Let’s get to the point. we assume that the insurance measurements are based upon whether the repairs of a vehicle after being involved in an accident, will cost more than it is worth. We keep hearing percentages, such as 30% of the value etc. But in reality when a motor is not repaired it is sent to savage auction, where those who sell their components such as breaker yards and dismantlers will bid, to replenish their stock.
This is where insurance companies can gain. This is because when a vehicle dismantler values a vehicle at a salvage auction, he does use book prices from the Glasses guide or parkers, he studies what components are still good on the vehicle and adds up the true resalable value of a stripped vehicle. This figure, is nearly always more than a “on the road”, working example.
Insurance Companies Write Off
In fact it is not uncommon for damaged vehicles to be sold for a similar value than a full working model, if there is value in the components within. The perception that salvage auctions deliver, vehicles that all can be cheaply repaired and then sold on, is just not true. So when an insurance agent decides whether to “write off” a vehicle, he takes into account what they will get at auction, which often is not that less that the “book value”.
Insurance companies will then of course try to negotiate a lower settlement figure with the policy holder to minimise the loss. Their costs often come in the form of auction, storage and transport fees.
So when Looking For A Salvage Vehicle, What Are The Best Bets?
At a salvage auction most will be bidding against the breaker yards looking for stock. However some components are in huge demand and with others there is always plenty of existing stock. Choosing a vehicle that breaker yards already have an abundance of stock, will in most cases get the best deal in buying a salvage project, as they are unlikely to bid high or at all.
German cars, tend not to fit into this arena unless of a certain age, where more common makes like typical Fords and Vauxhalls are more likely to be cost effective, especially of components are readily available and cheap.
High Demand Premium Motors
This is bad news for those looking for a premium motor where they are not many around. This normally mean components are highly sought and expensive. At the other end of the scale, popular models and Makes such as Fiat where even new components are relatively cheap to buy, are more likely to stay low.
The best way is to research, join as many sales rooms as you can and get a feel for how much stock sells for. It is not an exact science as every project has a different amount of damage, mileages spec etc. But this is best way to get the right deal. and remember, what is uneconomical to repair, often means, insurance companies can retain more of the value selling at auction, than paying a “spray shop2 to repair.