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Jon128

Iconic 3 door Auto 33,000 Mile Rav 4 written off Cat N

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I don't know where to start. 

We searched for 2 years to find a mint condition Rav 4 3, Door Auto XT3. We have owned it for 18 months. 2 days ago the my wife got rear ended by another car. (NOT HER FAULT)It needs a rear door, a wheel cover and an exhaust. Some paintwork. You guys know these cars are hard to find in good condition. Now the insurance company without seeing the car have categorized it as a write off Category N. This make the care valueless and we get a quarter of its real value. We want to keep this car on the road as our car, and when the time comes pass it onto a new worthy owner. Now we have a car that's deemed a write off without taking into account its rarity. Any advice please. As you can see virtually no damage. New door, Bumper, Exhaust and its good as new. 

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Moved to the Rav4 club to generate some response. 

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Thank you i was wondering what i did wrong

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My understanding is that, instead of accepting the offered settlement from the insurers, you can negotiate an alternative settlement which allows you to retain the vehicle.  That should theoretically be the first offer, less the value of the car as scrap.  You then repair the car, using the funds you got from the insurers, and, if that's not enough, paying the rest yourself. 

The insurers will always reckon the repair cost by using new parts, so if you can locate parts from (say) a scrapped car, you may end up not having to lay out any cash.

You can also dispute the valuation they apply to the car - the problem is that they use as a basis the value you could sell the car for, rather than what you would have to pay if you were buying it.  I think this practice is iniquitous, but you may have to be prepared to fight them in court.  You would probably need professional legal advice, but, of you were successful, you could get the costs paid by the losers (the insurers).  Anecdotally, they do tend to improve the offer if you argue convincingly, because they don't want the hassle of litigation, but there are no guarantees.

EDIT:  Thinking about it, your dispute is not really with the insurers, but with the person responsible for the damage - you could say you find the offer inadequate, and hold the other driver responsible for the cost of an adequate repair, or a comparable replacement vehicle.  He would then have to get his insurers to knuckle under, or find the extra himself.  Best of luck.

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With any insurance settlement, one can go back to the insurer and negotiate a better offer if you have satisfactory grounds and evidence for doing so.  Examples: mileage, condition, what vehicles in a similar condition are available for locally, etc. 

Settlements will be based on market value - somewhere between trade and retail value. Insurers won't pay what is known as 'full retail value' as this includes the profit margin a dealer would make on the sale. This has been the case for years. 

Most insurers will let you buy back the car if written off but repairable, but it will always carry the write off category with DVLA, etc. 

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What a coincidence this is, not that I in the situation as Jon, but it was just last night after hearing arguments that “we” are in global warming and the concerns about that. My thoughts went onto recycling, then specifically cars in such situation Jon finds himself in. A very nice car not worth a major sum financially, but worth a lot to the owner and probably many years life left.......... then it gets thumped... but not heavily, but everything goes haywire.  In the case of this Rav 4 it could be on the road again relatively cheaply, potentially be in use for many years, effectively be recycled to a useable product.  A situation the government needs to look at in relation to insurance companies and their actions.

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2 hours ago, Catlover said:

What a coincidence this is, not that I in the situation as Jon, but it was just last night after hearing arguments that “we” are in global warming and the concerns about that. My thoughts went onto recycling, then specifically cars in such situation Jon finds himself in. A very nice car not worth a major sum financially, but worth a lot to the owner and probably many years life left.......... then it gets thumped... but not heavily, but everything goes haywire.  In the case of this Rav 4 it could be on the road again relatively cheaply, potentially be in use for many years, effectively be recycled to a useable product.  A situation the government needs to look at in relation to insurance companies and their actions.

Absolutely agree. In a similar vein, one of my bugbears is scrappage schemes. Admittedly some of them don't now insist that the part exchange vehicle is scrapped, but a few still do such as Ford's scheme. To me a vehicle should be scrapped when it reaches the end of it's useful life. 

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10 hours ago, IanML said:

My understanding is that, instead of accepting the offered settlement from the insurers, you can negotiate an alternative settlement which allows you to retain the vehicle.  That should theoretically be the first offer, less the value of the car as scrap.  You then repair the car, using the funds you got from the insurers, and, if that's not enough, paying the rest yourself. 

The insurers will always reckon the repair cost by using new parts, so if you can locate parts from (say) a scrapped car, you may end up not having to lay out any cash.

You can also dispute the valuation they apply to the car - the problem is that they use as a basis the value you could sell the car for, rather than what you would have to pay if you were buying it.  I think this practice is iniquitous, but you may have to be prepared to fight them in court.  You would probably need professional legal advice, but, of you were successful, you could get the costs paid by the losers (the insurers).  Anecdotally, they do tend to improve the offer if you argue convincingly, because they don't want the hassle of litigation, but there are no guarantees.

EDIT:  Thinking about it, your dispute is not really with the insurers, but with the person responsible for the damage - you could say you find the offer inadequate, and hold the other driver responsible for the cost of an adequate repair, or a comparable replacement vehicle.  He would then have to get his insurers to knuckle under, or find the extra himself.  Best of luck.

Great advice thank you. Just want to keep our little gem on the road.

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11 hours ago, FROSTYBALLS said:

With any insurance settlement, one can go back to the insurer and negotiate a better offer if you have satisfactory grounds and evidence for doing so.  Examples: mileage, condition, what vehicles in a similar condition are available for locally, etc. 

Settlements will be based on market value - somewhere between trade and retail value. Insurers won't pay what is known as 'full retail value' as this includes the profit margin a dealer would make on the sale. This has been the case for years. 

Most insurers will let you buy back the car if written off but repairable, but it will always carry the write off category with DVLA, etc. 

Thank you once again. I am sure you know these vehicles are rare. With such a low mileage, a 2 owner car, its unlikely a similar car is even out there. Retail price from any of the known specialists range from 8 - 10K. The insurance company did not even look at the car and offered 1,400, Which frankly is an insult. The route I will pursue is by taking the actual adverts for these cars from the trade magazines and online portals. Even today their are only 11 cars available in the UK. The worst being 1,495 with intergalactic miles and in a very sorry state, not even the same spec. I don't understand how they come to such a low valuation. Autotrader valuation is 2,690 - 3,760 yet in the same publication they have multiple cars over 5k. It just doesn't make sense. Its a bit like saying a 1964 jaguar is only worth 500 because its old. My aim is to have the car restored to its former pristine condition and not registered as a total write off! As the whole scenario is not our fault I will pursue through legal channels if required. Step by step and let see what happens. 

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When insuring the car in the first place, you could have insured it for an 'agreed value', where you agree a value with the insurer given its condition, mileage, etc. This way in the event of a claim where normally it would be uneconomic to repair, you would have stood less chance of it being written off.

Obviously it is too late now.

If it has already been categorised as a Cat N, it may be too late to change that.

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5 hours ago, Catlover said:

In the case of this Rav 4 it could be on the road again relatively cheaply, potentially be in use for many years, effectively be recycled to a useable product.  A situation the government needs to look at in relation to insurance companies and their actions.

This is just economics at play and something that applies to the wider field rather than just cars.

For example a few years ago we had an insurance based breakdown policy on our washing machine. When it was 9 years old, the motor went and it was written off, but the insurer gave us an allowance against a new machine supplied by their contractor (at that time Comet). Their contract with Comet ensured that an equivalent machine, or a different one if chosen by the insured, would be supplied at a lower cost to the insurer than the full retail price (thus the insurer  avoids paying the whole of the retailer's profit element of the normal retail price).

3 hours ago, yossarian247 said:

Absolutely agree. In a similar vein, one of my bugbears is scrappage schemes. Admittedly some of them don't now insist that the part exchange vehicle is scrapped, but a few still do such as Ford's scheme. To me a vehicle should be scrapped when it reaches the end of it's useful life. 

The only Government controlled scrappage scheme was that from 2009 - where cars surrendered under the scheme legally had to be sent for scrap and manufacturers had to provide certification that the vehicle had been scrapped.

Subsequent scrappage schemes are manufacturer controlled - it is the manufacturer that sets the,scheme condions, not Government. Commonly pre Euro IV vehicles are scrapped, but Euro IV vehicles onwards may be sold onto trade outlets. With these later schemes there is nothing legally binding that ensures all vehicles surrendered under these schemes are scrapped.

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The rear wheel cover, bumper and paint will write that off easily without the labour on top, all repairs are done with new oem parts and prices at full retail

To the insurance company its just another rav4, unless you have an agreed value because its certain model

https://www.howmanyleft.co.uk/

is it a XT3 or XTR (as badged)

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My daughter rear ended ( her fault ) a car in her 3 week old Juke,  she had damage on bonnet, wing etc, the insurance wrote it off!, she was covered by insurance so ordered a replacement, a few weeks later she had a letter from someone who had bought the car in an auction asking if she had the spare keys

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Its xt3 

3 hours ago, flash22 said:

The rear wheel cover, bumper and paint will write that off easily without the labour on top, all repairs are done with new oem parts and prices at full retail

To the insurance company its just another rav4, unless you have an agreed value because its certain model

https://www.howmanyleft.co.uk/

is it a XT3 or XTR (as badged)

 

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3 hours ago, flash22 said:

The rear wheel cover, bumper and paint will write that off easily without the labour on top, all repairs are done with new oem parts and prices at full retail

To the insurance company its just another rav4, unless you have an agreed value because its certain model

https://www.howmanyleft.co.uk/

is it a XT3 or XTR (as badged)

Its xtr leather auto steering wheel controls cruise sat nav sunroof chrome and bull bar 

 

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8 hours ago, chris ha said:

My daughter rear ended ( her fault ) a car in her 3 week old Juke,  she had damage on bonnet, wing etc, the insurance wrote it off!, she was covered by insurance so ordered a replacement, a few weeks later she had a letter from someone who had bought the car in an auction asking if she had the spare keys

A write-off is simply the insurance assessor determining that it is cheaper for the company to settle the claim with a payment, rather than repair the car.  It is not a statement that the car is too badly damaged for it to be safely repaired.  Many write-offs are sold to repairers, who sell them after repair at a profit.

I have been told (but I cannot be sure it is true) that some assessors will write-off a car and tip-off an interested repairer, and then get a payment from the repairer when the car is re-sold.  If so, the assessor has an incentive to write-off, rather than authorise repair.  You could characterise such behaviour as a racket.

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11 hours ago, Jon128 said:

Great website. I checked out our car and as far as I can see not many of these cars are left. 

 

 

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Dispute their value giving adverts as proof. Select highest prices in ads you send them. This is a purely business negotiation, each side aims to screw the other. 

And/or offer to buy it back and fix it yourself. (I don’t know if that means you negotiate for the highest or lowest value!)

Dont accept first offer. Lowballing is standard. 

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Several years ago my Renault Megane was rear ended by a van. The estimate to repair was £3000. The insurance company wanted to write off the car as it wasn't economical to repair. The company pointed out cars for sale in automart etc. We had a debate over the phone and I pointed out that my model was not as common as many others and asked them to check the exact spec and see it they could find a similar model. In the end they relented and repaired the car.

Remember, insurance companies are a business, they are only interested in saving money and cutting their own costs. They will usually offer less than a car is worth.

Regarding the "write off". Cars are classed as Category N write-offs if they don't have any structural damage but will cost more to repair than they are worth. This means they're still safe to drive, and quite often the owners or car repairers will decide to repair them rather than scrap them.

So, if you want to keep it, get a quote to repair the car and ask the insurance company to pay. It is important to remember that insurance repair costs are based on new parts. If you use "send hand" parts the cost will be a lot cheaper.

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