How to Check if a Car Has Been in an Accident or Written Off?

Identify if the car owner uses its insurance coverage for compensating the vehicle damage or repairs through the write-off categories. The vehicle check report provides a detailed report if your chosen vehicle has any accident, damage or write off.

As the market turns upside down means, used cars cost more than the new cars in the marketplace. It’s quite obvious where insurance premiums for a used car might cost higher due to the demand for “new cars”. This guide is for buyers looking for the accident traces on the used car & tips for “how-to” to identify it quickly.

Does car check reveal the car “if it has been in an accident”?

It is still quite hard for the buyers to identify the signs of damage on the vehicles at the showroom. It is obvious to search whether the chosen vehicle VRM has any hidden issues or not. 

Most of the searches are: will vehicle history report reveal the accident vehicle? It is possible when the owner reported the incident to the insurer and proof of assessing the damaged vehicle under the “write-off categories”. Know how to check on which category the vehicle has.

Many drivers don’t want to lose their no-claim bonus (NCB), and it has also not been recorded with MIAFTR, which means you can’t find the write-off category through service providers online.

Recommended reading: Pros and Cons of buying insurance write off car


Manual inspections: Does it help to spot the accident marks?

Check the essential things for determining if the car you are interested in has ever been in an accident history.

  • Inspect the cracks on the bumper & the front fender’s side.
  • Check the spacing between body panels and door gaps. Ensure they fit together, as uneven gaps are indications of accidental damage.
  • Evaluate if the mainline down the side of the car is straight. Uneven lines and out of shape reflections indicate that the car is being hammered or parts have been replaced.
  • Examine gaps in body panels, around windows, and inside the doors to see if the car has been repainted.
  • Carefully look along the car’s underbody for signs of damage like distorted chassis, rusted rails, and salt accumulation.
  • Run a thorough check to ensure that there are no signs of welding.

    car accident history check

What to do if the dealer/ seller fails to declare about the “accident”?

There are chances where the dealer may or may not disclose that the vehicle has been in an accident. It is an offence if the dealer knows the accident history but fails to inform the buyer. Suppose the dealer is unaware of the accident history, then it will be hard to claim against them.

It’s better to know who owns the vehicle before to avoid the scammed vehicle.

What if the accident history isn’t shown in the MIAFTR database?

There are certain reasons where the database isn’t showing properly. Using “0” zero instead of “o” in your registration number can be an error. Typo errors happen!

The second possibility is that you will shift to a new private number plate. It takes time to reflect on the database.

If not, some owners failed to report to the insurance company considering its minor damage; such vehicles are said to be “category U” which means unrecorded write-off vehicles. Therefore, it also is tough to identify such vehicles using the car check service providers as it doesn’t flag up as a write-off issue.

Buyers Beware:

It is okay to buy a write-off vehicle when pre-planned your budget. However, you should know the buyer’s legal rights on purchasing a second-hand car as a buyer.

Also read: Used car buying guides

It is unfortunate that you mistakenly landed up in the financed or stolen vehicle with an accident history. There are scenarios where buyers end up in such vehicle that results in a loss.

Pay once you know the full car history. Shop safe!

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