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Insurer wants to write off a classic car

I have a 1996 Volvo 850R Estate with only 77k on the clock. It is immaculate inside, much cherished and cared for during the 18 years I have owned it. Last week a third party scraped the side of it in a car park, and has admitted liability. The estimate to repair, including one alloy refurbishment, is about £990, but has been rejected by the third party insurers on the basis of it being uneconomic to repair. This car is quite sought after by enthusiasts and I have seen ads for similar aged cars but with double the mileage for between £3k and £4k. Should the third party insurer be obliged to recognize this fact, rather than comparing my car with an ordinary low spec Volvo 850, where the 60% of market value principle might be applied. I had no intention of disposing of the vehicle, it is good for another 70k miles. His insurers and the accident management company, acting on my behalf through my insurers' no-fault dept, are talking of a total write-off, (which is quite absurd). What is the best course of action for me, as it currently looks like I shall end up with nothing, except a scraped car, when I was completely blameless.

Asked on 24 October 2015 by josophia

Answered by Honest John
If you wanted to insure your car for its value to enthusiasts you should have had it on an "agreed value" classic car policy. As it is, county courts have held that the only liability of the other party's insurer is to either repair the car or give you "market value" for it. And if they go by some kind of guide or assessment that says it's worth £600, then you have to prove with visible evidence that it is worth the £3k to £4k that it probably is worth to an enthusiast. What you absolutely MUST do now is prevent the other party's insurer arbitrarily writing off your car without your permission. I'd get three quotes from really good bodyshops, get it repaired for the lowest quote, then sue the third party personally for the cost of the repair. Have nothing whatsoever to do with any accident management company that only wants to tuck you up in an overpriced hire car for the duration of the repair and will realise there is nothing in it for them in your case. Do not under any circumstances allow any insurer to inspect and write the car off.
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