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  • FIRST POST
    • juliebunny
    • By juliebunny 14th May 18, 9:25 AM
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    juliebunny
    Mechanic Set Fire to my Car
    • #1
    • 14th May 18, 9:25 AM
    Mechanic Set Fire to my Car 14th May 18 at 9:25 AM
    I have an old Fiesta, 2001, insurance company valued her at 220 in my last renewal (April). I guess that valuation assumed MOT. She was coming up for MOT and needed some work doing including welding which was going to cost 500. I'm sure I'm not the first person to become over attached to a very reliable car after 15 years so I booked her in to be fixed.


    Whilst she was being welded she caught fire and has sustained damage inside. Now needs a new back seat, interior door, respray to one panel, new seatbelt, and inside roof, probably a few other bits. In other words, she's a 'write off', I were to claim on insurance (which wouldn't be worth it on my policy as the excess is more than that.)


    He has never offered any sort of reparation or even an apology. He just offered to get rid of her for me, so understandably I'm pretty miffed.


    Another Fiesta enthusiastic is going to come out and give me a quote for fixing the fire damage and completing the other repairs and then I'll decide whether she should be kept or go to be 'recycled'.


    My question is whether my mechanic can be held liable in any way to compensate me? Whether or not it would be worth the agro is another question. If so, would that be up to the value of the car or the value of the repairs?


    We buy any car offered me 175 but there wasn't any section to tell them she didn't have any MOT so not sure how valid that holds (MOT runs out this week.)
    Scrap guy has offered 100.


    TIA for any advice.
    Less stuff, more life, love, laughter and cats!
    Even if I'm on the shopping threads, it doesn't mean I'm buying! Sometimes it's good to just look and then hit the CLOSE button!
Page 2
    • treboeth
    • By treboeth 15th May 18, 12:15 AM
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    treboeth
    How on earth do you know that?
    Originally posted by Car 54

    Iss obveeusss init Op`s name is Julie bunny


    https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=men+called+julie&oq=men+called+julie&aqs= chrome..69i57.6364j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8
    • Car 54
    • By Car 54 15th May 18, 12:51 AM
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    Car 54
    And I'm obviously an automobile.
    • missile
    • By missile 15th May 18, 9:28 AM
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    missile
    We've established that it was worth only its scrap value. Say 100. Is that worth going to court for?

    Even if the OP gets judgement, it doesn't mean he'll get the money.
    Originally posted by Car 54
    It is worth 200 .... That may be small change to you

    He (or she ) has a business and his welding gear will be worth more than 200. Can't pay, we'll take it away
    "A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members." ~ Mahatma Gandhi
    Ride hard or stay home
    • juliebunny
    • By juliebunny 15th May 18, 9:29 AM
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    juliebunny

    Judging by your post the Fiesta isn't anything special, I'm sure the only sporting Fiesta round that year was the Zetec-S so its not any XR-RS that'll be worth thousands of pounds.
    Originally posted by jlemaitre

    Special only to me unfortunately as I got her with only 6K miles on the clock 15 years ago.

    I've collected her from the garage now, I don't want anything to do with him any more. He was trying to 'help me' buy another car through someone he knows, but I'm just not interested any more - we were 'sort of' friends before this, he's been in hospital last year and we'd been keeping in touch, as I felt bad for him because he doesn't really have any family and only a few visitors - his customers are/were really his friends but he said lots of them didn't contact him any more. To be honest my gut feeling was niggling when I gave him the job as to whether he was up to it. Part of the issue is that due to him being old and not in great health, he was unable to get the car down from the ramp and get to the fire in good time, so it really took hold (this is his account, not mine.) He assured me he was up to the job, (and thought he had removed any flammable parts) albeit it would take him a week instead of 2 days. I was naive and stupid to give him the job. It was misguided loyalty and if I'm honest I felt sorry for him (yeah, get that!!!)

    I hope that anyone reading this will learn from my experiences, if nothing else comes out of this sorry tale.


    As Norman says, a proper apology would have gone a LONG way in this case.

    He certainly wasn't half way through the welding, in fact I don't even believe he had started it until the second week he had her but I'm going to get an opinion on this, because he had done a good chunk of it, it might make the difference between saving her and not. I haven't paid him a penny for that and neither has he asked.

    I have another Fiesta enthusiast coming to look at her this weekend, she is save-able, it's just at what cost. I've also had an offer from someone to buy her, so hopefully she is saved from the scrap heap either way, even if she goes off to be a donor car.


    Once I've had an opinion on her, I'm going to share this with my mechanic. He reckoned it was 1k worth of damage that he had done when he rang to tell me about it!! I feel like to need to have this out with him, irrespective of the financial aspect. I actually don't think he's fit to practice anymore, certainly he shouldn't be welding.

    It's hard to explain how attached I am to her, I guess that having done 125k miles in her, she's really like a home to me!

    And yes, I'm female (last time I looked!) (-:
    Last edited by juliebunny; 15-05-2018 at 9:37 AM.
    Less stuff, more life, love, laughter and cats!
    Even if I'm on the shopping threads, it doesn't mean I'm buying! Sometimes it's good to just look and then hit the CLOSE button!
    • juliebunny
    • By juliebunny 15th May 18, 9:31 AM
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    • 7,968 Thanks
    juliebunny
    And I'm obviously an automobile.
    Originally posted by Car 54

    He he are you for sale?!!
    Less stuff, more life, love, laughter and cats!
    Even if I'm on the shopping threads, it doesn't mean I'm buying! Sometimes it's good to just look and then hit the CLOSE button!
    • Car 54
    • By Car 54 15th May 18, 10:06 AM
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    Car 54
    It is worth 200 .... That may be small change to you
    Originally posted by missile
    No, it was valued at 220, but that would be as a runner. It's elderly, didn't have an MOT and needed welding, so it's clearly not worth book price.
    • missile
    • By missile 15th May 18, 1:48 PM
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    missile
    No, it was valued at 220, but that would be as a runner. It's elderly, didn't have an MOT and needed welding, so it's clearly not worth book price.
    Originally posted by Car 54
    So YOU say

    It is clearly worth a lot more to OP.

    In her submission to the court OP can claim damages at whatever amount she feels is appropriate. The court will decide what is fair.
    Last edited by missile; 15-05-2018 at 1:52 PM.
    "A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members." ~ Mahatma Gandhi
    Ride hard or stay home
    • juliebunny
    • By juliebunny 15th May 18, 2:22 PM
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    juliebunny
    So YOU say

    It is clearly worth a lot more to OP.

    In her submission to the court OP can claim damages at whatever amount she feels is appropriate. The court will decide what is fair.
    Originally posted by missile
    Yeah and if he doesn't turn up I get them by default!! Definitely not on the radar to take him to court, I'm going to get a quote for repairs and take it to him and tell him how pee'd off I am with him. That will be my closure on it unforunately.

    It's a small world where he works and where we live so it will soon get around what has happened and I can't imagine anyone else wanting to use him for welding...
    Less stuff, more life, love, laughter and cats!
    Even if I'm on the shopping threads, it doesn't mean I'm buying! Sometimes it's good to just look and then hit the CLOSE button!
    • Car 54
    • By Car 54 15th May 18, 2:46 PM
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    Car 54
    So YOU say

    It is clearly worth a lot more to OP.
    Originally posted by missile
    No, not me. It was the OP who said "... insurance company valued her at 220 in my last renewal (April). I guess that valuation assumed MOT. She was coming up for MOT and needed some work doing including welding which was going to cost 500."

    220 doesn't sound unreasonable for a 17-y-o car.

    It may be worth a lot more to the OP, but that is totally irrelevant.
    • juliebunny
    • By juliebunny 15th May 18, 4:34 PM
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    juliebunny
    Been there got the T-shirt, set a car alight myself. Sounds similar damage. As has been said cheaper to move on. If it needs welding its no minter. If you love it and want to keep it forever start to learn to tinker.
    Originally posted by caprikid1

    This advice has actually inspired me, I'm looking into car maint courses for women. I never want to be so at the mercy of a mechanic again. Also found this as a bit of a starter https://haynes.com/en-gb/womens-car-diy-manual
    Less stuff, more life, love, laughter and cats!
    Even if I'm on the shopping threads, it doesn't mean I'm buying! Sometimes it's good to just look and then hit the CLOSE button!
    • missile
    • By missile 15th May 18, 4:37 PM
    • 9,531 Posts
    • 4,752 Thanks
    missile
    This advice has actually inspired me, I'm looking into car maint courses for women. I never want to be so at the mercy of a mechanic again. Also found this as a bit of a starter https://haynes.com/en-gb/womens-car-diy-manual
    Originally posted by juliebunny
    Good for you, go girl
    "A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members." ~ Mahatma Gandhi
    Ride hard or stay home
    • motorguy
    • By motorguy 15th May 18, 5:09 PM
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    motorguy
    No, not me. It was the OP who said "... insurance company valued her at 220 in my last renewal (April). I guess that valuation assumed MOT. She was coming up for MOT and needed some work doing including welding which was going to cost 500."

    220 doesn't sound unreasonable for a 17-y-o car.

    It may be worth a lot more to the OP, but that is totally irrelevant.
    Originally posted by Car 54
    I'd have thought a Fiesta with a years MOT on it was worth 400 easily if its in reasonable condition at all.

    If it was viable to MOT it - which clearly it was - then its worth more than the 100 its worth now as scrap metal - unless of course you're saying that taking someones car and setting fire to it doesnt impact the value at all?
    "We have normality. I repeat, we have normality. Anything you still can't cope with is therefore your own problem."
    • Car 54
    • By Car 54 15th May 18, 5:37 PM
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    Car 54
    I'd have thought a Fiesta with a years MOT on it was worth 400 easily if its in reasonable condition at all.

    If it was viable to MOT it - which clearly it was - then its worth more than the 100 its worth now as scrap metal - unless of course you're saying that taking someones car and setting fire to it doesnt impact the value at all?
    Originally posted by motorguy
    Whether it would be worth 200 or 400 with an MOT is a bit academic, since it didn't have one and needed 500 of welding to get one! So, yes, I'd suggest we're looking at scrap value both pre- and post-fire.

    While the OP thought it was viable to have the work done, that was not necessarily a rational decision.
    • EssexExile
    • By EssexExile 15th May 18, 5:39 PM
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    EssexExile
    I hope that anyone reading this will learn from my experiences, if nothing else comes out of this sorry tale.
    Originally posted by juliebunny
    The last time I had any welding done he gave me a bucket & a sponge to keep on top of the fires he regularly set.
    Tall, dark & handsome. Well two out of three ain't bad.
    • motorguy
    • By motorguy 15th May 18, 6:05 PM
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    motorguy
    Whether it would be worth 200 or 400 with an MOT is a bit academic, since it didn't have one and needed 500 of welding to get one! So, yes, I'd suggest we're looking at scrap value both pre- and post-fire.

    While the OP thought it was viable to have the work done, that was not necessarily a rational decision.
    Originally posted by Car 54
    The O/P said it needed 500 of work, not 500 of welding. A lot of that could have seen the car through several more years - serice, new discs, pads, shocks, exhaust, etc for example.

    The O/P has had the car for 15 years and knows what they have / had and clearly planned to drive on at it for many years yet.

    To say that setting fire to it doesnt affect the value at all is ludicrous.

    The O/P is now out of pocket with no recompense / good will gesture from the garage for setting fire to her car.
    Last edited by motorguy; 15-05-2018 at 6:09 PM.
    "We have normality. I repeat, we have normality. Anything you still can't cope with is therefore your own problem."
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 15th May 18, 7:10 PM
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    AdrianC
    The O/P said it needed 500 of work, not 500 of welding.
    Originally posted by motorguy
    Yes, to be worth 220 from WBAC, maybe 400 on a good day - for a 130k, patched-up 17yo cooking Fester? There's a million better ones for that money.



    The O/P has had the car for 15 years and knows what they have / had and clearly planned to drive on at it for many years yet.
    Which is where the sentimental value comes in. And that is never something that can be recompensed.


    To say that setting fire to it doesnt affect the value at all is ludicrous.

    The O/P is now out of pocket with no recompense / good will gesture from the garage for setting fire to her car.
    And everybody's said that they're due the value of the car when it was delivered to the garage... Which is scrap value, which is what they'd have got if they'd NOT taken it for the work.
    • motorguy
    • By motorguy 15th May 18, 7:43 PM
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    motorguy
    Yes, to be worth 220 from WBAC, maybe 400 on a good day - for a 130k, patched-up 17yo cooking Fester? There's a million better ones for that money.




    Which is where the sentimental value comes in. And that is never something that can be recompensed.



    And everybody's said that they're due the value of the car when it was delivered to the garage... Which is scrap value, which is what they'd have got if they'd NOT taken it for the work.
    Originally posted by AdrianC
    And WBAC offer the lowest of the low trade value, not market value, right? Or have i missed something with their business model?

    Its not sentimental value that makes people spend money on a car. I could spend 500 on servicing my car tomorrow and it wont be worth a penny more, so the amount the O/P was spending MOT'ing it is a moot point.

    In fact - i've seen many threads on here whereby people are actively told to repair the car they have, rather than buy a new one? The RX8 thread recently springs to mind whereby the repairs would cost several thousand, but the car was worth several hundred.

    https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5839391&highlight=rx8

    So i'm not sure why this is different?
    "We have normality. I repeat, we have normality. Anything you still can't cope with is therefore your own problem."
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 15th May 18, 7:47 PM
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    AdrianC
    Its not sentimental value that makes people spend money on a car. I could spend 500 on servicing my car tomorrow and it wont be worth a penny more, so the amount the O/P was spending MOT'ing it is a moot point.

    In fact - i've seen many threads on here whereby people are actively told to repair the car they have, rather than buy a new one? The RX8 thread recently springs to mind whereby the repairs would cost several thousand, but the car was worth several hundred.

    https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5839391&highlight=rx8

    So i'm not sure why this is different?
    Originally posted by motorguy
    It isn't at all different.



    Let's say it'd been hit by a steamroller on the way to the garage, instead of the welding setting it alight. How much would insurance have paid out? Simple. Market value. Which, for a 17yo 130k scratty Fester with no chance of an MOT without spending half a grand on it, is a half-sucked, lint-covered Werther's Original.

    Exact same situation.
    • motorguy
    • By motorguy 15th May 18, 8:00 PM
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    motorguy
    It isn't at all different.



    Let's say it'd been hit by a steamroller on the way to the garage, instead of the welding setting it alight. How much would insurance have paid out? Simple. Market value. Which, for a 17yo 130k scratty Fester with no chance of an MOT without spending half a grand on it, is a half-sucked, lint-covered Werther's Original.

    Exact same situation.
    Originally posted by AdrianC
    Firstly, the car presumably is MOT'd if the O/P is driving it but is in need of an MOT soon. Therefore the insurance company wont value it at scrap value, they will value it as a road legal vehicle. They wont know or care how much it might take to get it through MOT at some point in the future as long as it meets the minimum requirements to be on the road now.

    I would have thought they would easily be saying its worth the 200+. I'd be personally surprised if they would pay out less than 300. They have to put you back in to the position you were in before you started and a driveable road legal Fiesta is going to cost you 200-300. They're absolutely not going to say "well its worth scrap money because its due MOT next month so heres 100 - nip down to your local scrappers and he'll sell you a scrap car for 100 to replace it.".

    Not only that, but they'd put the O/P in to a hire car for the few days until it was written off.

    The "welder" - i'm using the term losely here - reduced its value to scrap value of 100. They've also caused the O/P considerable hassle. Therefore as an absolute minimum the "welder" should pay the 100 difference.

    I dont see that as either difficult to understand or unfair.
    Last edited by motorguy; 15-05-2018 at 8:16 PM.
    "We have normality. I repeat, we have normality. Anything you still can't cope with is therefore your own problem."
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