Peugeot 308 - HPI Check Wrong, Car Turned out to be CAT D - AllBodies

Hello there,

So I am wondering what rights I have, and/or who to go after for compensation, given the following situation:

I bought a car in April 2015, and performed a full HPI check with all the added extras you need to do for the full cover. I performed the check before buying the car, and it passed completely, nothing amiss.

Fast forward to August this year and I want to sell the car. I start an advert on Autotrader and it auto-fills the car is CAT D, and motors.co.uk does the same.

I immediately contact the Autotrader dispute email for this and say there must have been some mistake. I also get onto the DVLA, who pass me onto the Motor Insurance Bureau and MIAFTR.

I also perform a new HPI check, and this new one says the car's number plate was recorded as written-off in December 2014 (4 months before I bought it and did my first HPI check), but the model recorded was a Peugeot 309 XSI (a car from the 1980s). The correct model is Peugeot 308

Then Autotrader get back to me saying they think there's been a mistake, but MIB get back to me and say the insurer thinks they've got it right and it's just the model of car they made a mistake with. So I now get HPI to investigate too as there's confusion, and they come back to concur with MIB, and the report gets updated to have Peugeot 308 on it.

So the car, as of now, is SUPPOSEDLY officially classified as CAT D, and the insurer thinks they've made no mistakes.

But now HPI won't honor the loss-cover on their original check, as they say it's only 24 months of cover, and it was 27 months until this came up. They have given me details of a discretionary dispute system, which I will start.

They conceded to me on the phone that they don't expect you to buy a second HPI check 23 months after the first one, to 'complete' your cover if you get me? But at the same time they claim they have no obligation to update me when new information arises. It turns out the write-off appeared on their systems 2 weeks after I did the original check and bought the car! They said they expect you to accidentally stumble across the information, within 24 months, like by trying to sell your car on autotrader and the new CAT D feature informing you (which is of course how I found out, but 27 months later).

So other than going through HPI's discretionary dispute process, do I have any other potential source of recourse? For the loss of value I've experienced in the car being suddenly CAT D.

Peugeot 308 - HPI Check Wrong, Car Turned out to be CAT D - RobJP

Go through the discretionary dispute system.

However, make it very clear to HPI that if the decision goes against you, you'll be taking it further.

A Small Claims Court would be likely to rule in your favour - depending on the exact wording in your HPI contract, of course. But it may not need to come to that.

Peugeot 308 - HPI Check Wrong, Car Turned out to be CAT D - SLO76
What an unfortunate set of circumstances. I wasn't even aware that HPI's insurance had a 2yr limit. It is unlikely that it was a 309 XSi that was written off as very few were made and hardly any if any will have survived till 2014. It's an unfortunate error on the insurance firms behalf. I don't however understand how the similarity of model name could cause this. The identity of the car would come from its registration and chassis numbers and the likelihood of a 309 XSi carrying a similar plate are absolutely zero.

I'd expect HPI to offer some form of recompense if not quite going the whole road of full cover for your loss and this is certainly the avenue I'd be heading down for now without worrying about any other action. To be honest I don't see any other road you could try anyway. It wasn't the garages fault as no doubt they would've HPI'd it too and had the same result. The insurance firm could be worth pressuring for some sort of assistance as it was their fault really but I'm not sure how successful any legal action there would be. You could simply ask and they may oblige but I doubt it. HPI should be the full target. To me their 2yr limit is unfair and should it become widely known it'll certainly damage their buisiness.

To avoid this sort of thing happening again take someone who knows what they're doing along with you when viewing. Major crash damage that would be enough to write off such a young car will be blindingly obvious to an experienced pair of eyes. Even a paid for engineers report would have revealed it.

Edited by SLO76 on 08/09/2017 at 00:24

Peugeot 308 - HPI Check Wrong, Car Turned out to be CAT D - AllBodies

Although I didn't get an engineers report/inspection done, I did actually take someone reasonably knowledgeable for a second opinion. And I've never noticed any odd behaviour or visual cue of any kind. The repair appears to be very good, not that I know what the damage even was.

Also neither Kwik Fit, nor the main dealer said anything when servicing it, and it passed the first MOT with nothing mentioned.

On top of that the main dealer actually honoured the warranty very recently for a £700 air con part. So they must not have noticed any indication it was written off (and I didn't know at the time), since they'd no doubt void the warranty if they were aware.

No doubt I will pay for a proper report (the AA and others do this I believe?) when buying my next car. But I also find it amazing no one seemed to notice.

Peugeot 308 - HPI Check Wrong, Car Turned out to be CAT D - RobJP

You would be astonished - and probably horrified - at the relatively low levels of damage required to write off a car these days.

A few weeks ago, someone pulled out in front of my uncle. He managed to avoid them, and ran off the road, over a grass bank, and into a field hedgerow - not going completely through it, so his speed wasn't that high at the point of impact. Car is a discovery Sport.

Damage (as far as I could see). Minor scratching on the bonnet. Bonnet airbags fired. One front light broken. Front bumper broken. Front foglights broken or disconnected. Radiator intact. Wheels and tyres look good.

The car was reversed out of the hedge and driven onto the recovery truck. No fluid leaks at all.

Insurance company called him up a few days later - they were going to write it off. Allegedly, £18,000 to fix.

He refused to allow them to write it off, and got another person (independent bodywork specialist, who he's known for 30 years) to look at it. He's priced it all up, under £5k. The bonnet airbags are the most expensive parts at £1500 for the 3 airbags and inflators. It should be noted that the original price involved £2,000 per airbag and inflator - so £6k for the 3.

I've seen it a little while back on a BMW 3 series. Bumper wrecked, foglights broken, 2 front wheels buckled, front suspension arms bent. 2015 330d. Written off with a quote of £20,000 to fix. Again, the owner refused to allow it to be written off, went elsewhere and got it professionally fixed for less than £5000.

Someone, somewhere, is scamming a mint on repair costs.

Peugeot 308 - HPI Check Wrong, Car Turned out to be CAT D - SLO76
The newer the car the more damage it required to be written off and in order to repair it for resale within reasonable cost it will have been cheaply repaired in 99% of cases and certainly not up to insurance approved standards. It is less of a worry on older cars where the cost of a bumper can write it off but I'm certain I'd've spotted this quickly.

As for the dealer or Mot tester pointing it out well most sales staff don't know one end of a car from the other and the Mot tester is only looking for safety and environmental issues and not repaired crash damage so he wouldn't unless it affected either.

The exception (as already mentioned by another poster) is where a new model (Discovery Sport) is bumped early in the models lifespan and parts to sort it are often unavailable. Insurers will often in such cases where long delays are forecast for parts simply write it off rather than face months of car hire bills. These can be worthy buys if bought cheaply and properly repaired but they are in the minority.

Edited by SLO76 on 08/09/2017 at 11:43

Peugeot 308 - HPI Check Wrong, Car Turned out to be CAT D - RobJP

SLO, the BMW 3 series model in concern was a 2015 car, of a model that's been out since 2012. There were no difficulties in getting hold of the parts for the repair once he'd bought the salvage - it was back on the road within 3 weeks of him buying the salvage.

My uncle's car might be a bit longer, but the workshop he's now using reckon he'll be back in it within a fortnight. Hire car costs were never going to be an issue, as he's got a Jag XF which he'd made clear to the insurance company that he was happy to use until his Disco was fixed.

As I said, someone in some parts departments (or 'insurance approved repair' garages) are making a killing. Or possibly taking huge backhanders.

The inflators and bonnet airbags varying from £500 per to £2000 per, for the exact same part, demonstrates this to a ridiculous level. The only difference was that one set (£2000 per unit) were priced by an 'insurance approved' bodyshop, and the other set (£500 per unit) by an independent garage phoning a LR dealership and getting prices from the parts department !

Edited by RobJP on 08/09/2017 at 12:06

Peugeot 308 - HPI Check Wrong, Car Turned out to be CAT D - SLO76
"SLO, the BMW 3 series model in concern was a 2015 car, of a model that's been out since 2012. There were no difficulties in getting hold of the parts for the repair once he'd bought the salvage - it was back on the road within 3 weeks of him buying the salvage."

Was talking about the Disco. The insurer has got to use manufacturer parts on young cars like this, particularly anything still under its original warranty. The BM should've been repairable but if it's going to cost more than 60% of it's worth to do it properly they normally just write it off. Factoring in the greatly reduced value post write-off it's rarely worth the effort of fixing it yourself unless you intend on longterm ownership.

"My uncle's car might be a bit longer, but the workshop he's now using reckon he'll be back in it within a fortnight. Hire car costs were never going to be an issue, as he's got a Jag XF which he'd made clear to the insurance company that he was happy to use until his Disco was fixed."

The insurers do things by the book. All simple numbers in a sheet and this model in particular is known for supply issues in getting manufacturer body panels etc. They couldn't use aftermarket parts on something like this nor would you want them to.

But I take your point that someone in the car repair industry is taking the P. In a normal business situation a bulk buyer of services (such as large insurers) should be getting better terms than we can find ourselves but walk into any bodyshop in the country and ask for a quote and the first thing they'll ask is "is it for instance purposes" to which they markedly up the quote. Ask for a second cash price to repair yourself and it will always be cheaper. I often wonder if the insurers are clawing back money in fees or some form of exclusivity terms on bodyshops.

Edited by SLO76 on 08/09/2017 at 12:36

Peugeot 308 - HPI Check Wrong, Car Turned out to be CAT D - AllBodies

Thanks for all the replies so far.

I've started the HPI dispute process, and I'll post back when I hear anything, if they ask for any information I don't have, or if I just get no joy out of them.

 

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