According to research by Experian, 1 in 9 vehicles checked have been written off by an insurance company while 1 in every 7 vehicles has outstanding finance recorded against it.
There are different categories of write offs and it’s up to you as a car buyer to check. Cars that have been damaged are worth significantly less, so you should make sure that you do a full check before you buy.
It’s not illegal for dealers to sell cars with damage so don’t assume that because you are buying from a trader that it’s not a gamble. Bigger dealers and especially franchised ones should be safer bets.
The 7 write off categories are listed below
Does the car even belong to the seller?
It’s an even bigger risk to not check the finance. If the car is damaged and you’ve bought it, at least it’s your car and you can maybe sell it on, albeit for a lower price. If there is finance outstanding on a car, the car still effectively belongs to the finance company and they could repossess it. This leaves you out of pocket and off the road.
Premium vehicle checks
These cost from around £9.99 and include an insurance against poor information so if you do get ripped off due to missing or incorrect info, you could still get your money back. Basic checks are cheaper but don’t include the vital finance information so are best for very low-value cars.
A good check will also reveal mileage discrepancies in the MOT history, any plate changes and whether a vehicle is an import or not.