Monday, 22 June 2015


HPI uncovers 649 vehicles a day for sale which have been declared insurance write-offs, BUT, says “not all insurance write-offs are created equal”. Whilst some write-offs are not fit to be allowed back on the road, HPI reminds used car buyers that others can be professionally repaired and legitimately returned to the UK’s roads.  They could even be a bargain in disguise.

Vehicles that are written off by insurers that adopt the Salvage CoP (not all do & neither do some fleets, Police Forces & other self-insurers) are supposed to be put in to one of 4 categories outlined, depending on the level of damage. The categories include those that must scrapped because the damage is too severe for repair (Category A or B) & should never be allowed back on the road again; or those that can be repaired and returned to the road, but it is not economically viable (for insurers) to do so themselves (Category C and D). These cars can be repaired with 2nd hand or aftermarket parts.  In a repaired state a category write-off vehicle is normally worth 50% - 70% of the equivalent of a non-categorised car.

Neil Hodson, Managing Director for HPI explains, “The real risk with buying a write-off is paying good money for a vehicle that’s been badly repaired, is a danger to drive, or worst still, should probably never have been put back on the UK roads in the first place. Unscrupulous sellers patch up total loss vehicles and sell them on (undeclared) to unsuspecting buyers for a quick profit. If a write-off hasn’t been properly repaired, any price is too high. However, there are write-offs that if repaired professionally, offer good value for buyers.”

If a car is categorised A, B or C by an insurance company, a VIC marker is placed against the DVLA record. VIC is an anti-crime measure managed by Government to deter vehicle crime such as ‘ringing’.  A vehicle with a VIC marker must have passed the VIC before a V5C can be obtained & the vehicle taxed. The VIC test takes place at a Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) and the nearest VIC centre can be found by visiting  The test costs £41 & the V5C is then supplied by DVLA free of charge.

Neil Hodson continues, “An HPI Check gives used car buyers the complete picture of a vehicle’s history, including revealing if the car has been an insurance write-off and if so, which category. Armed with this information the buyer is able to negotiate a realistic price for the car. Those looking to invest in a car that has been declared an insurance write-off, should look to have it inspected by a suitably qualified individual.”

The HPI Check includes a mileage check against the National Mileage Register as standard, now with over 200 million mileage readings. HPI also confirms whether a vehicle is currently recorded with the police as stolen, has outstanding finance against it or has been written-off, making it the best way for consumers to protect themselves from fraudsters looking to make a ‘fast buck’ at buyers expense. In addition, the HPI Check offers a £30,000 Guarantee* in the event of the information it provides being inaccurate, offering added financial peace of mind to used car buyers.

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