Three of the UK’s biggest car dealerships have been found to be selling insurance write-offs without telling buyers that they have been involved in a road traffic collision, a BBC investigation has found.
The BBC’s Tip Off Britain claims it could mean that buyers are paying “thousands of pounds” more for the cars than they are actually worth.
In total, the investigation found 70 cars on sale at Evans Halshaw, Arnold Clark and Car Store that had previously been written-off but it suspects that there are “many more”.
Undercover reporters found scores vehicles that had been seriously damaged for sale at salvage auctions just months before they appeared at the car dealerships with no sign of their crash history.
BBC’s forensic car expert John Dabek visited the named car dealerships in March to examine the vehicles that the programme had identified as write-offs.
He said he was “surprised” that given the extent of the repairs he came across, there were no concerns raised by whoever assessed the cars at the companies before they ended up on sale.
Not only did he focus on the safety of the vehicles for sale, but whether, considering their history, they are worth the price they are being sold for.
Evans Halshaw and Car Store told the broadcaster they had no idea that the cars had been written off and have blamed data systems which check a vehicle’s background.
Arnold Clark said it believed it had done all the checks it could with the information available.
Meanwhile, AutoExpress journalist Hugo Griffiths told the BBC he’s not surprised that the dealerships may be unaware of the history of some of the vehicles they sell.
He said an estimated 80,000 of write offs a year could be repaired and put back on the road, with new owners having no idea of their car’s past.
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