Sold a car that's been written off, where do I stand legally? Watch

mcgreevy1993
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Hi,

I was involved in a car accident last week and my vehicle was very badly damaged despite it being a crash at 10mph and I got whiplash.

My insurance called me today to say, they were going to write my car off - but the car had already been written off the year before!! I purchased the car 6 weeks ago (bad luck I know) and the woman gave me 2 years worth of service history - but did not declare it as written off or said it been in accident. But surely if it was repaired it should have had this info?

The insurance said that the damage was signicantly worse because the car had been damaged previously so the body was weakened. Also my injuries were worse because of less protection from cars framework.

I've still got the woman's number I bought it off. But I'm not sure where I stand legally with this. Surely you should declare it as a write off??

Advice would be welcome please.
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Good bloke
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(Original post by mcgreevy1993)
Hi,

I was involved in a car accident last week and my vehicle was very badly damaged despite it being a crash at 10mph and I got whiplash.

My insurance called me today to say, they were going to write my car off - but the car had already been written off the year before!! I purchased the car 6 weeks ago (bad luck I know) and the woman gave me 2 years worth of service history - but did not declare it as written off or said it been in accident. But surely if it was repaired it should have had this info?

The insurance said that the damage was signicantly worse because the car had been damaged previously so the body was weakened. Also my injuries were worse because of less protection from cars framework.

I've still got the woman's number I bought it off. But I'm not sure where I stand legally with this. Surely you should declare it as a write off??

Advice would be welcome please.
Contact your local Citizens's Advice Bureau and get advice on suing the vendor.
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mcgreevy1993
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(Original post by Good bloke)
Contact your local Citizens's Advice Bureau and get advice on suing the vendor.
It's a private seller though?
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Good bloke
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(Original post by mcgreevy1993)
It's a private seller though?
So? She has your money. You may be able to get it back. Get authoritative advice; you won't be charged for it.
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IWMTom
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(Original post by mcgreevy1993)
Hi,

I was involved in a car accident last week and my vehicle was very badly damaged despite it being a crash at 10mph and I got whiplash.

My insurance called me today to say, they were going to write my car off - but the car had already been written off the year before!! I purchased the car 6 weeks ago (bad luck I know) and the woman gave me 2 years worth of service history - but did not declare it as written off or said it been in accident. But surely if it was repaired it should have had this info?

The insurance said that the damage was signicantly worse because the car had been damaged previously so the body was weakened. Also my injuries were worse because of less protection from cars framework.

I've still got the woman's number I bought it off. But I'm not sure where I stand legally with this. Surely you should declare it as a write off??

Advice would be welcome please.
If it has already been written off previously as Category C, it should have been listed on the logbook. Is it? This is a relatively moot point, but it's something you probably should have noticed when buying the car. Always do a HPI check on any car you purchase, even if just for peace of mind.

As far as I'm concerned, this is a blatant misrepresentation of goods as per the Misrepresentation Act 1967. As above, consult CAB.

Private seller or not, they have a legal duty to ensure all the facts are represented in full - the previous write-off is a serious material fact that should have been disclosed to you.
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mcgreevy1993
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(Original post by IWMTom)
If it has already been written off previously as Category C, it should have been listed on the logbook. Is it? This is a relatively moot point, but it's something you probably should have noticed when buying the car. Always do a HPI check on any car you purchase, even if just for peace of mind.

As far as I'm concerned, this is a blatant misrepresentation of goods as per the Misrepresentation Act 1967. As above, consult CAB.

Private seller or not, they have a legal duty to ensure all the facts are represented in full - the previous write-off is a serious material fact that should have been disclosed to you.
I will double check the log book, but too me it looks pretty standard. I'm going to seek legal advice on the matter I think as the log book still contains her details to take it further.

The worst thing is, the police came to the crash (as my car was in a state) and everyone was convinced I was going faster because of the damage to my car. The only thing that saved me from a driving fine was the fact the other car drove their car home and the air bags didn't go off. We couldn't work out why my car had faced so much damaged and I'd suffered injuries until today when the insurance informed me the car was only in a crash last year!!

It's such a sick thing to do and obviously very annoyed. Will do HPI check in future so lesson learned, but I just wanted to know where I stand legally with this woman who has sold me a car under the impression it had never been in an accident (the question was asked on sale also)
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IWMTom
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(Original post by mcgreevy1993)
I will double check the log book, but too me it looks pretty standard. I'm going to seek legal advice on the matter I think as the log book still contains her details to take it further.

The worst thing is, the police came to the crash (as my car was in a state) and everyone was convinced I was going faster because of the damage to my car. The only thing that saved me from a driving fine was the fact the other car drove their car home and the air bags didn't go off. We couldn't work out why my car had faced so much damaged and I'd suffered injuries until today when the insurance informed me the car was only in a crash last year!!

It's such a sick thing to do and obviously very annoyed. Will do HPI check in future so lesson learned, but I just wanted to know where I stand legally with this woman who has sold me a car under the impression it had never been in an accident (the question was asked on sale also)
I believe it's on the front page if it was ever declared Category C (I don't believe Cat D will show up though, but this shouldn't be the category given major damage).

Was the previous owner definitely the owner of the car when it was written off? It is possible (although probably unlikely) that she didn't know either!

The fact you asked her to categorically confirm it has never been written off means you have a damn good case; you're probably entitled to damages too.
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mcgreevy1993
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(Original post by IWMTom)
I believe it's on the front page if it was ever declared Category C (I don't believe Cat D will show up though, but this shouldn't be the category given major damage).

Was the previous owner definitely the owner of the car when it was written off? It is possible (although probably unlikely) that she didn't know either!

The fact you asked her to categorically confirm it has never been written off means you have a damn good case; you're probably entitled to damages too.
I've checked the log book and there's nothing on the front. it was crashed in June and she bought it in August last year. All I know my insurance did a HPI check and found the car to be written off last year by a previous insurer yeah I did - but is she still liable or the previous owner who crashed it? Now I'm not sure??
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IWMTom
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(Original post by mcgreevy1993)
I've checked the log book and there's nothing on the front. it was crashed in June and she bought it in August last year. All I know my insurance did a HPI check and found the car to be written off last year by a previous insurer yeah I did - but is she still liable or the previous owner who crashed it? Now I'm not sure??
If she genuinely didn't know it had been written off, your case get's complicated. This is definitely one for CAB or a solicitor, but I'd hazard a guess that the previous owner would have to try and recover money from the previous owner before her, and then give it to you.

Unfortunately, it might be that she didn't misrepresent anything, and she's been caught in the middle of an awful situation.
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CurlyBen
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(Original post by IWMTom)
Private seller or not, they have a legal duty to ensure all the facts are represented in full - the previous write-off is a serious material fact that should have been disclosed to you.
No they don't. If the question was asked and the answer was no that would be misrepresentation (provided the seller knew), but there's no obligation on a private seller to disclose information.

Of course an interesting avenue to explore would be whether, given the apparently seriously compromised structure, it was appropriate to assign it to category C rather than B... but that's probably an expensive legal fight.
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IWMTom
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(Original post by CurlyBen)
No they don't. If the question was asked and the answer was no that would be misrepresentation (provided the seller knew), but there's no obligation on a private seller to disclose information.

Of course an interesting avenue to explore would be whether, given the apparently seriously compromised structure, it was appropriate to assign it to category C rather than B... but that's probably an expensive legal fight.
Apologies, you are correct - it's only when OP asked the seller did it become a legal responsibility to declare. Touché, CB.
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YaliaV
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(Original post by CurlyBen)
No they don't. If the question was asked and the answer was no that would be misrepresentation (provided the seller knew), but there's no obligation on a private seller to disclose information.

Of course an interesting avenue to explore would be whether, given the apparently seriously compromised structure, it was appropriate to assign it to category C rather than B... but that's probably an expensive legal fight.
Surely there's an implication that a car is fit to be driven unless stated otherwise? Not many people would want to pay a small fortune for junk.

If a car has been written off, then how is it possible to obtain insurance for it anyway? I thought there would be a notification process.
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King Leonidas
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Reserved.

Want to keep an eye on this thread, good luck OP.
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Tubbz
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(Original post by YaliaV)
Surely there's an implication that a car is fit to be driven unless stated otherwise? Not many people would want to pay a small fortune for junk.

If a car has been written off, then how is it possible to obtain insurance for it anyway? I thought there would be a notification process.
Depends on the type of write off.

A - Next to nothing left
B - Not fit to go back on the road
C - Major Damage but safely repairable
D - Just uneconomic to repair as far as insurers are concerned

So a CAT C write off would just be assumed to have been repaired, but there will always be a weakness.
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sadiuasdasd
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dw man i got you
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storm95
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who was doing 10mph?
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CurlyBen
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(Original post by YaliaV)
Surely there's an implication that a car is fit to be driven unless stated otherwise? Not many people would want to pay a small fortune for junk.

If a car has been written off, then how is it possible to obtain insurance for it anyway? I thought there would be a notification process.
A written off car isn't worthless junk. Cosmetic damage may make it economically unviable to return to its original condition, without affecting its ability to be driven safely on the road.

(Original post by Tubbz)
C - Major Damage but safely repairable
D - Just uneconomic to repair as far as insurers are concerned

So a CAT C write off would just be assumed to have been repaired, but there will always be a weakness.
No. Cat C damage isn't necessarily major or structural, but expensive to repair. If it's too badly damaged to be brought back to its original structural integrity it should be a category B write off, not category C. There should not be remaining weakness.

(Original post by mcgreevy1993)

The insurance said that the damage was signicantly worse because the car had been damaged previously so the body was weakened. Also my injuries were worse because of less protection from cars framework.

I've still got the woman's number I bought it off. But I'm not sure where I stand legally with this. Surely you should declare it as a write off??
Does the V5 show when the previous owner bought it? If she was the owner at the time it was written off (and therefore she can't claim ignorance if its condition) you have a pretty strong case against her, as it's a criminal offence to sell an unroadworthy car. If she doesn't back down in a hurry at that point I'd probably go and get a legal consultation as you could potentially sue her for compensation for your injuries as well as for the value of the car. Does your insurance include legal advice? And is your insurance company paying up for your car?
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Tubbz
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(Original post by CurlyBen)
No. Cat C damage isn't necessarily major or structural, but expensive to repair. If it's too badly damaged to be brought back to its original structural integrity it should be a category B write off, not category C. There should not be remaining weakness.
That's why I said major damage, rather than repairable structural damage. If it is structural, there is a weakness, that's a given. You can take PMs to reduce the weakness but you won't remove it.

Anything on older cars that makes it uneconomical to repair generally is given CAT C, such as multiple panel damage.
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IWMTom
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(Original post by CurlyBen)
A written off car isn't worthless junk. Cosmetic damage may make it economically unviable to return to its original condition, without affecting its ability to be driven safely on the road.


No. Cat C damage isn't necessarily major or structural, but expensive to repair. If it's too badly damaged to be brought back to its original structural integrity it should be a category B write off, not category C. There should not be remaining weakness.


Does the V5 show when the previous owner bought it? If she was the owner at the time it was written off (and therefore she can't claim ignorance if its condition) you have a pretty strong case against her, as it's a criminal offence to sell an unroadworthy car. If she doesn't back down in a hurry at that point I'd probably go and get a legal consultation as you could potentially sue her for compensation for your injuries as well as for the value of the car. Does your insurance include legal advice? And is your insurance company paying up for your car?
One of OPs more recent replies mentions the previous owner wasn't the owner at the time the vehicle was written off - things are going to get complicated here.
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YaliaV
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(Original post by CurlyBen)
A written off car isn't worthless junk. Cosmetic damage may make it economically unviable to return to its original condition, without affecting its ability to be driven safely on the road.


No. Cat C damage isn't necessarily major or structural, but expensive to repair. If it's too badly damaged to be brought back to its original structural integrity it should be a category B write off, not category C. There should not be remaining weakness.


Does the V5 show when the previous owner bought it? If she was the owner at the time it was written off (and therefore she can't claim ignorance if its condition) you have a pretty strong case against her, as it's a criminal offence to sell an unroadworthy car. If she doesn't back down in a hurry at that point I'd probably go and get a legal consultation as you could potentially sue her for compensation for your injuries as well as for the value of the car. Does your insurance include legal advice? And is your insurance company paying up for your car?
It isn't necessarily junk, but structural damage could obviously be really serious. I think it's immoral if the person doesn't inform you and it should be against the law. The Op could have been seriously injured and whiplash is bad enough.
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