Buyer beware – you could be unknowingly buying a written off car!

June 23, 2021

Often the mainstay of the back yard car dealers, shonky used car yards and unwitting private sellers, written off cars are for sale every day. In many cases, they are incredibly dangerous.

As a licenced and reputable car dealer, at Car Hero + our very first priority is the safety of our customers and other road users.

So what makes a repairable write off so dangerous?

There are a number of reasons a vehicle can be written off. But to be written off means that the damage is so extensive that it is not economically viable to have it repaired.

Despite this, mechanics can repair these items on the cheap. They often using parts from other written off cars. So what happens is you can end up with a Franken-vehicle with questionable repair quality; perhaps new airbags weren’t installed or cheap parts from stolen vehicles were used. With a lick of new paint, it can pass a road worthy.

But just because you straighten things out or add a new part doesn’t mean the car is as structurally sound and safe as it was before. There’s also a good chance it won’t perform as well in accident. This puts you and your family at risk. You could purchase a nice looking car off Facebook Marketplace and have no idea you are driving around in a death trap!

We believe that it is important to ensure all cars bought and sold are not only fit for purpose and road worthy, but more importantly, are not repairable write offs. If we take a registered trade in and we feel it should not be on the road, we feel it is our responsibility to act swiftly and deregister the car, selling it to a wreckers or scrap yard.

We are always looking for good quality second-hand cars so we are constantly monitoring the private seller used car market across multiple online platforms. What we have found recently is incredibly alarming.

For every ten cars we look at online and consider buying for customers, we are finding an average of six of these vehicles have been in major accidents. Four of the six are undisclosed repairable write offs. Even asking the seller whether a car has ever been written off does not guarantee you will get the truth. Some people want to hide this and others simply don’t know.

So how can you protect yourself?

It goes without saying that purchasing your new second-hand vehicle from a reputable dealer like Car Hero + is the best option. But if you have found the perfect car yourself, and want to buy private, there are ways you can check.

There are several websites that offer to check car history for you, with a fees from $10-$30. However, the only place you need to go is Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR), for a fee of $2.00. Yes, for two dollars you can get yourself a history check.

By just entering the vehicle identification number (VIN), the PPSR will tell you if the car has been stolen, written off, if it has finance owing on it. It will confirm the VIN and engine number along with other info.

New laws have been announced in Queensland that will crack down on these dodgy vehicles but they aren’t due to come into effect until 2022.

So if you want to go it alone and not have the protection of a reputable licenced car dealer, if it looks too good to be true, it is probably a repairable write off! Invest $2, check it out or give Car Hero + a shout. We will never sell a written off vehicle to the public and we offer the balance of the manufacturer’s warrant plus a further 12 months.