New research has revealed that nearly a third of UK drivers have written a car off – and 7% have done so more than once.
The survey of more than 2,000 UK drivers, carried out for InsuretheGap.com, a leading provider of GAP (Guaranteed Asset Protection) insurance for new and second-hand cars, also revealed a gender difference with a split between men (32%) and women (26%) when it comes to write-offs.
More than half (55%) blamed the other driver, while one in 10 said their car was stolen and written off. One in four (27%) admitted it was their fault, with one in 10 (9%) citing an incident with another vehicle and a similar amount (10%) admitting they were the only vehicle involved.
If a car is written off, the insurance company usually only pays out what the car was worth at the time of the incident. Because of depreciation, this can be significantly less than what was paid for it. Almost half (45%) of those surveyed say that if their car got written off and the insurer only paid out half of what they had paid for it, they could not afford to buy exactly the same car again.
“Most people don’t think about the possibility of their car getting written off,” said Ben Wooltorton of InsuretheGap.com.
“However, this research shows that it’s happened to nearly a third of UK drivers, and for two-thirds of them, it was not their fault.
“Buying a car is a big investment, but depreciation means that it can lose its value quite quickly.
“If your car is written off the insurance company will usually only pay its value at the time of the incident, not what you paid for it, which can be especially painful if you’re still paying finance on it.”
“GAP insurance will pay out the difference between what you paid for the car, and the value when it’s written off.”