Cheshire Cars

How to avoid buying a write off
20 February 2020

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How to avoid buying a write off

Have you been caught out? 

Before starting, selling of vehicles that have been previously written off and then declared to any potential buyer as having been so is legal subject to certain conditions. This blog is to highlight some of the potential pitfalls for any buyer not being informed of a vehicles past history. Had the buyer been made aware would he or she have arrived at a different decision? So being in receipt of the full facts before purchase is vitally important and legal.  

That sinking feeling after you find out that the car you saved for turns out to have been previously written off by the insurer. All the joy of owning the car falls away as the reality strikes home. How did you find yourself at this point? What could you have done differently? The providence check came out all clear, so what went wrong? I bought the car from a trusted person to stop this from happening.

Firstly you will stand a much better chance of claiming a full or partial refund if you purchased the vehicle through a motor trade professional. Why? Well, because the law see's the dealer as a professional who has the skill and knowledge plus know how to make all the necessary checks pre sale. It is much harder to prove a case against a private seller. You would need to prove that the private seller knew of the vehicles past history, whilst it is not impossible it is much harder. Most people will have heard of the sentence 'its hpi clear,' and have a fairly good understanding of what exactly it means. There are several companies that have access to vehicle data and offer this service not just to the trade but also to a private buyer and or seller. For years these certificates have been the benchmark. The system works on the assumption that any related information will be shared through to them by insurers and the like. What is less well known is the fact that in current UK law there is no law passed to make doing so compulsory. And this is a loophole which allow some people to exploit. 

Exploiting is easier when the law has not reflected the risk or even considered the risk. Self regulation simply does not work in a case with high wealth potential such as buying vehicles from a salvage auction knowing the facts then passing them off as genuine vehicles. The providence companies can only tell the past of any vehicle if they themselves are informed of its past. So how can you be protected? Well buying from a trade professional will greatly limit your risk as they will have performed a series of checks including a providence check. There is one providence check company which dealers do have access to that do get hold of vehicles that have passed through a salvage auction. This comapny is called Motorcheck. However at this time February 2020 they do not deal with private sellers or buyers. So if dealing with a trade professional ask them about Motorcheck. 

Finally good dealers will always list the full facts, so a dealer who deals in write offs will have nothing to hide and declare all known facts inside the vehicles details once on sale. The repair may have been light but if you are aware from the start then you are in full receipt of the facts.

Since I wrote the article Motorcheck are now offering to the general public a providence check.     

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