Should I Buy A Written-Off Vehicle?

Scooter and moped breakersBefore you buy a written-off vehicle you should consider the following:

• Tell your insurance company about it – if you don’t your policy may be invalidated. It is unlikely to affect the premium you pay, but it will probably reduce the amount paid out in the event of a claim.

• Have a mechanical inspection carried out by a professional to ensure it has been repaired to a high standard – an MOT certificate is no guarantee.

• The market value will have been reduced considerably by the write-off – don’t pay full market value.

• You may have some difficulty selling the vehicle in the future. Dealers often won’t accept them in part exchange and the market for it will be limited.

Will previous accident damage be recorded?

Only if the vehicle has been subject to a total loss claim through an insurance company. If the vehicle has been damaged but repaired by an insurance company or the owner, then there will be no record of it.

This vehicle has been written off, can you tell me the exact area of damage?

The insurance company do not release this detail of information. They only advise on the category of write off which gives an indication of the severity of the damage. If you are looking for further information regarding this matter we advise getting the vehicle mechanically inspected by a professional.

What does third party or self-insured mean?

If a vehicle belongs to a large fleet it may be insured for the legal minimum only. This means that if it is damaged the fleet owner must either repair it, or send it to salvage. This is called ‘self-insured’. Similarly some individuals only insure their vehicle as ‘third party’ due to the cost of the policy compared with the value of their vehicle. If the vehicle is damaged the insurance policy will not pay for any repairs so therefore there is no record of the damage.

Many vehicles are bought from salvage, repaired and sold on. There is no guarantee that repairs have been carried out to a satisfactory standard. There are other instances where a vehicle has been badly damaged and the insurance company have refused to pay for repairs, for example if it was being driven by an uninsured driver, or if was stolen with the keys in.