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  • Challenging the value of written off car?
  • breninbeener
    Free Member

    About a week ago my daughters parked and unattended DS3 was hit by a fail to stop vehicle. Some lovely people saw it, took the index if offending vehicle and left a note! Her insurance company arranged recovery and a hire car.

    This morning she has been told the car is a write off, but they have offered what appears to be about £2k than what it would cost to buy the same car.

    Can she challenge this? Will it go anywhere and if so, how does she do it?
    Her car was low miles and her pride and joy, but i realise that emotional attachment isnt being paid for here!



    Full Member

    They’ll always give you a crap offer to begin with. Go on Autotrader and find similar cars (age, spec, mileage, colour etc) and go back to them saying you want £XXX amount of monies as that is market value for the vehicle.

    Free Member

    ^^ That. Not had to do it for some time but just provide evidence of the current market value and they usually improve their offer. She doesn’t have to accept the second offer either BTW.

    Full Member

    When I had a written off car they started low and you couldn’t get a similar replacement for that. I did as said above and searched auto trader for something similar and sent those to the insurance co and with a bit of quibbling I got what I needed to get a replacement

    Free Member

    Thanks all, thats pretty much what i thought. I appreciate your help


    Full Member

    Is this another daughter with car trouble!? 😱

    Did you get the TypeR sorted?

    And what northernmatt said – keep going at them till you’re happy.

    Full Member

    I wouldn’t put too much stress and effort into it, I’m fairly certain the whole haggling process was just automated.

    Their 3rd offer was about double the first, but still bore no relation to the prices of anything on autotrader/ebay. I think I could probably have saved the effort and just sent them Rick Astley videos.

    After the 3rd offer, you can just complain to the ombudsman.

    Full Member

    Get the ombudsman involved. There are certain hoops you have to jump through such as giving the insurance co. an opportunity to improve their offer but get the ball rolling now. It’s not worth the stress trying to go back and forth with them in person.

    I had a similar experience when I had a car written off. Insurance company were utter shits, claiming the money they were offering me could get me a replacement of the same model (which was the lowest priced one on auototrader, different colour, different spec, higher mileage and in Kent – I live in Fife). Went backwards and forwards for a few weeks but the day after the ombudsman got involved they offered me a cheque for the exact amount I’d put as valuation when I took out the policy.

    Free Member

    As above. They will then try and tell you that advertised prices aren’t the same as selling prices because there’s always haggling and price reduction. Which was BS years ago, and is super BS these days since covid slowed down the flow of new cars onto the market, and second hand prices shot up (I would have to pay the same now for my car with it’s current age/mileage as I did 3 years and 40k miles ago). If they continue to take that line, ask them to provide an acceptably suitable replacement car themselves instead of the cheque, ie, put their money where their mouth is – this has worked for me in the past!

    Another alternative, if the car is relatively low value – it doesn’t take a lot of damage to write off a car if they are considering repairing it to insurance standards. It might be worth looking to see how much it would cost to get back on the road yourselves, and buying it back off the insurance company. For example, my daughter’s car is scrapped all the way down the passenger side (not her, it came like that! Bought cheap though 😉 ). It must have had a new mirror, but every panel that side is dented/scratched – the worst scratches have been painted in (not very well). It would cost a fortune to repair properly, so I think it was either never reported to insurance, or bought back as suggested and fixed just enough.
    This is another income stream for insurance companies, mind – as well as low-balling you, they will be be making money selling on the salvage. The less keen they are to let you buy it back, the more likely it is that there’s mainly cosmetic damage and they can make extra £££s selling it on!

    Be aware however – hire car costs can sometimes be attributed to you if the third party can show that you didn’t take efforts to minimise the costs (ie, the length of time you had the hire car for) – and the insurance hire car charges are yet another industry rip-off scam. So act quickly each time your end so if necessary you can show that it was the insurance dragging their heels which delayed matters, not you.

    Full Member

    Ive just this month been through this. Original value was 5k less than expected. In the end i submitted autotrader adverts and they settled in the middle.

    Free Member

    Why meet in the middle and take £2.5k less than it’ll cost to replace the car?

    Free Member

    @the_muffin_man the daughters are twins!

    The civic is in Owens in Cowbridge. I got a pattern CTR rear axle for £375 delivered.

    Free Member

    It’s often worth looking on eBay for sold listings rather than auto trader as it removes the haggle ambiguity.

    I wouldn’t go back much more than 6-8 weeks, also the results should be within a reasonable travel distance I’d say 100miles max but it could be less.

    If they refuse to move satisfactorily then escalate to internal disputes process & ultimately to insurance ombudsman.

    Full Member

    the ombudsman has standards for haggling amount in their guidelines, its relatively small these days as there’s not a lot of margin in car sales.

    Free Member

    I used exampled from AutoTrader when they tried to low ball me with an offer. I had to be firm about matching the spec, millage etc. They tried on all sorts of nonsense to try and justify their low offer. I stuck with it because there was always a very easy to justify reason why the examples they were using were not comparable and got what I was asking for in the end.

    They wanted to split the payment in two, scrap value and then the rest. I asked for it all in one go as I want them trying anything else on for giving me less than they said they would. I think that was the right thing to do.

    After 10 days (I think) they took the hire car back. This was about 5 days before I received the payment. I kicked up a fuss on the phone, but that didn’t go anywhere at the time. So I was left for 5 days with no car and no money to buy a replacement. A week or so after the payment they phoned me up and asked me if I could provide receipts for my own hire car or public transport in those 5 days so they could claim it off the other party. I couldn’t as I’d been using my bike or blagging lifts from people. So perhaps that is something to watch out for.

    Full Member

    More outrageous behaviour from the insurance mafia.

    In a sane world any insurance company trying this fraudulant tactic would be fined twice the difference between their offer and a fair price. That would soon sharpen the valuations department.

    I’m sure sombody will be along shortly to say how all insurance companies are run by nuns for the benefit of orphans and children and this is just normal practise yada yada yada it all gets sorted in the end but its disgusting – why the hell should the victim in all this have to even worry about chasing for a fair valuation? I can just imagine my parents accepting the first quote they have been given and worrying how they will afford another car….God I hate the insurance industry.

    Full Member

    I had the exact opposite.

    Wrote my car off on the motorway, it was taken to a specialist yard and the insurance company offered me a payment for it (car was a write off).

    Told my local garage which knew the car, they’d done all the servicing on it and the mechanic said “take the cheque and cash it quick before they realise what a heap of shit it was!”

    I’d been expecting the whole haggle back and forth, supply valuations etc but in the end it was painless.

    This doesn’t make up for the fact they’re utter scum in every other way, especially at renewals time where there’s the usual “your insurance now costs twice what you paid last year…” and we go through the same rigamarole of calling to cancel and then a miraculous “special offer” comes along with extra discount for taking their breakdown service…

    Free Member

    When my daughters car was written off by a 3rd party, the insurance co offered us £15 more than I paid for it at the VW dealership 12 months earlier!!

    Full Member

    What’s the name of the garage you bought it from, I need a new car.

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