VW Golf - Crash - ajsdoc

So I've had my first crash today. I met a car on my side of the road, head on crash and then out gets a staggering drunken man who failed the breathalyser and was charged at the scene...

I'm happy to be all fine and the man is insured so all OK.

My question is that I'm almost certain that my beloved 8 year old, 92k, full service history, previously immaculate Golf will be written off.

They will, I suppose offer me an amount, how do I know the amount to accept? (whatever the offer I know the car was worth more to me than they'll offer - I was aiming for high mileage and am devastated!)

I've done a Glass valuation which shows wildly different prices re trade in price, private sale, dealer sale etc. I assume it should be retail price that I'm given.

The car was pristine and I have all service history and every receipt for all work ever done on it. How do I ensure I get a fair settlement and not offered short??

All advice appreciated.

VW Golf - Crash - gfewster

They rules say they have to pay the market value - what it would cost to purchase an equivalent car.

Negotiate hard, do not take the first offer, and don't come to an agreement until you are happy with the amount.

It helps to gather evidence to support your demands. Find adverts for similar cars on AutoTrader, etc. You can also cite the condition being immaculate, the history being known, the servicing being meticulous, etc - and use this to argue up from what similar cars are being advertised from. Anything you can show to support what you think your car was worth before the accident, show it. You can certainly argue that you need to be compensated for the 'uncertainty' involved in purchasing another similar car.

Above all, remember THEY DO NOT GET TO DECIDE THE PAYOUT. They need your agreement.

As an alternative, if you know a reasonably-priced repair garage then try and get a private quote to fix it for cash in hand with no insurance involvement. You might find that the amount is lower than the write-off threshold (the repairers estimate will always be much higher when the insurers request it, for a variety of reasons that I won't go into). Then you can ask the insurers for cash in lieu of repairs and just pay to have it fixed.

VW Golf - Crash - LucyBC

You will probably be offered far short of what you consider as the value. There are various options inclding buying the car back in but these are fraught with difficulties as if not done in a certain way it will be listed as a category D write off and hence worth much less if you sell it.

If you want to give me full details of the collision, your contact details and those of the other driver I will be happy to advise further.

VW Golf - Crash - ajsdoc

Thanks Lucy, however would be uncomfortable giving such details on a public forum. I see you are linked closely to the HJ website and have given lots of what appears to be very sound advice. Can you confirm the capacity in which you work (are you funded by HJ for example to give advice)?? Do you work for an accident management company, etc, etc?

VW Golf - Crash - Andy P

Look on Autotrader for a similar model from a dealer - then you can tell your insurance company how much it will cost to put you back in the same position you were before the crash.

VW Golf - Crash - Westpig

There are various options inclding buying the car back in but these are fraught with difficulties as if not done in a certain way it will be listed as a category D write off and hence worth much less if you sell it.

You don't have to agree to 'buying it back' if you already own it. If you never surrender the ownership of the vehicle to the insurance company, then they'll never own it and if you continue to own it and haven't authorised it, then how can they declare it written off?

If you want to repair it, firmly and politely stick to your guns and insist they recompense you to either the repair cost or the market value, whichever is less.

I have done this in the past with my now classic car before I had it on a classic policy. The call handlers at the insurance company just stick to a script, you'll need to get to a manager. Never let them forget that you own the car, so you decide what happens to it, end of story.

Good Luck.

VW Golf - Crash - ajsdoc

Thanks for everyone's advice, it's food for thought. Was a fairly bad crash - lots of damage so perhaps best if written off. I'm peeved as I've been meticulous with it's servicing/timing belt changes had new (quality) tyres on last week - it was to be the car I was aiming for high mileages on (it was bought years ago as a "keeper" and I've really looked after it). It was booked for it's second timing belt/water pump replacement next week, which is a small mercy - I'd have been gutted for it to be written off after!!

I know this means little to the insurer, and why should it. My problem is how do you value the knowledge that all was well looked after with high quality parts by a high quality mechanic who you trust?

I'm very peeved a drunk has caused me such inconvenience. I'll hold out for the best price but I'm a realist and know a great car to me is just another car to someone else!

Thanks for the advice.


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