So you’ve made it out alive, but your car is in tatters and the insurance company has just told you that your car is a write-off. Once yours has been classified as a car written off it doesn’t necessary mean that you’ll never see it again.
Your Car Written Off Assessment
Your insurance company will send your car to a garage of their choice and it will be their mechanic that has decided that it will cost more than your car is worth to repair. At this stage you can chose to have an independent mechanic look at the car and re-evaluate the original report, this is something that you will have to arrange yourself and you might incur a small cost.
If you’re car is a definite write-off your insurance company will then contact you and offer you what they call, ‘the book value.’ You DO NOT have to accept this initial offer, but you’ll need to be prepared. Go online and look at well known reputable car sellers, such as Auto Trader. Try to find the same model, make and year with similar mileage and see how much it is being sold for. This will give you an idea of what your car is worth and what you can expect.
Play Hardball or You’ll loose Out!
Always reject the first offer that your insurance company proposes, most insurers will expect you to haggle with them. Direct them towards your online estimates, it will show that you’ve done your research, don’t forget to add extras or special features your car might have had and also what condition your car was in before the accident.
Once you’ve agreed on an amount, your insurance should send you a cheque for the total amount, at this time you need to claim back any road tax that may be due to you. In an ideal situation, before your car was taken away you would have removed everything from the car, including your TAX DISC. However, don’t worry if you don’t have the tax disc you can still claim your money back.
If you do not have your tax disc contact the DVLA and get a V33 form sent to you. If you have your tax disc go to gov.uk and fill out the online V14 form, again you should receive a cheque for any remaining months.
You’ll also need to make a SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification), this basically tells the DLVA the vehicle has been scrapped and is no longer on the road. You can either fill out the SORN section on your V5C registration certificate and pop it in the post or if you are the registered the keeper, you can fill out the form online, but you will still need the reference number on your V5C registration certificate.
This step is really important as it releases you from any responsibility as the car’s owner and will stop you receiving a hefty fine and possible court order.
Other Insurance Items If You Had Your Car Written Off
Finally if you pay your insurance annually and your car has been written off before the year is up, then you might be entitled to a discount if you insure your new car with them, so it’s well worth asking. Unfortunately the majority of insurance companies will not refund you for any remaining months on the policy.
It’s a hassle writing your car off, but once you’ve agreed on an amount with your insurer, it can be wrapped up in a very short amount of time. Earlier this year my car was written-off and once the car had been given the once over by a mechanic and officially declared not road worthy, it only took a week to agree on an amount and receive a cheque!
- Anna Vaccaro