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Because of the insurance gap, used car buyers run the risk of depreciation

Spring weather May 3rd 2021

Research has shown that one in 50 cars previously written off is put back on the road with a clean history due to a gap in the insurance database.

The study conducted by Autocar looked at the MIAFTR (Motor Insurance Anti-Fraud Theft Register), which is used by insurers to record the details of the cars they write off. It is then checked by vehicle inspection companies when confirming the vehicle status.

However, MIAFTR is a voluntary system and not all 200 UK insurers are subscribed to it. This means that some depreciation can be sold with an incorrect status.

The problem, first highlighted in 2019, now, according to Autocar, means that every year 15,000 vehicles that should be declared as written off are not returned to the market, which is one in 50 vehicles written off by insurance companies.

This means that cars that appear to have a clean balance sheet at the time of purchase may in fact have been previously written off by an insurer.

Motorcheck, a vehicle history auditor, told Autocar that at any given point in time, more than 2,000 cars are being advertised with a clean history, despite having serious past life issues.

Mark Tisshaw, Editor-in-Chief of Autocar, said: “Because of this void in the industry, used buyers run the risk of unwittingly buying a vehicle that has been written off. A single vehicle health check is no longer a sufficient guarantee as our research found that owners had purchased cars that were incorrectly marked as unrecorded by a vehicle health check provider.

“The Motor Insurance Bureau (MIB) has informed us that new measures are being introduced to improve the database. However, there is currently a risk that buyers may inadvertently buy used cars with an incorrect history and have to rely on multiple vehicle inspection centers to gain an accurate understanding of the potential background of the purchase. “

According to the MIAFTR, around 700,000 claims are recorded in its register. Nevertheless, vehicles that are insured with third parties or are insured by their owners themselves, such as B. Local councils and police forces, not included in the database.

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