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MG MGF Technical - Write-off, or not


Does anyone know what criteria insurance companies use to decide if a (my) car is a write-off. Yesterday as taxi driver U-turned straight into the path of my car whilst I was travelling in the outside lane of a dual carriageway in Milton Keynes. I hit him in roughly the NS headlight area, straight on the pillar between his drivers/rear door. Looks to be window / bonnet / bumper / radiator / Air con(denser) etc but the passenger window is now about a quater of an inch away from the top or the roof (just at the front) and the area where the battery is is crunched up back into the brake master cylinder. Also, if it is a write-off, what value would I expect to get. The car is a 2000 VVC with power hood, leather, air con, spoiler, wind-stop, Ice warning options and covered 69K miles. There was a hell of a bang but the airbag hasn't gone off and I was pleased how well the old F handled it.


Sorry to hear this, I unfortunately know exactly how you feel. At least you're OK.

The insurance company will assess the cost of repair versus the write-off value (which they will determine) and if the repair cost is too close to or exceeds the value, or if it cannot be safely repaired they will write it off. You can argue with them - they may write it off because they don't understand parts availability but X-Part has a special division set up just to liaise with insurers about this. If the worst happens and they do write it off, you MUST argue with them on the payout they give - you simply find adverts showing similar cars for more money and send to them with evidence and explanation as to why they should give you more money. For value, scour Autotrader and add more on for the leather, power hood, air con plus the other bits and pieces.

Good luck,
Tim Jenner


Remove any optional accessories, as these will not be taken into consideration by the insurance company.

Sam Murray


Ask for a copy of the engineers report. The car will be written off if the cost of repairs inc VAT is 80% of the value of the car. The value should be the cost of a replacement at a dealer not a private sale and this includes your options.

The engineer who assessed my car used glass's guide for older cars which has values for dealer and private and part ex.
When they sent me the engineer's report they helpfully included the page from the glass guide and what they were prepared to offer upto.

The report will also say what category of write off it is. A and B mean the wreck has to be broken up by a salvage company otherwise you could take they money buy back the car and get it repaired yourself for less money than the insurance company would be paying the bodyshop.
However any chassis damage (I am thinking about the front subframe) and the engineer will probably be writing it off at Cat B.
Jon Baker

Hi keith i am so sorry to hear your bad news on the event flaming taxis .
once again sorry keith
darren jeffery

Sad news Keith, at least it was only replaceable metal that got bent...

Some insurers set the threshold at 70% of the value, and some loss assessors are taking the view (probably mistakenly) that panels for the F are now so hard to get hold of there's little point in even trying. The fact that the window is now out of alignment suggests that the damage has reached the A pillar, possible it could be straightened in a jig but the labour involved would I fear be prohibitive.

Sadly Sam's right, the optional accessories will be pretty much ignored on a car 6 years old. The upside of that is that if they do write it off you should be able to remove them without affecting the payout. Be prepared to do a bit of haggling, the first offer they make is usually on the low side.
Mike Hankin

Thanks for the info everyone, it's very much appreciated. The insurance called me to say that the estimate for repairing it is 3900 pounds. He asked "How much would you ber looking for to write it off", "As much as I can get" I replied. So, I'll start collecting evidence of how much it would cost to replace it (as you suggested). If it is written off, does "my" insurance company own it or the other persons insurance company (as eventually they'll pay the bill as it was the other persons fault) and, I wonder how much they would get for the car when they sell ti to someone to repair it..


I've been looking at MGFs to replace my written off VVC and 3900 is definitely not what you would pay for an equivalent at a dealer. Try adding another 1000 for a private sale never mind a dealer.
Jon Baker

Hi all,

I accepted 5200 for my car but will have to wait for 400 of that (excess) until the other parties insurance pays up.

regards Keith

This thread was discussed between 04/08/2006 and 15/08/2006

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