you come to sell it, You purchased an Insurance write off and guess what the previous owner seller is not legally bound to tell you.


Insurance write-off?  

An insurance write-off is a car that’s either: sustained so much damage it’s unsafe to go back on the road, or it is still safe to drive but is beyond economical repair.

If your car has been deemed unsafe, then instead of being repaired the owner will receive a cash payout for the loss.

An uneconomical repair, however, is based on a repair-to-value ratio which can be different for each insurance company and car.

So, if your vehicle was worth £5,000 and your insurance company used a repair-to-value ratio of 60%, the vehicle would be considered beyond economical repair if the work needed exceeded £3,000.

Car insurance companies employ vehicle assessors to calculate the cost of repairs and make this judgement.

They will inspect the overall condition of your vehicle and analyse the collision damage.


Would You Still Buy An Insurance write off?

 Personally as a used car dealer I would never buy an Insurance Write off to sell on to the public however there are a lot of dealers and private sellers that do.


I have the added competition lets say one of my used cars I have for sale being a Vauxhall Corsa 1.4 SXI on a 2011 plate. I have it for sale at £2650, average going price for that type of car but you will find them being sold for £1200, well alarm bells should already be ringing.


My first question to the seller is if the vehicle has been economically repaired at some point, I would like to hope they will tell you but would always do the Vehicle History check to be sure.

Don't get me wrong, some people are happy to buy these vehicles that have been written off but will you ever really know the severity of the collision and what else it could have done to the car, for the sake of £10 you could double check its life history.

 I have even known some dealers to try to pass off Category S or Category N cars as non-damaged motors by hiding their past.


Insurance Write Off Categories

Category A (unchanged)

Scrap only. For cars so badly damaged they should be crushed and never re-appear on the road. Even salvageable parts must be destroyed.

Category B (unchanged)

Body shell should be crushed. Signifies extensive damage, although some parts are salvageable.

Should never re-appear on road, although reclaimed parts can be used in other road-going vehicles.

Category S (formerly Category C)

The new Category S means the vehicle has suffered structural damage.

This could include a bent or twisted chassis, or a crumple zone that has collapsed in a crash.

Category S damage is more than just cosmetic, therefore, and the vehicle will need to be professionally repaired.

Also, it won’t be safe to drive until then.


 Category N (formerly Category D)

 Vehicles graded accordingly haven’t sustained structural damage, so the issue may be cosmetic, or a problem with the electrics that isn’t economical to repair.


Don’t assume such vehicles are drivable, however; non-structural faults may include brakes, steering or other safety-related parts.


Conclusion of this blog is that you can legally buy a car that has been written off under certain Categories, my advice is if you happy to do that then there are loads of cars like that being sold, I again would not, there are hundreds/thousands of cars out there that have never been in a bump so why take the risk, always do your homework and don't just rush out and buy the first good looking one you see until your 100 % happy.


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