Write-offs are cars that have been deemed as zero value assets by an insurance company, often as the result of an accident. These are classified in different categories, with cat A referring to vehicles that will never return to the road, while Cat N or S vehicles are simply no longer deemed as economically viable.
Vehicles at any stage of this spectrum would once have been scrapped in the blink of an eye but, as the second hand market thrives, more drivers are choosing to sell their junk cars for cash. And, if you’re in the market for the best bang for your bucks, then considering a write-of definitely isn’t a bad way to go.
Admittedly, the write-off market is fraught with potential setbacks, and professional bodies do warn of the need for due diligence in so-called ‘repaired’ write-offs that may still not be up to standards. Despite this, and even though insurers will typically charge more for a vehicle that has been written off at any stage, countless car owners are finding the wonder of write-offs right now, and we’re going to consider just three of the reasons why.
A well-researched and reputable write-off is always going to be fresh out of the repair shop and should come with the paperwork to prove it. This is a fantastic way to ensure a quality second-hand purchase for far less than you might pay on a car that’s simply been traded in for a newer model, and may not have even seen a service in years. Oddly, this puts write-offs right at the top of the line for second-hand vehicles that stand to last the test of time.
Affordability is another uncontested benefit of write-offs and is likely to beat any other second-hand options. Accidents involving new makes and models especially provide the opportunity to invest in cutting-edge secondhand options that might not be viable otherwise. Depending on the severity of the write-off, this may even see you knocking as much as half off of market value. While you will want to compare these prices with the potential for insurance increases, the chances are that even high premiums won’t be enough to undo that bargain.
Potential for returns
Investing in a cheap but damaged version of a vehicle that’s in high demand can also be incredibly lucrative if you’re willing to put in a little time on repairs. Let’s say that you buy a new BMW for half of the market value – investing in affordable parts from an outlet like tony’s auto wreckers or even sending it to the garage for an overhaul is unlikely to make up that difference. Then, you’ll be free to sell the finished product, likely at a significant return despite that car’s shady past.
There’s no denying that it’s possible to go very wrong when buying write-offs, but there’s a lot to get right here, too. Do your research, and you might even find yourself finally within reach of the vehicle that you never thought could be yours!