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choosing own repairer

A couple of days ago I had an accident. I hit another car from behind. Seems like this will be my fault but:

Question 1: The vehicle i drove in to had tinted back lights. So I didn't know what the driver was doing in front of me. The back lamps are not factory tinted. In my opinion it is not legal. I couldn't see her stopping or indicating.

Question 2: Insurance company gave my details to the garage and the garage took my vehicle away for a quote. After they make a quote can I decide where to repair my vehicle. Or it is too late?

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1) Demand a VOSA inspection of the other car because if the lights are judged not to be legal you win your case.

2) The insurer will decide whether to repair or write off your car on the basis of the quotation by the garage. You have to be on the ball here. You can immediately demand that your insurer does not write off your car under any circumstances. If your insurer decides the repair is uneconomic, you have to ask how much they will pay you towards the repair and allow you to keep the car. You can then get it fixed yorself and may make a profit or a loss on the payout.
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