Write-offs on the

road

ONE of the biggest dangers in buying a used car is unwittingly parting with your cash for a vehicle which has previously been written off.

And it seems that some places are more dangerous than others when it comes to this horrendous pitfall for used car purchasers.

New figures from data specialists My Car Check show that the risk of buying a previously written-off vehicle is much higher in some UK cities than others.

Around one in four cars checked in London and Birmingham over the last year were found to have been written-off, compared to around one in seven in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Bristol.

Head of My Car Check, Roger Powell, said: "It is the first time we have analysed our data by city and we were surprised to discover such stark differences.

"Seeing London at the top it would be easy to conclude that there must be a close correlation between population size and the number of written-off cars, but this theory doesn't hold up.

"For example, the risk of buying a write-off is 3 per cent higher in Liverpool, which has a population of around half a million, than in nearby Manchester, which has a population of 2.5 million. Whatever the explanation, they are clearly doing something right in Glasgow and Edinburgh, where the risk of buying a write-off is 10 per cent lower than in London or Birmingham.

"Buying a car is a big deal and establishing whether it has ever been written-off is vital. Even leaving the safety aspect aside, a write-off will usually be worth considerably less than a similar non-accident damaged model.

"It is incredible that so many people still don't realise it is legal for certain write-offs to return to the road. In fact, it is not unusual for a car to have been involved in several accidents. In this day and age, vehicles can be repaired to a high standard, but a My Car Check customer survey a couple of years ago found that 79 per cent wouldn't buy a write-off."

With information from the police, DVLA, insurers and finance houses, My Car Check holds comprehensive data on every vehicle on UK roads - things that buyers should be aware of before making an offer.

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