I suggest that drivers should price repairs from local garages if their cars are written off.

I’d like to offer a tip from a long-retired cop. When your car suffers accident damage and there is any possibility of an unwanted write off, first have it appraised by your local small man before letting your insurer give it to an ‘approved’ repairer. My 2003 Omega (which is really an Opel and probably a Holden Commodore before that) suffered a bent wing and smashed headlamp and bumper. The approved repairer assessed it at £3250 and rated it a write off. I retrieved it (with some difficulty) and the local man did a perfect job with all-new parts for just over £1000, which the insurer happily paid. Had they not, I would have had the car mended as it is a high quality car which means a lot to me even though I know it is theoretically worthless.

Asked on 12 October 2013 by RB, via email

Answered by Honest John
You'll be pleased to know that insurers are offering this more often now, because if they come to an agreed settlement with the insured it avoids protracted negotiations with third party claims specialists and extortionate ‘credit hire’ of courtesy cars. So the days of crooked loss adjusters and salvage operators with their people 'placed' inside insurers to source lucratively repairable 'write-offs' may be drawing to a close.
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Value my car