Nearly one in four used cars purchased in London and Birmingham last year had previously been written off.
Figures from My Car Check found that 24.7% of used cars in London were write-offs, while in Birmingham the figure was 23.8%. It was 20% in Liverpool and Cardiff, although the figure dropped significantly in Scotland with Edinburgh at 14% and Glasgow just 13%.
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 three 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% 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% wouldn’t buy a write-off.’