As we enter the peak period for second hand car sales a survey of 100 consumers by vehicle history checker mycarcheck.com found that 89% were unaware of the recent write-off category changes.
In October 2017, the old A, B, C and D categories were replaced with new codes, which focus on safety rather than the cost of repair: A (scrap), B (break), S (structurally damaged repairable) and N (non-structurally damaged repairable).
Mark Bailey, Head of CDL Vehicle Information Systems, which owns My Car Check, said, “We are checking new category write-offs almost daily now, so the fact that 9 out of 10 people are unaware of them is a worry, especially when you consider that 4 of those who did know were motor traders.
“The survey was conducted by our Glasgow call centre in early February and all of those asked were checking used vehicles worth over £1,000. It shows that more must be done to educate buyers about write-offs, so they can either decide they want nothing to do with them, or they go into it with their eyes open, fully aware of the risks.
“Safety is paramount and written-off vehicles have to be properly repaired in order to perform as they should in the event of a second crash. There might be things the seller doesn’t know, or things they’d rather not tell you, so do your own history check to find out exactly what you’re getting into.”
If a car is written off or stolen, the insurance company will usually only pay the market value of the car, not what was paid for it, so drivers could be facing a potential ‘gap’ in their finances, particularly if they still have a finance agreement or loan to pay off.
A Guaranteed Asset Protection policy from a specialist insurance provider, like InsuretheGap, protects drivers from this and tends to be significantly cheaper than those offered by car dealerships.
InsuretheGap.com sells GAP policies from just £54.55 for vehicles worth up to £150,000. It covers ‘gaps’ up to £50,000.