Do I have a right to keep my Cat N car?

My car was hit on the road outside recently. The driver got out and ran off, but he was insured so the police have taken his car until he reappears. The insurance assessor said the repair quote is £3800, which is the same figure as my insurer originally told me they'd offer me for the car. I've been told it's going to be a Category N as there is no structural damage, but I said I was interested in buying the car back because I've done a lot of work and spent a lot of money on the car. I've had a couple of mechanic friends round and both said it’s repairable (new rear axle and wheel will be required and there's some scratches to the paintwork). I could get the same model for the money they’ve offered, but I know what work has been done on mine. The insurance company will apparently be in touch to arrange removal of the car even though I said I would be interested in repairing it myself. The assessor said my insurer may may not let me because it’s had axle damage though. Do I have a right to keep my car?

Asked on 9 April 2018 by Jack

Answered by Tim Kelly
If the repair costs are not more than your vehicle is worth, you can insist on the vehicle being repaired (or a cash in lieu at the full cost of repair, including VAT). You already own the vehicle, so unless repair cost exceed the market value you should not be buying the car back. If the repair costs exceed the market value, make sure the market value being offered is correct. If not, dispute the value and have them revise it. Ask them for a full copy of the engineer's version of their Audatex estimate.
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