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Direct Line dispute - over-valuing my car

in Motoring
23 replies 19.4K views
DettaWalkerDettaWalker Forumite
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My other half crashed our car and caused mostly cosmetic damage. As he hit another car we had to claim on our insurance.
After a few phone calls we knew the repairs would cost at least £1,500 pounds but our car isn't worth more than £1,000.
We called direct line and they told us that usually at 60% of the car's value the car would be written off. As I need this car for work and we only have one we arranged for a new used car and completed the transaction last week. The direct line garage now rang us back letting us know that the car will be repaired, it will take 3 weeks to do so.
Cost of repair: £1,800.
Value of the car £2,400.
When we rang back the insurance they told us that the 60% was misinformed and after listening to the recording again they said that while they mentioned 60% they didn't state it was guaranteed. They will continue with the repair and we'll pay the £400 excess.

There are two things we disagree with:
We believe 60% should never have been mentioned as a guideline or anything. Especially if its false information to begin with (this 60% rule is only used for new cars apparently).
We also disagree with the value of the car that they used to check for the cars market value.

This car is a Ford Mondeo Estate, 53 reg, 102k miles, petrol, with a broken air con and damage to the side where somebody else drove into our car but it was a hit and run (cosmetic damage only). Unfortunately the damage we caused was on the other side so it won't get repaired.

We did an evaluation of the car online and that came to £1,200. We also looked at auto trader and it seems that we can hope for £1,000 at best to get for our car.

Any advice what we can do?
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Replies

  • Repair or write off is a decision for the insurance company.
  • AnnieO1234AnnieO1234 Forumite
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    I suppose it's the reverse of proving a higher value.

    Find a handful of adverts for a vehicle that closely matches yours. Are you certain that the ads you've seen are for the same vehicle? Some mondeos do not have cam belts for example, which will increase their value.

    I think you'll be looking at selling one of the cars tbh. You just need to chalk this up to experience - you maybe should've just bought a cheap banger or rented till you had confirmation from the insurers.

    X
  • mad_richmad_rich Forumite
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    I'm not sure I understand the problem. I've never heard of anyone complaining that the insurance company paid out too much!

    You believe it's worth £1000. If the insurance company were to agree, and write it off, you would get £1k less the £400 excess = £600.

    Instead, they will repair the car for a £400 excess. You can then sell the car privately for £1000 and get £600. Even better, you might be able to sell it for more.

    Agree that you should have waited for absolute confirmation from the insurers before buying a second car. Did you not have a courtesy car option?
  • colinocolino Forumite
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    Unfortunately this is the other side of the business that the big insurance companies have created. Directline were the pioneers of signing up the best of the bodyshops all over the UK nearly 30 years ago and paying them fantastic, premium rates which eventually other big insurers copied and now they have the monopoly of the accident repairers. Now these companies virtually control, but don't have the overhead of owning these bodyshops, they have screwed down their prices to a ridiculous degree. Your car will be in a production line-like queue at the bodyshop, the total repair being two days max and the bodyshop will get a fraction of what they would have paid out to you as a total loss.
    Their pretending a value of £2400 and its getting an £1800 repair.
    Real world its getting a £500-600 repair and they would have paid out £800 to you as a total loss, saving them a nice couple of hundred.
    Like most things, we've ended up with what we pay for/deserve.
  • AndyPKAndyPK Forumite
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    I guess the problem us your going to end up with 2 cars and can't afford it or the excess.

    Have you purchased the 2nd or put deposite down.
  • vaiovaio Forumite
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    Get them to give you the £1800 repair cost (less excess obviously) instead of actually doing the repair
  • eddddyeddddy Forumite
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    vaio wrote: »
    Get them to give you the £1800 repair cost (less excess obviously) instead of actually doing the repair

    Agreed - except that the £1800 probably includes VAT, and they will deduct that from a cash settlement. So probably £1500 less excess.
  • property.advertproperty.advert Forumite
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    eddddy wrote: »
    Agreed - except that the £1800 probably includes VAT, and they will deduct that from a cash settlement. So probably £1500 less excess.

    Which is a swiz as the valuation doesn't include any VAT, it being paid by the first purchaser and not flowing down with the reducing value of the car, as per VAT reclaim rules from HMRC.
  • eddddy wrote: »
    Agreed - except that the £1800 probably includes VAT, and they will deduct that from a cash settlement. So probably £1500 less excess.

    I have no idea whether VAT even applies with insurance payouts. Lets say it does. Why should they withhold VAT? Car owner will have to pay VAT on the repairs so it should be paid out inclusive.
  • FlameCloudFlameCloud Forumite
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    I have no idea whether VAT even applies with insurance payouts. Lets say it does. Why should they withhold VAT? Car owner will have to pay VAT on the repairs so it should be paid out inclusive.

    A vat liability arises when a vat invoice is raised. At the point of settling the claim with cash, there is no invoice to pay the vat for. Also, what evidence do you have that the car will be repaired, and if it is, how do you know a vat registered business will do the work?
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