How To Check If A Car Has Been In An Accident

A lot can happen to a car during its lifetime and, unless it occurs under your ownership, you’re unlikely to get proper report of any unpleasant goings-on from someone who’s trying to sell the vehicle. In the worst cases, for example, you might even find that a driver who wants to offload their car or van could be hiding the fact that it’s previously been involved in a nasty accident. Is there another way to check a car’s history? Well, yes! Let Scrap Car Comparison explain how you can find out if that car you’re interested in has been involved in an accident.

If your car has been in an accident and now you’re the one trying to get rid of it, don’t panic – Scrap Car Comparison has buyers willing to take any vehicle, no matter what condition it’s in. Our network of scrap specialists spans 99% of the UK, meaning that wherever you might be, we can find you the best offer on the market, with free collection included as standard! That’s right – sell your car or van with us and we’ll pick it up and take it away without setting you back a single penny! It’s total profit in your pocket when you sell your car with Scrap Car Comparison, so call 03333 44 99 50 or use our scrap car price calculator to find out how much money you could earn today!

What To Check To See If Your Car Has Been Involved In An Accident

There is a list of things that you can check to learn more about any vehicle that you might end up buying. One of the most thorough ways of finding out about a car is to undertake a HPI check, which is the fastest and easiest way of gathering large amounts of information about any vehicle.

These checks do cost a small amount of money (don’t be tempted by websites offering free HPI checks – these will almost certainly be illegitimate) but they can reveal a whole host of details about the car in question, including whether it’s stolen, has been written off, is currently on finance and even how many owners it has really had.

HPI checks don’t check absolutely everything though, and they can’t inform you of every single accident that the vehicle you’re looking at has been involved in. It is possible to request more information from the DVLA, but you have to have what they deem a good reason to do so. Similarly, you could enquire about a vehicle’s history with its insurance company, but then you’d have to figure out which one it’s covered by.

There are also physical checks that you can complete to get a better picture of the vehicle’s history. Taking the car for a test drive would be the most hands-on way of assessing the car’s performance and picking up on anything that doesn’t feel normal. You could also check the vehicle’s engine number, combining this with the one on the car’s record, to prove that this crucial component hasn’t been replaced at any point. If it has, it might be worth asking why.

What Happens If I’ve Bought An Undeclared Insurance Write-off Car?

The first thing to do is to report your find to the DVLA so that they can investigate any previous owners and find out what might have happened. However, you might find that this opens a can of worms that leaves you without a car.

That’s because there are two categories – which we’ve covered in-depth elsewhere in our blog – that are not legally allowed to be on the road. If you find out that your car was written-off and given an A or B classification, then stop driving it immediately. The reason it was given either of those particular categories is because it was deemed unsafe to ever put back on the road, no matter how much time and money was put into repairing it.

If your car was written-off and given ‘Cat S’ or ‘Cat N’, then you can take solace in the fact that it’s still driveable, at least. However, the perceived value of your vehicle just plummeted and you have the unexpected responsibility of informing any future buyers that it’s been written-off if you try to sell it yourself. Struggling to sell it privately? Come to Scrap Car Comparison, where we take any vehicle – write-off or not!

It would also be wise to get the vehicle serviced as soon as possible, just in case there are any hidden issues that have lay dormant since the mystery accident.

Is My Car Road-legal If It Was An Insurance Write-off?

As we mentioned above, your car has a 50/50 chance of still being road legal after it’s been written off. If it is categorised as A or B (scrap or break, respectively) then the car will never be road-legal, no matter what happens next. If it is given Category S or N (structural or non-structural, respectively) then it can be repaired and, once safe, put back on the road legally.

Can I Insure My Car If It Was Previously Written Off By A Different Owner?

Yes, you can get insurance for a written-off car, but it might be more difficult and much more expensive to find a company willing to offer you a policy. Any damage that the vehicle has suffered will be taken into account by a prospective insurer and, if they determine that it’s made the car more susceptible to breakdowns or other further damage, expect a price hike.

Does The Seller Need To Disclose Previous Accident History?

If you’re buying from a private seller, they can get away with not informing you about any history of damage or incidents. It’s morally wrong, of course, but there’s unlikely to be any way of proving that they deliberately misled you.

Professional, established car dealerships need to follow slightly different rules though. If they were to knowingly sell you a car that had been in an accident without disclosing it to you, then they could be accused of breaking trading standards.
If your car is ready to go to the scrap yard, whether it’s previously written-off, freshly crashed or even just a bit dated, Scrap Car Comparison’s licensed Authorised Treatment Facilities know exactly how to properly dispose of it, while our sales team can monitor the market to keep track of just how much your vehicle is worth! We’ll find you the best price from local scrap dealers who will even collect every car or van from you at no extra cost. That’s right – free collection, all across the UK, with no hidden fees anywhere! Call 03333 44 99 50 or use our scrap car price calculator today to find out what your old car or van is worth.

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