Repair A Write-Off Car Or Sell It: Which One Should You Choose?

Posted on October 14th, 2022

If you have a car written off by your insurance company, it will not be a total loss if you know where to go. As you might not know, the insurer will not pay the vehicle’s total value once it is wrecked due to an accident or damage by fire or flood.


Cash for cars companies will take the problem from your hands by paying you the most your write-off car can get.

Sell it Or Repair A Written Off Car

Sell it Or Repair A Written Off Car

Repairable Write-off vs. Statutory Write-off

Insurance companies have two classifications for a written-off car.

A total write-off occurs when the insurer has assessed your vehicle and concludes that the damage is irreparable. Even if the mechanic has managed to run it, it will still not pass inspection to make it roadworthy. Also, the repair cost would exceed the current value of your vehicle, which means it is impractical to spend money on it.

In the end, the car classified as a statutory write-off is only suitable for scrap metal.

In contrast, a reparable write-off is sometimes known as an economic write-off. Technically, a mechanic can still repair these cars to pass the safety standards, so they can still be roadworthy. However, the repair costs may be too expensive to make it practical to send them to a garage shop.

There are multiple reasons why insurance companies write off a vehicle:


  • Flood
  • Accident or crash
  • Natural catastrophe
  • Fire


Each insurance company has rules in determining whether to write off a vehicle. However, they still have to follow the standard definition of a repairable write-off or a statutory write-off. So, they base their decision on factoring in the repair cost and the car’s value.


Also, it’s worth mentioning that the New South Wales government passed legislation prohibiting the registration of a total write-off car. The law took effect on January 31, 2011, and says you can only use the write-off vehicles for scrap metal.


How Much Damage should a Vehicle sustain Before Classifying it a Write-Off?

A car needs to sustain severe damage to the engine or structure that will compromise its integrity and, in turn, the motorist’s or passenger’s safety. Also, repairing the vehicle to its previous state will prove impossible due to the cost and the damage involved.


For instance, a flooded car is particularly tricky to fix because the incident compromised its electrical and mechanical components, not to mention the parts that need lubricants. However, it’s important to note that the assessor will not classify it as a write-off because the vehicle does not show any physical impairment.


Sometimes, the damage is under the hood or to the chassis, which compromises the structure’s integrity. For example, you can still fix a car involved in an accident and make it look new. But the appearance is only cosmetic, especially if the engine has sustained high-speed impact.


Your car needs to meet some thresholds for the insurance to exclude it from the write-off list. Then, you can bring your vehicle to a licensed assessor, or your insurer will recommend one.


Apart from the noticeable physical damage, the assessor will also determine:


  • The condition of your vehicle before the incident
  • The market value of your car compared to the other models
  • The total kilometers traveled based on your odometer


So, you must have several photos of your vehicle before the crash, flooding, or natural catastrophe.


Once the car is considered a “write-off,” the insurer will retain the rights of the vehicle after paying you for the salvage value.

What Should I do with my Repairable Write-off?

As you know, in a repairable write-off, the cost of fixing the car is more than the vehicle’s value. So, the insurance company will only pay the agreed price before the event. Alternatively, the insurer will only cover the cost of your car’s current market value.


But even if you hurdled that challenge, you will still face another problem. Your car will perpetually be branded as a “written-off vehicle,” reflecting on your registration. As a result, it would be complicated to dispose of your vehicle by selling it to another buyer.


Selling to a Cash for Car Company:

But would it be acceptable to sell a written-off vehicle to a third-party buyer?


As you may have gleaned from the law, selling a repairable write-off car to another buyer is now illegal. Similarly, you cannot drive it on the streets of New South Wales. After all, the government passed the law to prevent insurance companies from selling write-offs to other areas and later re-registered.


So, what’s your option?


You can sell the write-off vehicle to a car removal service in Sydney and get the most from your mothballed vehicle. These companies will take any brand and model, regardless of the condition.


  • The chassis might be bent and irreparable
  • The engine is wrecked
  • The body might be totally covered in rust
  • All the seats are missing
  • The car might be flooded


You can rest assured that the cash for car company will not resell these cars, so you won’t see them on the road. Instead, the car removal service will dispose of the vehicle using an environmentally friendly way.

You can get a price quote for your vehicle by calling a cash for car company and filling out the online form. Once you agree with the quoted price, the company will send a flatbed or a tow truck to haul your vehicle from the property. The best part is that the entire process will take not even a day. So, you get the money within a few hours of emailing or calling their customer service.