2008 3.0 Insurance Rights? - xbgt
I was just wondering what the situation is with regards the following:

My car was involved in a collision with a 3rd party where I was T boned square in the side and the damage extended to the every panel on the nearside being battered and bent including the wheels and structural damage to the A pillar, B pillar and door shut panel etc...

To be fair, the 3rd party admitted liability there and then and subsequently the 3rd party insurers have said that their client is liable and as a consequence they will pick up the entire costs etc. All sounds well and good!

Now, the vehicle was close to a write off, but as the car is only 3 months old and cost me £41K brand new from the dealer back in June the costs haven't escalated high enough to cause the vehicle to be considered a write off. So the opinion is to repair the car (new font wing, new door, new door shut panel, new rear wing, new rear bumper, straighten out the A and B pillar, straighten out the suspension, new wheels and tyres) etc...

My question is, what are my rights here?

Essentially until last week I had a very nice 3 month old new car with not a blemish on it.

In a few weeks time I am going to be presented with a 4 month old car that has been involved in a serious smash that has been repaired with new parts, straightened out on a jig and new metal (repair panels) welded into the A and B pillars and the door shut panel.

Surely, regardless of how good the repairs are the value of the car will now be depreciated somewhat more due to the accident and repairs, and I also know that the car is a crash repair job!?!

To put it another way, which car has the higher value? A 4 month old immaculate car that has not been involved in any collision, or a seemingly immaculate 4 month old car that has had structural repairs and every panel on its nearside replaced and painted etc?

Surely we would all plump for the original car and not the repaired one!

Given that the 3rd party has admitted liability am I not being disadvantaged by being handed back a accident repaired car? Surely I am entitled to be enjoying what I originally paid for... a car that has not been involved in a hideous shunt and half of the car repaired?

Your thoughts would be most welcomed.

2008 3.0 Insurance Rights? - cheddar
I agree with you 100% and would fight tooth and nail though where you stand legally I am not sure.

Look at you insurance T&Cs.

Do you have legal cover? They might try to recover uninsured losses which could be deemed to include depreciation caused by the accident.

Ask the opinion of an Audi UK / an Audi dealer / independant inspector (AA/ RAC) re the veracity of such a repair and the effect it may have on the car's structural integrity and safety systems.

EDIT: Mods, perhaps this should be in discussion?

Edited by cheddar on 06/10/2008 at 15:49

2008 3.0 Insurance Rights? - bbroomlea{P}
I bought an MG TF last year that had been in a fairly hard bash early on in its life. I bought it at 4K miles and knew the history for 2K of those. I didnt notice that it had been in an accident when I bought it and neither did the previous owner as it had been repaired early on in its life by the insurance company.

I only noticed a problem when I found rust on the bottom of the sill and after taking it to several bodyshops they found that the sill, door, front wing, bumper and rear qtr panel had been repaired/replaced.

I felt a bit sick to be honest and got a full structural inspection and found the main structural bits had been repaired along manufacturers recommendations and all was well. I can only hope that both the insurance co and the company that checked the structural integrity know what they were doing!

I guess the point I am trying to make is, if it has been repaired correctly nobody will know its been in an accident and if its done to the correct repair procedure - it correctly replace the structural parts then I wouldnt be too worried. I would, however contact Audi and insist that it is repaired at the dealership that you bought it from. At least you will have the peace of mind that if Audi say it can be repaired, it will be done correctly to their engineers specs and procedures.
2008 3.0 Insurance Rights? - Paul G1pdc
What a shame, I hope you didn't suffer from much in the way of injuries....
I had an issue 3 years ago, where I had sold my lovely little ford puma to become a dad for the first time and I purchased a mondeo 8 months old from a main dealer.
It turned out the car upon me checking, needed recall work dating back to when it was almost new.
When the supplying dealer did this work they drove the car off the ramps with both passenger side doors open. Bending both doors.
The dealer said they would repair these doors.
The work I later found out was to involve slapping a load of body filler in my 8month old car and spraying over the lot....I mentioned that a car with slabs of filler in both doors will affect re-sale value in 3-5 years time when the paint starts to fade and the filler crack.. and the garage said it wouldn't. I commented that the managers Aston with filler in the doors would be affected in price....his reply was that his was a sports car and not a family car and its different. I contacted oxford trading standards and said I wanted metal doors, and the doors re-skinned they said as long as the doors looked like they did pre-accident then thats all the dealer has to do....mad....
the dealer repaired the doors,,,,what a bodge, when parked near a kerb instead of seeing a relefection of kerb stones in a paralllel line they wabbled all over the place and the paint was full of dust.....in the end after 2 months of DAILY emails and photos going back and forth the dealer bought the car back off me for private sale price not trade in price and then I bought a volvo (pre-ford ownership!!!) from a private seller.
good luck with your problem.
on another note, my inlaws friends had an A3 the sporty version that was only a few months old, during a house break in they also stole the car. the car was found 10hrs later thanks to the fitted tracker system the problem was the gits who pinched the car must have known about it, and trashed the interior trying to find it, they slashed the seats,carpets and even dashboard. the garage has said the repairs will be going through the insurance, but the owners don't want the car back, so have done a deal that when the car has been fixed they'll be getting another car....
2008 3.0 Insurance Rights? - Dynamic Dave
Moved across to Discussion where more of our legal eagles reside. DD.
2008 3.0 Insurance Rights? - jbif
Surely I am entitled to be enjoying what I originally paid for...

Read lower two-thirds of www.honestjohn.co.uk/faq/faq.htm?id=33


search google, limiting search to UK for:
diminution value car accident
[note correct spelling of diminution].

2008 3.0 Insurance Rights? - astrabob
A few years ago, I had an 18 month old Ford Escort, which I had bought new. Someone drove into the back of it. It was repaired, which included welding, at the insurer's repairers. A few years later, someone else drove into the back of it. It fell apart where it had been welded after the first accident.

If you examine your insurance policy, you may find that if the car is less than a year old and badly damaged, then it will be replaced by a new car. Clearly, if it repaired or replaced by your own insurers, you will not lose out because the third party have admitted liability.

The best of luck, but you do not want to accept a repaired car!
2008 3.0 Insurance Rights? - oldnotbold
What do your insurers say?
2008 3.0 Insurance Rights? - xbgt
Thank you all for all of your replies. As a result of this I have now asked the right questions, so thank you!

Essentially my insurers are saying, let the 3rd party insurers repair the car (as is their right to do). The damage is supposedly not as bad as it looks, however I have been to the repair shop this morning and had a good chat with the estimator who said they haven't taken any panels off to look behind to see the full extent of the damage and therefore the costs so far are only "estimated" based on what is visible to the eye. He said it with such a wry smile that the final costs will obviously escalate once they get into the meat of the job, put it on a jig and start cutting out metal. In many ways, who could blame the repair shop, they could probably do with the work (like all of us at the moment) and I am not holding them in anyway responsible for the car being either repaired or written off, they are just doing their job.

My insurers are essentially talking about going down the route of claiming for "diminution of value", which can only be established once the car has been repaired. Essentially a value is negotiated that is designed to recompsense the claimant for the "value" lost. This tends to be available more so to cars under 12 months old, prestige, sports and classic cars, that is not to say that a 4 year old family car would not also be applicable.

I think what we will be doing is taking the repaired car to an Audi dealer and getting a price on the car with them having full knowledge of the repairs and the accident that took place and ask them for a price that they would be willing to buy the car for and also a price for the car had the accident and subsequent repairs not occured.

What I shall then do is ask for the difference between what I can sell the car for and what it will cost to replace the car (like for like) from an Audi dealer. On this basis, assuming a like for like car is about £38K and they would offer £25Kish for the damage repaired car I will be looking for £13K diminution. Then I will actually sell the car, add the £13K in diminution and go and buy a 3 month old immaculate A5, like mine was. It would then seem fair to me that I have not been prejudiced or put to a disadvantage by some one who has clearly accepted responsibility and liability for the accident.

2008 3.0 Insurance Rights? - adverse camber
Who is going to be doing the repair?

I would be insisting on an audi dealer repairing on the basis that (a) it would maintain the warranty re bodywork and (b) might push the cost up sufficiently to make it a write off.
2008 3.0 Insurance Rights? - daveyjp
Audi dealer only for me too. Even if they farm it out I'd rather they deal with it. The A5 is a new car and quite rare. Very few will have been through a major rebuild job so trusting anyone other than the main dealer with it is a leap of faith.

I've seen the way a smart was 'repaired' after being put in the hands of an insurance company outfit rather than a smart specialist. After 12 months of messing around it was eventually written off.

Edited by daveyjp on 07/10/2008 at 13:07

2008 3.0 Insurance Rights? - pmh2
and go and buy a 3 month old immaculate A5, like mine was

and how are you going to check that the rplacement car has not been subject to any damage and repairs? The selling dealer cannot be relied upon to tell the whole story. If they take your car as a PE it will be interesting to see where and at what price it is resold.

If you look at some previous posts on the amount of damage repaired by dealers after delivery you may find that you are buying similar but unknown troubles!

Maybe the answer is to buy and collect from the factory production line, altho whether this option is available for Audis I do no know.

Edited by pmh2 on 07/10/2008 at 14:30

2008 3.0 Insurance Rights? - xbgt
Yes, it is with an Audi bodyshop... its going to be 6 weeks before the car sees daylight again... in the meantime I'm using an almost identical car on a loan car from Accident Exchange.

On this note, it appears that the person/s who has set this company up has found a great niche for themselves. Basically, they provided a near identical car within 3 hours of the accident delivered to my home address, rather than a low end rental car two weeks after the accident, once the insurance companies decide to kick in. Their pitch is that they will provide an equal or better car your own that was involved in the accident. They will also recover all of their costs from the 3rd party and if they do not manage to recover all of their costs from the 3rd party they have their own insurance programme that pays them out.

Sounds bizzare but from the way I see it essentially the 3rd party (who admits the liability) pays for this insurance product to protect Accident Exchange and its client (me), very clever. Meaning Accident Exchange give you a great car within hours of the accident and take all of the hassle and cost liability away from you (the client) and you keep the car until yours is returned.

I did look at the charges on the contract and thought they were horribly high (put it this way you could lease the car for a month for what they were charging for 2 days), but I am told these are normally negotiated downwards. But, so far, a great service and they are the only ones who appear to want to keep in contact. I guess they want to sell on their additional services such as repairs, negotiation, injuries etc... So, thumbs up Accident Exchange.
2008 3.0 Insurance Rights? - jbif
I did look at the charges on the contract and thought they were horribly high

note warning at bottom of HJ's FAQ



CREDIT HIRE: 39 separate FAQ answers and explanations (written from the point of view of the credit hire operators).

These are the people who fix you up with a car to keep you on the road while your car is being fixed, which can take 6 months or more if some parts are not available.

WARNING: The proliferation of aftercrash Credit Hire is costing insurers vast amounts of money and this is one of the main reasons for significant rises in Insurance Premiums. Nothing is for Nothing.

2008 3.0 Insurance Rights? - oldnotbold
No names, no pack drill, but there's another well-known name in the accident car hire business that's in dire straights because it can't re-coup the full hire charges on the cars it's giving out to people like the OP.

2008 3.0 Insurance Rights? - BobbyG
Would have thought the hire charges for an A5 to be charged against the third party might have been enough to sway it towards write-off? Or do they not know yet that these charges are heading their way?
2008 3.0 Insurance Rights? - jbif
.. the hire charges for an A5 to be charged against the third party might have been enough to sway it towards write-off?

Read the alleged case of a solicitor here:
"..... In November 2004 I was involved in a no-fault accident. I was driving a Merc SLK 350 that I'd bought just 3 weeks earlier, so I was not a happy bunny.
I reasoned that with such a new car it should go back to the main dealer for repairs, and took it to my local Merc dealer. They said that as part of the wonderful service given to the buyer of such a prestige vehicle they would arrange a replacement car of the same type at no expense to me, courtesy of a company called Accident Exchange.
Needless to say, I was mightily impressed, and true to their word a brand new SLK 350 was delivered to my door in no time at all.
I was obviously aware that it was technically a hire car, but I was again told by the rep who delivered the car that all the hire charges would be recovered from the other driver's insurers. In any event, being in the trade I knew that this was the standard practice of all credit hire companies. .....

I'd largely forgotten about it until last summer when I received a County Court Summons from ACE for approximately £24,000! On reading this it became clear that the total `hire' bill from ACE had amounted to no less than £29,378.67. ACE had `only' managed to screw £6,000 out of the insurers, and were (and technically still are) therefore suing me for the balance. ..... .... "

The above is a very heavily edited portion of a long thread. You must read it in full to get a true and fair picture. You have to judge yourself what if fact or fiction or opinion.

Edited by jbif on 07/10/2008 at 17:12

2008 3.0 Insurance Rights? - daveyjp
I read a similar tale in a local newspaper not that long ago. Owner stuffed for hire charges amounting to about £14,000.
2008 3.0 Insurance Rights? - Bill Payer
No names no pack drill but there's another well-known name in the accident car hire
business that's in dire straights because it can't re-coup the full hire charges on the
cars it's giving out to people like the OP.

They all have a very dodgy business model. You have a duty to minimise the insurers costs - no problem if you really need a particular type of vehicle but courts have found against people who have hired like for like when it wasn't deemed necessary.
2008 3.0 Insurance Rights? - mikeyb
I used the one in "dire" difficulties a couple of years back. Thought they were OK. Provided me with a brand new colt for about 5 weeks - think the bill was 900 - a little steep, but not to far OTT
2008 3.0 Insurance Rights? - rogue-trooper
When I had my old 325tds I was the innocent party in a crash. Went through the BMW dealer, who organised everything with the insurance companies and a brand new 325tds was loaned. Doesn't audi have a similar scheme that you could use?
2008 3.0 Insurance Rights? - Mapmaker
A friend of mine is a barrister who spends a great deal of her time in court acting in credit hire cases.

Inevitably the insurance company will not pay up the outrageous rates to the credit hire company. The main crux of the argument is that (because you are a reasonably well-off person) you would have been able to hire a car from Hertz at a sensible rate, and thus did not need a credit-hire car. The balance of the contract is dumped on the punter. Be very, very, very careful unless you are paid the minimum wage and your credit card is maxed out and you have no savings. Only then is it appropriate to hire a car at these outrageous rates - in exchange for not paying the bill up front.
2008 3.0 Insurance Rights? - Bill Payer
a brand new 325tds was loaned.

I'll be prepared to bet large amounts of money that it wasn't "loaned" - the other parties insurer will have been sent a hefty bill.
Doesn't audi have a similar scheme that you could use?

They all have similar schemes and I suspect the OP has gone through Audi as the car is at an Audi bodyshop. They're all basically agents for the accident management companies - they're keen for you to use the "Audi", "BMW" etc service as they get hefty commission.
2008 3.0 Insurance Rights? - jimbano
They all have similar schemes and I suspect the OP has gone through Audi as

the car is at an Audi bodyshop. They're all basically agents for the accident management
companies - they're keen for you to use the "Audi" "BMW" etc service as they
get hefty commission.


I used to work in an Audi bodyshop and a large percentage of the work was Accident Exchange related. If a customer came in for an estimate for a non-fault accident, they were talked round to using Accident Exchange, and before they knew it,the customer was driving away in a similar "loan" car whilst there own car would be repaired.

Accident Exchange offer to the dealer many forms of generous rewards for any dealer staff who introduces customers to them, one of which was a pair of concert tickets for Madonna at Cardiff's Millenium's Stadium, which one of the office girls recieved.

This just shows the profits to be made by Accident Exchange, but i can probably guess this is why all our insurance policy prices are that bit higher don't you think?

2008 3.0 Insurance Rights? - jimbano

Forgot to add in that the bodyshop in question changed the labour rates if they knew that the final bill was to be charged to Accident Exchange.

The usual labour rate was around £30ph for most insurance companies, but this increased to £45ph for Accident Exchange.They also grossly over-estimated but did'nt always fit all the estimated parts. FRAUD!!

Does'nt make it right, but this was normal practice at the Audi bodyshop i worked in.. could be normal practice everywhere, i don't know, but i have morals and i now work for an indy bodyshop.
2008 3.0 Insurance Rights? - bbroomlea{P}
>>Does'nt make it right, but this was normal practice at the Audi bodyshop i worked in.. could be normal practice everywhere, i don't know, but i have morals and i now work for an indy bodyshop.

This doesnt surprise me after my recent, and ongoing, problems with a particular Audi bodyshop. They want to be careful as they might get a reputation!! I certainly wont be buying a new Audi from my local dealer or getting mine/future one serviced there - Ever!
2008 3.0 Insurance Rights? - NowWheels
It's not just Audi.

A young man of my acquaintance had a job as a junior gopher in a Renault garage. In came a Clio which had been purchased only a few days before, but now had a dented front wing. The garage quoted £500 for a replacement, and when the customer had accepted the quote and gone, my young friend was handed a hairdryer. The wing is some sort of plastic, and after a quick warmup with the dryer it popped out again, good as new.

£500 for 5 minutes' work is, I think, about £6,000 per hour?
2008 3.0 Insurance Rights? - xbgt
This is proving more and more interesting...

1) I think that companies such as Accident Exchange are clearly displaying that Insurance Companies have not really got their stall sorted out. If there clearly was no need then the likes of Accident Exchange wouldn't exist. However, I think it is true to say that insurance companies tend to be very slow to react and as yet haven't worked out "deals" with suppliers (of say hire cars) in order to minimise costs for themselves and us all. It is on these occassions that I find insurance companies to be somewhat ignorant/arrogant knowing they can raise premiums in order to recover losses and leave everyone else to sort it out. Not what you would call service

2) I am talking with my insurer with regards the car that has been "loaned". Audi were very quick to recommend this and sort it out and equally say this was the best method, via AE and yet I remain concerned about the costs. I agree that all is not watertight with regards come back on me although the paperwork seems to state that if they do not recover all of the costs or partial costs from the 3rd party insurer then they have put an insurance policy in place that lets them recover the monies rather than from me. However, thinking about it some more there is no reason why the underwriters of this so called insurance couldn't try and subrogate the claim.


Value my car