Almost one in three (32%) UK drivers have had a car written off by an insurance company (men 35% and women 30%) and 8% twice or more.
London drivers are the most likely to have written off a car, with almost half (48%) having had a car written off by an insurance company. This is almost twice as high as other regions including Wales (23%) and the West Midlands (24%).
In the Opinium survey of 2,000 UK drivers, for InsuretheGap.com, a leading provider of GAP (Guaranteed Asset Protection) insurance for new and second-hand cars, 40% said that if their car got written off and the insurer only paid out half of what they had originally paid for it they would not be able to get the same car again. This rises to half (51%) of under 34s, compared to 37% of over 55s.
If a car is written off, the insurance company usually only pays out what the car was worth at the time of the incident. Because of depreciation, this can be significantly less than what was paid for it.
Ben Wooltorton, Chief Operating Officer of InsuretheGap.com, said, “Despite second-hand cars holding their value more than in recent years, most cars are still worth less than they were new. As soon as they’re driven off the forecourt, they typically lose value and this only accelerates as they get older.
“If your car is written off, the insurance company will generally only pay its value at the time of the incident, not what you paid for it. It also won’t take into account if you’re still paying back finance on it. GAP insurance can be bought to cover the difference between what you paid for the car and the value when it’s written off.
“You can also buy policies which cover outstanding finance costs after a vehicle is written off. GAP insurance is available from standalone providers, like InsuretheGap.com, for usually significantly less than the insurance offered by the car showrooms. It’s always best to shop around.”