You can imagine the stress. You need your car for business and your personal independence and then your named driver (bless!) goes and writes it off for you…
You need another car, ideally just like the last one – and you need it NOW.
This is how Sue Bradley of Eating Psychology UK coped with this predicament, with a little help and support from her friends including FOXY Lady Drivers Club.
In Sue’s words…
“I live in an urban environment with a lot of parking restrictions, so I’ve always favoured a very small car. I relish squeezing into the gaps that others can’t! Several years ago I had a Smart car, which was great, and more recently I’ve had a Fiat 500 which I’ve loved.
“A few months ago my named driver rear-ended another car on the M25 and though the damage was fixable, my insurance company decided it wasn’t an economic repair and declared my dear car a write-off.
“I didn’t realise how much I depended on my car until this happened and of course I didn’t have much time to do my car buying homework in advance.”
Sorting out the insurance claim
“We then began a lengthy set of negotiations with insurers regarding the cost of replacing the vehicle. Basically, because ours was a very early automatic version of the FIAT 500 (and my named driver can only drive an automatic) it’s a very rare model and the amount the insurers were offering did not allow us to purchase a replacement vehicle like-for like – as this replacement did not exist!
“We tried to make the argument that the insurer should pay us a bit more so that we could purchase a newer one – which was all that was available. But guess what – the insurer declined – and this is when I contacted FOXY.
“Was this fair, I wanted to know? Certainly not from my point of view.
“FOXY put me in touch with one of their specialist partners, Tim Kelly from MotorClaimGuru who confirmed that the valuation I was being offered was reasonable, and also that the company had no legal obligation to pay for a higher cost vehicle on the grounds that a like for like vehicle was not available at the time.
“Whilst this wasn’t what I wanted to hear, it saved me a lot of time and unnecessary stress here!”
Shopping for my next car
“I then set about finding the best value/lowest cost replacement FIAT 500 I could and quickly. I eventually found this – but it was in Wales and I needed a new car now (!) to service my Eating Psychology and private yoga businesses, requiring me to drive out to see clients most days.
“FOXY gave me excellent advice all through the process of buying a car unseen (and was worried about me doing which turned out to be a justified concern) but in this instance the car seemed to be such a good deal AND it was the only one we could find in the precise specification I wanted.
“FOXY reminded me to ensure that I could transfer the car’s FIAT warranty into my name and also that I should check the HPI report for myself – these are both things that I would not have thought about otherwise.
“I then paid an extra £200 for the car to be delivered. The driver told us to check over the car there and then, as once we had signed the papers accepting the vehicle there was no going back.
FOXY comment – Please see footnote below.
“Then we noticed there was a cut made by a knife on the door near the driver’s window – and the driver showed us the label attached to the car key saying ‘stolen’.
“So now we knew why the car was so cheap! The fact hadn’t shown up on the HPI so all we could think was that it had been stolen for a short time then quickly recovered.
FOXY comment – Please see footnote below.
“So all in all we ended up with a pretty FIAT 500 in a nearly new condition, at a good price, with one tiny bit of damage. I’m sure I’d still have bought this car if I’d seen it before paying for it but I do think the dealer should have been more honest and transparent with me, not simply despatched it with a ‘stolen’ sticker on it!
“FOXY really helped me with all my worries about buying a car unseen, guided me through the process and I’m really happy with my purchase!”
Thank you Sue.
Even if you’d signed an ‘All OK’ note when accepting delivery of a new car in these circumstances you’d still have comeback in law if you found hidden faults afterwards. But chances are you’d have been expected to get it back to Wales for the dealer to rectify. Which is when long distance buying can get expensive and inconvenient for unlucky buyers. Thank goodness you aren’t in that situation.
Similarly the HPI check should have revealed this car theft and one wonders why it didn’t. Should you have found yourself out of pocket as a result of this theft, we’re confident that you’d have a claim against HPI.
Happily you’re back on the road and all is well. Thank you for telling us your story and the long car buying journey you’ve been on (or managed to avoid haha).