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What's My Car Worth?

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We've been providing free car valuation and data checks since 2009, which in internet years is back in the stone age.

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Automotive News Jul 1, 2024

Is it worth buying back a written off car?

Is it worth buying back a written off car?

How to negotiate car write-off value?

First day in the office, a prospective client of mine said I want your services to negotiate on my behalf. I didn't know how to react. Was it a hint of sarcasm? A compliment? Or just her way of saying she'd call me back in a couple days?

Turns out it was the latter. The next day, she did call back. She wanted to ask about a car write-off. I said, I guess you're not sure if you should go through my fee, so I need to tell you two things. One, I have an ethical obligation to not reveal confidential client information and I need to ask permission to disclose that information. Two, it is in everyone's best interest for you to have that car sold as soon as possible.

Well, she said. It will be the shortest negotiation ever. The value of the car doesn't matter to me anymore.

As I began a discussion about the fee, I saw the tension in her voice. It seemed to fade as we discussed the car sale, but later I came to realize that the source of the tension wasn't the fee; it was the writing-off. For some reason, people feel uncomfortable discussing the value of a written-off vehicle.

That's understandable because many of us haven't gone through that process. Maybe the client has gone through the writing off process and felt uncomfortable about the result. Maybe the process scared you. Here's how to get past the process and overcome the reluctance to write-off the car.

Understand the client's position. There are several ways to work through this. First, try to understand where she's coming from. As a former insurance adjuster, I can say that my attitude toward clients with written-off cars has a lot to do with my perspective on life insurance policies.

Life insurance is a bit like a game of chicken where the winner is not the last one standing. Sometimes I thought I was a good player of the game. Others even insureds disagreed. It's a question of who survives or dies.

How much is a written off car worth?

Written off cars are a thorn in the side of many of the insurance industry's claims managers, particularly when they are a customer's only or sole car. This is because when the car is written off, the customer cannot claim any of the money they have been paying towards it through the policy; they can only get an estimate of the repair costs, if any.

To complicate matters further, some people who write off a car may try to use an estimated value of their car as a way of getting their money back when it comes to a claim. It doesn't work that way, however, because cars are not like other assets, such as a house. They are unique and need to be sold at auction, with appropriate allowances made for depreciation and the like.

So what is the best way to deal with a car being written off? You can either: Make a claim on your insurer for the repair costs of the car. Or you can sell it yourself at auction. Most insurers won't pay out for a car that has been written off so they will make a claim against you. However, if you have a good relationship with your insurer they may agree to let you have a part of the repair cost, which is called a share scheme.

A share scheme is a bit like a credit or debit card; the insurance company pays into a fund which is then split up between the customer and the insurer according to the amount that the customer's policy has paid towards the repair costs. Share schemes can be complicated, but we are here to help! A share scheme is only really viable if you can have your car repaired and put into service within a set period, say three months. If it takes longer to put the car into service, you run the risk of the repair costs going above and beyond what you were able to pay into the share scheme.

It is quite likely that you will be sent a pre-sale letter by the auctioneer, asking if you want to sell your car at the auction and, if you do, they will also advise you how much they expect to get. You will then need to arrange for a mechanic to carry out the work, pay for the inspection (which will cost around 500 - 1000) and possibly pay for a new clutch or tyres (around 200).

Is it worth buying back a written off car?

how much does it cost to buy back a written off car Is it worth buying back a written off car?

If the car is worth less than about half the amount it was written off for, then probably not - but if it's more, then it might better to use the cash for something else. However if it's more than that, then do you really want it back? It's a tough decision and your car dealer may have some ideas.

If you are buying back the car now, you will need a written offer from the insurer. You may need to offer 500 towards the cost of it as well. You will need to write a cheque, rather than a debit or credit card.

The car needs to be in good condition - no scratches, marks or dents. It must have an MOT and it should be covered by a good third party (fire and theft) insurance. A good car insurer is going to help you out in any way they can. They are going to be able to help you sort out any small claims problems that may have occurred while you were driving the car. They are also going to be able to help sort out the MOT for you.

You will also need to make sure that the car is insured. You cannot use your own insurance as it will not cover you when you are using a vehicle that has been written off. So you need to buy third party insurance for the car, which means that you can drive the car with it still being used on the road. It can even be registered in someone else's name, so long as you and that person agree that the registration is allowed.

If the insurance is only third party and only covers you while using the car, then you will need to let your current car insurance company know that you need to drive a vehicle that is currently written off. They are unlikely to pay for you to drive it, but you can still let them know that you need the money. They will normally send you a temporary certificate to show that you are allowed to use the vehicle.

Of course, it's unlikely that you will just buy a car for half the amount that it was written off for. Your car dealer will try and get as much back as possible from the vehicle. If it's in good condition, with a reasonable MOT, and you don't mind doing work on it, then it's quite likely that you could have a car worth 100 more than it's current value.

How much can you buy a car back from insurance?

I have an old car which I am now renting and I had the insurance on it for a short period of time. I want to buy it back from insurance but I don't know how much I can get. The car is worth a bit less than what I owe on the car, but I know that it would be cheaper to keep the car.

FORTUNATELY, YOU'RE NOT GOING TO HAVE TO USE A LAWYER! THIS WILL BE A NO-HASSLE PROCESS! This is how it works: The insurance company must pay you the fair market value of the car - if you make a claim they pay you the difference between the car's fair market value and the amount you owe on it. This is what they are required to do under EU legislation.

The fair market value is the price it would sell for on the open market without any pressure to sell. If you don't want to sell the car, this is the price you can get it back for.

The difference between the price you get it back for and what you owe on it is called the "claim discount". The UK Government has written into law that insurers must give you a claim discount of up to 25% and they must do this within 14 days of the date you make a claim.

If you sell the car and someone else buys it then you get the difference between the car's fair market value and the amount you owe on it. This is the price they paid for it. So if you have 1000 in debt and the car is sold for 700 then the person buying it gets 300 off your debt. The fair market value of the car is 1000, the person buying it gets 300 and you get 700 off your debt. This is called the "recovery discount" and it will be given to you automatically by the insurance company. It is also subject to limits as set by the government.

If you don't want to sell the car then you can't get it back and you get no discount. But there is no penalty or fine for not wanting to sell it. You are not allowed to take it to a scrap yard or wreck it. And you have to tell the insurance company when you want to buy the car back.

WMCW Admin

Reporting on news on topics such as used car industry prices, automobile recalls, site news and updates, opinion pieces about the used car market, and other appropriate automotive information.

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