Many motor vehicles that were written off by motor insurance companies are slowly making their way back onto the second-hand marketplace every year. It’s all completely legal.
Under a voluntary rule of exercises authorized by many organizations, such as motor insurance corporations and salvage and repair firms, write-offs that appear again are classified as Category D cars. This arrangement puts accident-damaged vehicles in one of four categories. Category D refers to vehicles that are less damaged or stolen, and is where the insurance company pays the owner.
A Category D vehicle is one that has suffered car accident damage and is less costly to repair than its value. Why would insurance companies consider writing off a vehicle that is completely repairable? Surprisingly motor industry experts believe that the motor insurance company can reduce its losses by doing this.
If the airbags are damaged, the cost of replacing them can easily reach PS2,000. You have the option of seatbelt tensioners and vehicle parking sensors to increase it. Insurance companies can claim up to 65 percent of the vehicle’s value from salvage organizations. This allows them to be in control by writing off the vehicle and allowing an independent garage to fix it at a lower cost.
Graham Threlfall (MD, National Association of Body Shops) believes that the increasing focus on safety and high-end luxury vehicles is partly to blame. Ten years ago, damage to your vehicle’s body was limited to the body. However, safety bags, belt tensioners, and self-leveling headlamps make it much more costly to repair them today. He states that insurance companies are often satisfied to remove the liability in most cases.
In these times of economic crisis, customers who are budget conscious may find Category D vehicles that have been properly fixed attractive. There are many pages on the internet. One afternoon’s eBay search revealed that there were more than 300 vehicles for sale at discounts of up to 25% on regular second-hand values.
One of the biggest concerns is that potential buyers may not be familiar with Category D and therefore, what they are buying. A car dealership should take all reasonable steps to verify the vehicle’s history before it is put up for sale. This includes checking to see if it has been written off or damaged in an accident.
According to the ABI, there has been a slight increase in the number of Category D vehicles returning to the market since 2002. The average age of these vehicles is between 8-10 years. These vehicles are documented on the Motor Insurance Anti Fraudulence and Theft Register. This information and facts can be easily accessed via organizations such as HPI. There is no reason to believe that either buyers or dealers should be held responsible.
The OFT is concerned enough to make the regulation of used vehicle trade “an administrative priority”. It just finished a comprehensive report on each aspect. It found “a higher number of customer complaints”, and is now considering whether current laws and customer options are “sufficient and effective”.
Anyone who is lured by what appears to be a bargain vehicle will know that it is usually true.