Worrying rise in write-offs coming here from the UK
8.2pc of imports had 'history', new report finds
Nearly one in 12 UK imports registered here last year had a 'write-off history', new figures show.
The total number affected (8.2pc) rose by 645 to 9,485.
The latest data was compiled exclusively for Independent Motors by car-history website MyWheels.ie.
The figures will yet again raise the alert for thousands of buyers to be on their guard, especially as more than 110,000 imports are expected to land here this year.
The vast majority of those detected with a write-off history (after being involved in crashes or accidents) fell into the less serious categories.
But they are still termed 'write-offs' because the insurance companies involved calculated, among other things, they were not worth the expense of repairing.
They can, in most cases, be officially restored as roadworthy after repairs under strict official guidelines. Naturally, there would be doubts raised in some quarters that all of them met these conditions.
The real concern, however, is that a core number of potentially lethal vehicles made their way onto our market. They had been so severely damaged they should never have been permitted back on the road under any circumstances.
The different categories of write-offs have traditionally been designated as follows (though the UK has changed terminology recently): Category A: The car should be totally scrapped - every single part destroyed. Nothing of it ever goes back on the road.
Category B: The bodyshell should have been crushed, but some parts could be salvaged.
Categories C and D: Vehicles were repairable but under strict conditions and official guidelines.
While the number of lethal Category A write-offs remained the same (5) those in Category B were down to 19 from 35.
According to MyWheels.ie the number of Category C vehicles dropped slightly (3,497 v 3,558) last year, but those in the D bracket were up substantially to 5,964 from 5,242. MyWheels.ie gave some examples of worst-case Category A write-offs in 2017. They included a Ford Focus Edge, Volkswagen Passat estate, a Peugeot 207 and a KIA Sorento.
As you would expect, the overall number of write-offs rose in line with the increased volume of buying.
That is also reflected in the number of used imports that were reported as stolen in the UK.
There were 62 last year as opposed to 48 in 2016.
Potential buyers are advised to always check out a car's history before parting with any money.