Can I drive

I was involved in an accident. From the Dashcam footage, it was super-clear to my own insurance (Axa) that the other driver is at fault. However, the other insurer (Haven) has a bad reputation for taking it too long to respond or admit liability.

My current status: My insurance has decided that the car is a "potential total loss" and has asked Copart to assess the damage. They have the images, and their engineering team is going to respond to me in few days regarding whether it's going to be written off, it's category (S/N), and the offer for the Pre-Accident Value of my car.

Why I am not getting a courtesy car: I am receiving very mixed signals from my insurance (Axa) and its partners regarding getting a courtesy car so I decided not to get one. Axa uses Enterprise Rent-A-Car for providing courtesy cars. But both Axa and Enterprise say that it's best that I don't take the courtesy car until they receive official acceptance of liability from the other insurrer (Haven), and they admit it is very difficult to get an answer from the other insurer. They suggest that in case the other insurer does not pay, then I need to pay the cost of hiring the car myself. More importantly, neither Axa nor Enterprise are accepting to take my claims for the parking (because my street parking from the council is tied to my numberplate). so I cannot claim costs of parking, which is about £70 per week. Basically, no courtesy car option as it is too costly and too risky.


My question: My car is still driveable and roadworthy in my opinion. I want to know exactly if I am allowed to drive my car in these three stages: 

1) Right now, while Copart's Engineering team is assessing my car and its value.  

2) The period between the time they inform me about the category of the car and their initial offer for the value of the car until I accept the offer. I assume this can take time if I challenge the offer and provide evidence that it is worth more.

3) The period from the time I accept the offer, until they collect the car from me (assuming I don't / they don't offer buying back the salvage).


For stage 1 (that I'm in, atm):  I previously asked Axa about whether I can use the car for now, they said you can drive it if the car is roadworthy. I asked Copart if I can drive it, they said we don't recommend it and probably you shouldn't do it because it is potentially a total loss. When I asked for clarification, Copart's operator said he doesn't really know. Again, mixed signals.

Not sure what to do about stage 2, which could start at any moment (they will call me some time this week).

 

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Comments

  • Sorry for the title of the post. It was supposed to be "Can I drive my car while it is being examined by Copart?"
  • Brie
    Brie Posts: 9,256
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    I'd be worried that if the car is assessed as not being roadworthy (rather than a write off which is different) then you might invalidate your insurance should anything else happen.

    I would certainly go on to autotrader and look to see what "your" car is selling for there.  When I had an accident a few years back the amount I was offered was a fraction of what I'd paid for the car (25%) and by finding one very similar I was able to get them to boost their offer significantly (75%).  They said it was a write off due to the cost of repairs versus cost of the car but because it was still road worthy I was able to keep the car and drove it for another couple of years.  And then sold it for a few hundred ££ for scrap.  
    "Never retract, never explain, never apologise; get things done and let them howl.”
  • Brie said:
    I'd be worried that if the car is assessed as not being roadworthy (rather than a write off which is different) then you might invalidate your insurance should anything else happen.
    I haven’t been told that my car is not roadworthy. 

    In my opinion, the car is fine. It just has a dent on the body (driver side) and scratches on the wheel. I believe the reason they deemed it a potential loss is that it is over 15 years old.

    My main concern is until when I am the owner of the car, and until when can I drive it? For example, at the very moment that they call me (soon) and tell me they decided that the car is Cat N (or S), can I still use and drive my car while I negotiate the Pre-accidental Value and Salvage value?
  • Car_54
    Car_54 Posts: 8,124
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    Brie said:
    I'd be worried that if the car is assessed as not being roadworthy (rather than a write off which is different) then you might invalidate your insurance should anything else happen.
    I haven’t been told that my car is not roadworthy. 

    In my opinion, the car is fine. It just has a dent on the body (driver side) and scratches on the wheel. I believe the reason they deemed it a potential loss is that it is over 15 years old.

    My main concern is until when I am the owner of the car, and until when can I drive it? For example, at the very moment that they call me (soon) and tell me they decided that the car is Cat N (or S), can I still use and drive my car while I negotiate the Pre-accidental Value and Salvage value?
    The car is still your property until they pay you.
  • daveyjp
    daveyjp Posts: 12,383
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    No problem driving it as long as it is still roadworthy, no sharp edges etc etc.If the damage is as minor as you say try and get a third party bodyshop to quote for a repair and ask the third party to pay that amount to avoid a write off.
  • daveyjp said:
    No problem driving it as long as it is still roadworthy, no sharp edges etc etc.If the damage is as minor as you say try and get a third party bodyshop to quote for a repair and ask the third party to pay that amount to avoid a write off.
    The other driver refused to pay a penny. I have already triggered the insurance claim and that seems to be the only option.
  • Aretnap
    Aretnap Posts: 5,135
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    Assuming that the car is roadworthy, the main issue with continuing to drive it is that assuming it's a write-oft, at some point the insurance policy will lapse, as most policies come to an end when the insurer pays out for a total loss. However your insurer will tell you when this happens - you policy remains valid until they tell you that it isn't.
  • daveyjp
    daveyjp Posts: 12,383
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    daveyjp said:
    No problem driving it as long as it is still roadworthy, no sharp edges etc etc.If the damage is as minor as you say try and get a third party bodyshop to quote for a repair and ask the third party to pay that amount to avoid a write off.
    The other driver refused to pay a penny. I have already triggered the insurance claim and that seems to be the only option.
    Apologies for lack of clarity,  it should say 'third party insurance company'.  They can pick up the tab on behalf of their policyholder if they accept their policyholder is 100% at fault,
  • Ectophile
    Ectophile Posts: 7,226
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    As a driver, it's your responsibility to ensure that the car you're driving is roadworthy.  Not anybody else's decision.  So if you're happy that the damage is cosmetic, and the car is roadworthy, then you can drive it.

    You do have another route to consider.  That's cancelling your claim with Axa, getting the car fixed privately, and then suing the other driver for the cost of the repairs (which, in practice, is suing their insurers, but you send the initial claim to the other driver).  I'm not saying I recommend doing this, but it is another option to consider.
    If it sticks, force it.
    If it breaks, well it wasn't working right anyway.
  • Car_54
    Car_54 Posts: 8,124
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    Ectophile said:
    As a driver, it's your responsibility to ensure that the car you're driving is roadworthy.  Not anybody else's decision.  So if you're happy that the damage is cosmetic, and the car is roadworthy, then you can drive it.
    Whether the car is roadworthy is ultimately a question for a court , not the driver’s opinion.
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