Thursday 22 August 2019

Case study: How one man got burned by a dodgy deal

* Investigation under way after crash
* Similar cases arising 'every week'

It is important to do a history check before buying a vehicle
It is important to do a history check before buying a vehicle
Eddie Cunningham

Eddie Cunningham

This is a salutary tale for anyone buying a used car - especially from a 'private' seller.

It highlights how you can be landed with a dud - and the effect that could have on you.

The facts of the specific case, from among several similar ones, have been outlined to Independent Motors. The company doing so is which provides car history checks and reports.

As such it must be pointed out that it has a vested interest in highlighting what can happen if you don't get a car's history checked.

Notwithstanding that, the case graphically underlines how risky a business it can be to buy 'blind' and without running some sort of background check.

A spokesperson confirmed to Motors that they deal with cases like it "on a weekly basis" for both insurance companies and the public.

Here are the key facts as things stand:

A man bought a used car through the classified ads.

He did not run a history check before buying (this is where the vested interest in this story has to be mentioned again because the facts are coming from

It is easy to imagine the buyer's horror when he subsequently discovered that it had been written-off in the UK.

It had been classified as a Category D write-off.

That means the vehicle was repairable, but the cost of making it roadworthy and safe was significant compared with what it was worth. Therefore, for economic reasons, the insurer decided not to repair it.

Increasingly desperate, the buyer tried to sell the car again through the classified ads - apparently without revealing its history.

The car failed to sell for more than 18 months despite the price being dropped several times over that period.

Now, according to, it has been written-off following a crash.

It appears there were no injuries in the accident.

An insurance company's Special Investigation Unit (SIU) is now examining the case.

It must be emphasised there is no evidence thus far of any attempt at fraud.

But, a MyVehicle spokesperson did say: "It is being taken seriously as a possible fraud case."

Regardless of the ins and outs of this particular instance, the wider implications of buying, especially an imported car, are obvious. Yet people continue to fall victim to sharp practice and lose money.

Not only that, but in the case of a car that has been technically written off and not properly restored there is a high risk of an accident.

Indo Motoring

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