Vehicle history check provider confirms where motorists are most, and least, likely to find written-off vehicles.
My Car Check research
Drivers in Billingshurst, West Sussex, have the highest chance of buying a written-off vehicle in the United Kingdom. The company – that for a fee reveals the history of vehicles – added that motorists only a few miles away in Farnborough, Hampshire, have the least probability of falling foul.
Thousands of vehicles were researched Of those in Billingshurst, 42% were written-off by an insurer following a crash, vandalism or other mishap. Other problematic areas were: Dewsbury in West Yorkshire (36%), Morden in South London (35%), Halifax in West Yorkshire (34%) then Blackpool in Lancashire (34%).
In contrast, 5% of vehicles in Farnborough, Hampshire, were written-off by insurers. On these terms, it is suggested the best place to purchase. Other comparatively safe regions were: Sudbury in Suffolk (6%), Burnham in Buckinghamshire (6%), Treharris within South Wales (6%) and Maidenhead in Berkshire (7%).
Surprised by variation
Head of My Car Check, Roger Powell, said: “We have only recently started analysing our data by location and were surprised to discover a substantial variance in the write-off risk across large, UK, cities.”
“Buying a car is a big deal and establishing whether it has ever been written-off is vital. Even leaving the safety aspect aside, a write-off will usually be worth considerably less than a similar non-accident damaged model.”
He concluded: “Many people don’t realise it is legal for certain write-offs to return to the road. In fact, it is not unusual for a car to have been involved in several accidents. In this day and age, vehicles can be repaired to a high standard, but a customer survey conducted a couple of years ago by the vehicle history check company found that 79% wouldn’t buy a write-off.”
Types of insurance write-off
The Association of British Insurers confirmed that when a vehicle is written-off by its insurance company it receives a classification.
- Category A (Scrap): Damage so severe the vehicle has to be scrapped in its entirety. There are no, or few, economically salvageable components. It might be badly burned, for example.
- Category B (Break): Damage so severe that the vehicle cannot be returned to the road. If it is economically viable, salvageable components can be removed and installed elsewhere.
- Category C (Repair): The vehicle can be fixed and returned to the road. The cost of such efforts exceed its pre-damage value.
- Category D (Repair): The vehicle can be fixed and returned to the road. The cost does not exceed the pre-damage valuation.