2005 Mini Stolen & Recovered with damage - Advice pls!
Not logged on in a long long time. To cut a long story short, my mini cooper got stolen outside my house a few weeks back. The police found the thief and gave chase. The car crashed and suffered quite a bit of frontal damage and the local garage says there is oil leak. Total repair will cost £3k.
Unfortunately, Adrian Flux has a small print which say that unless the car was garaged between 10pm and 6am, they will not payout even though the car was on the driveway. Bas@rds!
Second unfortunate event was that the thief did not suffer any physical or internal injuries and now awaiting trial.
Now, my car has only done 22k miles and one owner from new.
I'm not really sure it's worth repairing as i dont think it's worth more than £5-6k.
It's currently undriveable and to get various quotes, i need to hire a tow truck @ about £150/pop so getting lots of repair quotes will not be possible.
Advice? Do I sell as it is or repair and drive it?
Was the car insured as "garaged overnight" or whatever the terminology is, and listed as such on your policy?
I've always been super impressed with Adrian Flux, including a couple of years ago when I put in a fairly sizeable total loss claim. Recently though, I've tried twice to get a quote on a new car, and on both occasions been spoken to rudely and promised a call back "by a specialist" to no avail (because both initial prices were no where near competitive enough, even by their own admission).
When I called a third time, I was met with more attitude and ended up telling them to stick it. Apparently they've been taken over fairly recently? I remember a few years ago all of the staff were really enthusiastic, well informed and helpful, but now, they're absolutely hopeless (at least based on my recent personal experience).
Anyway, back on topic - sorry! If your car was supposed to be garaged, and wasn't when it was stolen, I don't suppose you have a leg to stand on unfortunately. Plus as you rightly say, spending £3k+ on repairs probably isn't going to be cost effective given that the car might only be worth £5k.
I'd work out a pre-damage value based on the spec, mileage etc. and then look at estimated costs to repair. Does it add up, or are you effectively throwing money away? How long would you anticipate keeping the car if you were to do the repairs? If you plan to keep it indefinitely, it might add up, but if you're looking to sell or trade in the next year or two, I doubt it would.
In your position, I'd probably be calling around some breakers to see what they'd give you for the car in its current condition unfortunately...
Unfortunately it was insured as 'garaged overnight'. I've never actually seen a clause like that before. All my previous insurance has never had that clause but i guess I'm resigned to forking out. It just sucks cos we've been burgled twice in a year and seriously been out of pocket by easily a few years wages. Not even funny. So gutted.
So are breakers the only places i can sell the car to? Got a feeling I wont get much for it cos they would need to make some money out of it. Quite frankly, a lot of it is cosmetic damage and besides from the oil leak, everything is perfect.
Well, we really only going to do less than 2k miles in it a year thus why it's such low mileage and would be shame to see it go for like 2k quid....just so gutted. ARRGHHH!!
If it 'damaged repairable' you could sell it via ebay as a project for a DIY home mechanic.......as without any labour charges and using secondhand parts where possible, it is likely to be worthwhile for someone to buy/repair and should also raise you more cash than from a Mini specialist breaker.
All insurance quotes i have ever had they have ask where the vehicle is kept over night
If they did not ask and just assumed you would be keeping it in a garage you would have grounds to complain.
If it has a lot of front end damage, £3k is actually quite a low quote, bonnet bumper and grills you would be looking at £1k just on parts, without fitting and sparying, when you add in all the other things that could have been damaged, windscreen, airbag, headlights, wheels, radaitor etc.
so long as there isn't any serious engine damage and the subframe and suspension isn't bent then you can probably get it fixed up for a lot less with used parts, especially if you can get them in the right colour
However, it's not very reasonable of them to expect you to stick to that EVERY NIGHT!!!
What happens if you go away on holiday and leave it in an airport carpark.
Or stay overnight at a Travel Lodge etc etc.
I'd be tempted to complain, sounds unreasonable to me. However it did occur at your home, and that's where your garage is located
I think you will find many folk say they have a garage and its used to put the car in when they are asked about insurance as it probably gives a cheaper premium, in reality how many folk say their car is garaged because they have one but the car wont go in it because its used as a shed.
Only myself and my immediate neighbour put the car in the garage each night the rest of the houses, around 80 of them, half with double garages, never put their car away at night because they cant get in there.
Insurers are con artists, they will readily take your money, then if theres the slightest way they can get out of paying out they will, thats why you should be up front with them so they have no get outs available to them, you only lose out yourself in the end otherwise, as said here.
The phrase is where is the car NORMALLY kept/garaged, so if you go away I assume thats an exception as it wont be stolen from your home address?
Yes the insurers can be difficult about the specifics of where the car was parked overnight. Obviously time of theft also plays its part, because during the day/early evening nobody parks their car inside their garage everytime they return home but once you have gone to bed I guess it isn't unreasonable for them to claim that it should have been in the garage, if that's where you said it was parked overnight on your insurance application.
I'm curious about how the thief actually managed to break into your MINI and drive it off given that it must have central locking, steering lock, alarm and engine immobiliser fitted as standard?
Did they previously steal a key? Was it auto-locked but without the alarm set? Did they open and start it by overriding the electronic code?
The car was stolen by the thieves breaking into the house and stealing handbags with the keys. Both M3 and Mini got taken. Luckily the M3 had a tracker which located both cars in E.London.
Anyway, managed to get an itemised billing of the quote:
FRONT BUMPER x1 £135.78 £135.78
CARRIER x1 £101.89 £101.89
BONNET x1 £184.00 £184.00
O/S/F DOOR SHELL x1 £118.17 £118.17
SIDE PANEL x1 £148.12 £148.12
WHEEL ARCHES x2 £31.80 £63.60
FRONT PANEL x1 £188.22 £188.22
LOWER BALL JOINT x2 £18.48 £36.96
INNER BALL JOINT x2 £24.52 £49.04
WISHBONE x2 £61.96 £123.92
BUSHES x2 £37.71 £75.42
INNER TIE ROD x2 £25.45 £50.90
TRACK RODS x2 £31.81 £63.62
TRACKING x1 £45.00 £45.00
O/S/F HEAD LIGHT x1 £145.67 £145.67
MISC x1 £25.00 £25.00
BODY WORK - LABOUR x1 £700.00 £700.00
MECHANICAL WORK- LABOUR x1 £300.00 £300.00
TOTAL EX VAT £2,555.31
Doesnt really mention the oil leak and i believe the damaged exterior they will try to find breaker's parts to replace....
Does it sound reasonable from the work?
There's a lot of dents, scratches from the bonnet/front, all across the sides until the rear quarter panel. It's all messed up ((
I would have thought that the fact that the thieves broke into your house and stole the keys in order to gain entry to your vehicles would negate any condition by the insurer about where it was parked between 10.00pm and 6.00am. Have you tried to contact the insurance ombudsman to challenge their dismissal of your claim? I'd keep after them, maybe talk to a lawyer?
As far as the cost/value of repair is concerned I agree with a previous reply; I guess it depends on how long you planned to keep the car anyway and how much you cherish this particular MINI.
It might be worth getting a quote from a breakers for the purchase of your car and then look at the real cost of an equivalent replacement. You may find that it would be worth rebuilding the car compared to selling the damaged one and sourcing a replacement.
You could get a quote for the supply of all secondhand parts required on your list from these specialist Mini Breakers below (or even the whole car as it stands if you wish): Mini Spares UK - Mini Spares UK
Thanks for the links mab01uk. I have emailed them so lets see what they come back with.
ihughes: yeah, i will find some time and start the ombudsman process. just so much to do at the mo and it's stressign the hell outta me.
I think i am going to fix the car actually. i need something for a runabout and fingers crossed there isn't any internal damage, i reckon 3k is fixable. It's a good car and never thrashed. One owner etc.
Else, im gonna need to spend 5k for a half decent car to pot around in.....
Will try to haggle down the price....
you mentioned being burgled twice - do you have home insurance? If so, either that, or maybe even your car insurance, might include 'free' legal expenses cover if you opted to include it - if you've got it, then use it, this type of scenario is exactly the kind of thing it's designed for.
Other than that, sorry ot hear your bad news, hope you can use your insurance to help you find a solution
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