Crunchy on the outside

I have a 2000 Corsa 1.7D GLS that doesn't look too tidy and with a high mileage but which has been very well maintained, with FSH and serviced every 5,000 miles. Everything works, it still drives like new and is totally reliable. I was planning to keep it for as long as possible.
On Sunday someone drove into the side, causing extensive panel damage but not affecting the mechanicals. She admitted liability. I am concerned that her insurers will want to declare it an uneconomic repair and offer me market value, which won't buy me an equivalent vehicle. I want it repaired and recall seeing advise in your Telegraph column to the effect that people in my position have a right to have this done. Is this correct?

Asked on 10 April 2010 by J.S., London SW1

Answered by Honest John
Not correct. All she has to do (via her insurer) is put you in the position you were in before the damage was done, which can be by repairing your car or writing it off and making a financial settlement of its 'market value'. Or, refreshingly now more common, by making you a financial offer to get the car repaired by which you keep the car and it is not written off. This prevents you getting drawn into the morass of credit hire that is costing all of us all fortunes in increased insurance premiums. If you are offered a low settlement figure you then have to prove that the car could not be replaced with a similar one bought privately or at auction with the money provided.
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