Is It Worth Buying a Written Off Car?

    Posted by Ben Davidson about 3 months ago

    Is it worth buying a car that’s previously been written off by an insurer? Cat N (non structural damage) and Cat S (structural damage) vehicles are technically safe to be back on the roads, and there are some considerable benefits to them. But are they really worth it, or should you cough up the extra and pay full price? Here are some pros and cons to consider.

    Pros: Cheaper to buy

    The main plus point to buying a car that’s been written off by an insurer is that it will be cheaper. If you’re on a budget, this could mean being able to afford the car you want vs it being completely out of your price range. Cars are expensive, and so something that’s going to cost you hundreds, even thousands less then it’s always going to be worth considering.

    Cons: Reduced resale value

    On the flip side of the car being cheaper to buy, this will also affect the resale value if you plan on selling it later down the line. You’ll never get as much for it as other, similar cars of the same make, model and mileage just because it was previously written off. So something to be aware of if you don’t plan on keeping it long term.

    Pros: Issues may have only been minor

    Cars can be written off for all kinds of things. It’s natural to assume that they must have been crashed in some way, but it’s not always the case. Cars are written off when the insurer deems that it’s not worth the cost of repairing them, and the repairs can be for anything. If it’s a less valuable or older car, something as simple as a smashed window or vandalised paintwork could be enough for it to be written off. This means that in some cases, you’re getting all of the discounts of it being a written off car, with none of the safety issues.

    Cons: Potential safety issue

    Speaking of safety issues, this is the main thing to be aware of when buying a car that’s previously been written off. The biggest concern is that it’s been badly repaired and is a danger to drive. As you’re not able to find out what the original issue was for it to be considered a write off, it’s a risk that you have to take. However, with that being said, any car could have been crashed without you ever knowing about it (or it being classed as a write off). If it was fixed privately rather than through an insurer then you’d simply never know, even if it had sustained real damage. If you’re worried you could have a mechanic inspect the vehicle for you prior to purchase, however if it’s sustained structural damage then there’s no real way to know and the car will never be as safe as it once was. Any car or truck accident lawyer will tell you how catastrophic road accidents can be, and they can be caused by the simplest of things. So the safety element it something to take really seriously.

    Pros: Environmental impact

    Finally, another reason why buying a written off car could be a positive thing is the environmental impact. By putting a car back onto the road, you’re saving it from going to the scrap heap. It’s not just the waste carcass of the car to consider, but the energy and resources that went into making it when it was new.

    Have you ever bought a car that was previously written off, or would you in future?

    should I buy a written off car

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