Crashed cars

It is an offence under consumer protection law for a trader to give false, misleading or deceptive information about the history of a car, for example, if the car was previously involved in a crash or recorded as an insurance ‘write-off’.

Crashed cars could turn out to be both dangerous and expensive for the buyer. If you’re not aware that the car was previously crashed, then you can’t judge the real condition of the car and parts that you think should be in good working order might be at the point where they are about to fail.

Insurance ‘write-offs’ can legitimately be allowed back on the road depending on the category of the write off. For more information on write offs please visit the RSA website.

Always have an engineer or mechanic you trust check out a used car before you buy and carry out a history check to find out if it has been crashed.

What should I do before I buy a car?

You should only buy a car once you are fully satisfied that the car is roadworthy and any repairs carried out on the car are to a high standard. You should not be at a financial loss because you bought a crashed car. It is important that you satisfy yourself about the condition of the car by asking certain questions and carrying out these important checks before you buy:

  • Carry out a comprehensive history check through online websites
  • Get a mechanic you trust to inspect the car before you buy it
  • Ask the trader of seller if they have a copy of their own vehicle inspection report
  • If you are buying from a garage consider buying a car that comes with a warranty for additional peace of mind. Ensure you confirm what the warranty covers.

Use our car buyers checklist to help you know exactly what to look out for before you buy a car.

I think I bought a crashed car, what should I do?

If you suspect that the car you bought has been previously crashed, it is very important that you get a mechanic you trust or an independent assessor to check out the car and its history. You should also report it to us as soon as possible, any delays in reporting it may affect our ability to investigate the trader. We cannot investigate a suspected crashed car if you have had it for more than three years.

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