written off vehicle

Submitted: Thursday, Sep 27, 2012 at 19:40
ThreadID: 98277 Views:3550 Replies:12 FollowUps:6
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Hi everybody, have always found my answers on the archives here, but am now stumped. Went to trade my cruiser wagon in on a ute to give me more room and found out that my cruiser was on the written off list. Purchased the vehicle from a dealer about a year ago and was not issued with the revs report. Is there anything that I can do and do I have a leg to stand on. Am hoping for some wisdom here as I don't know where else to turn to.
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Reply By: Steve M1 (NSW) - Thursday, Sep 27, 2012 at 19:57

Thursday, Sep 27, 2012 at 19:57
Without knowing the details of why it was written off, it's difficult to say. The sales guy is obviously using it as leverage for all he's worth to give you a crap trade in. Maybe try not to be in such a desperate hurry to trade in for this ute. There's thousands of others. Try another dealer who might not worry about it or even notice it or look at what he's offering you and sell privately for a few grand more, but still reasonable. Don't let him put you into a corner - you probably don't need this ute yesterday even if you might want it. Of course, there are two sides to the story: your cruiser might be an accident waiting to happen, but more than likely, ok. I'd steer clear buying a write off but they're not always dodgy.

I'm sure others will shed a bit more light on the different categories of write-offs and what they mean.

Stay cool.

AnswerID: 495755

Follow Up By: Member - Mike H (QLD) - Thursday, Sep 27, 2012 at 20:37

Thursday, Sep 27, 2012 at 20:37
Thanks Steve, the cruiser was in a side on crash but there is no real visible signs, it drives great. Didn't get the ute anyway cause the rippoff dealer wouldn't transfer the rego over because of it, so got my money back and now am trying to resolve the problem with the original scam dealer whom I bought it off . Just thought there was a law which made it illegal for a dealer not to disclose any such information, as I now have a vehicle that can't be sold.

FollowupID: 771356

Reply By: Andrew - Thursday, Sep 27, 2012 at 20:18

Thursday, Sep 27, 2012 at 20:18
Hi Mike

The dealer usually has a liability under consumer law to ensure that the vehicle you were sold was the correct vehicle. The written off vehicle inspection should have resolved the identity of the vehicle. If there is an identity issue then the selling dealer has a problem.
The vehicle should have been repaired properly and again as the dealer has the knowledge, then they are saying the vehicle was fit for purpose. So if there are issues about incorrect repairs it would appear the dealer should be liable.
In Victoria there is a legal obligation to disclose the written off status. A call to your rego people should let you know the local situation.
If there is nothing wrong with your vehicle then there can be a perception that the vehicle is tainted and therefore worth less money.
Many dealers won’t touch write off's no matter how well they are repaired and private buyers often assume the vehicle is still faulty, again damaging the value.
If written off vehicles have a consistently lower value than unlisted vehicles and you can’t sell it for reasonable value, then you may have a case against the dealer for misrepresentation of that value. A dealer will have known the status of the vehicle and can’t claim ignorance.
I don’t know how well the Qld inspection system works so it’s worth asking if they confirm the standard of repair as happens in Vic and SA. I wouldn’t touch a NSW vehicle without a comprehensive inspection.
The funny thing about all this is at least you know what has happened to one of these vehicles whereas an unlisted vehicle could have been badly repaired and you won’t know until it is too late.
Hope this helps a bit
AnswerID: 495760

Follow Up By: Andrew - Thursday, Sep 27, 2012 at 20:20

Thursday, Sep 27, 2012 at 20:20

The rego people should be able to give you the write off codes and tell you what they mean.
You can then work out for yourself where the repairs were done and check the quality

FollowupID: 771354

Follow Up By: Steve M1 (NSW) - Thursday, Sep 27, 2012 at 20:35

Thursday, Sep 27, 2012 at 20:35
Andrew, I think the dealers are obliged to disclose the fact that a vehicle has been listed as written off (usually in the small print) but it is probably then up to the buyer to make the necessary enquiries. I would guess that if a buyer buys under these conditions and neglects to seek out the details of any write off, it is his problem.

Not sure if that is the bottom line and I'm merely reading between the lines here but I recently helped my young bloke buy his first car, and there it was, on the sheet with the usual details. It wasn't very prominent but enough for me to query. We gave it a miss as the dealer seemed a bit defensive.
FollowupID: 771355

Reply By: Member - reggy 2 (VIC) - Thursday, Sep 27, 2012 at 20:20

Thursday, Sep 27, 2012 at 20:20
If the vehicle is reg in your name on paper and you have a copy you should have all the rights at your finger tips.
I am not sure of Queensland rules but a statutory right off is not allowed to be repaired ,
if it was a uneconomical write off it has to have a engineers report
So it falls back onto both the rego branch and the dealer in my mind.
Check it out with consumer affairs to see what they say first and also find out what sort o write off it is.
The vehicle should have been transferred to you in about 14 days after purchase.
I hope this helps some.
AnswerID: 495761

Reply By: Kimba10 - Thursday, Sep 27, 2012 at 20:33

Thursday, Sep 27, 2012 at 20:33
Big difference in some of the ways they write them off. Some only have to have fresh water just inside the doors covering the carpets and they total them. Salt water is an instant write off. Roll overs generally are written off and not very often repaired even by dodgy brothers as there too hard.

Cut and shut is the most common where one vehicle has been shunted up the arse the other a front ender and cut them in half and join the two (heaps of these around) Alot of write offs have worked there way around eg QLD vehicles found in WA due to the last floods in QLD. And the smart way around it by the owners is they dont even make a claim as either there not insured so they cant or they dont want to have the thing repaired so they dry them out, clean them up and sell them most of the time privately as they get more for them so they wont even be on the register of written off vehicles.

I think its a great idea they bought it in, it does help some people BUT there are still people who dont do any of the available checks although still not 100% guarantee of its history. They dont have to tell you they are written off (well they didnt not sure now on the rules) but they do have to be road worthy. Has been on A Current Affairs where people have just replced the airbag with a standard horn pad or have replaced but the airbag is not connected.

There is a certain area in Sydney where I wouldnt even waste my fuel or time driving too as its know as cut and shut city and they dont give a bleep what you drive away in as long as yopu hand over the hard earned $$$. One of the checks available here in Sydney by the REVS mob is the history of pink slips (most electronic now) is shows the klms every time its been registered, and all if any previous owners, about time a welcome move I think......Not sure you will have any luck with chasing it up.

Also you will find most dealers will do a check. (hence how he detected yours been written off) Maybe there is a way to find the previous owner and ask them did they get less as a trade in due to it been written off and this will tell you if the sales person was honest or not BUT in saying that doesnt really matter as they are or at least were not required to tell you anyway.................................

AnswerID: 495763

Reply By: Member - Mike H (QLD) - Thursday, Sep 27, 2012 at 20:57

Thursday, Sep 27, 2012 at 20:57
Thanks so far guys with your responses, but cause I am in Qld, we used to have a revs certificate which when I purchased the vehicle was never given one.
I was charged the $ 22.00 for a revs cert. and on the page that states the clear title, there was a safety cert. number but in the revs section, no number ??
So I presumed that they did know about the write off, thats why they never issued me with it and maybe my fault for not picking it up then, but thinking that the dealer was obligated to do the write thing.

AnswerID: 495765

Follow Up By: Kimba10 - Thursday, Sep 27, 2012 at 23:17

Thursday, Sep 27, 2012 at 23:17
You may be onto some thing Mike, do you have the receipt for payment of the REVS check ?? Im wondering if they have any record of the payment in their system and if you provided them with a chassis/engine number it would come up with anything (revs office I'm referring to)?? Sounds like the sales person did a dodgy on you for sure. Not sure if you keep your bank statements for that far back but may help in getting the exact time and date of when you would have payed for it or did the dealer do it for you, if so maybe on the vehicles sales receipt ?? Just throwing suggestions here to may be jog your memory or some thing LOL. God knows i cant remember jack sh*t half the time and that was yesterday .....................
FollowupID: 771368

Reply By: pop2jocem - Friday, Sep 28, 2012 at 09:19

Friday, Sep 28, 2012 at 09:19

Might be an idea to check if the chassis number on the vehicle is the same as on the rego papers. AFAIK once a vehicle is a statutory write off they can not be re-licenced. That should have stopped the licencing mob issueing a renewal.

AnswerID: 495798

Follow Up By: Member - cherrywipe - Friday, Sep 28, 2012 at 10:07

Friday, Sep 28, 2012 at 10:07
Hi Mike ,
I once bought a write off from insurence co,had been too close to a brushfire ,I replaced all melted plastic parts fitted new tyres had it inspected and was given rego. Some time later went to sell veh in Qld
They found it was on the written off register but given all clear,so then the dealer still did the trade as all was legit.
So maybe Yours has been passed also.
Hope you get it resolved.
FollowupID: 771388

Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Friday, Sep 28, 2012 at 14:00

Friday, Sep 28, 2012 at 14:00
Just to clarify, in WA and AFAIK Oz wide there are 2 types of write off.
Statutory, which means not to be repaired
Not economical as far as the insurance company is concerned. This type can be repaired and registered. In some cases an owner may agree to settle with his insurance company and buy it back as an example.
Maybe my interpretation of what the OP was saying was wrong, I thought he was having dramas with the dealer who didn't want to trade it in because it was on the statutory write off register.

FollowupID: 771402

Reply By: Honky - Friday, Sep 28, 2012 at 10:15

Friday, Sep 28, 2012 at 10:15
My son moved to Qld from NSW and owned a vehicle that had been classed in NSW as a repairable write off. It had a fire inside and had burnt the back seat only.
It was all ok'd by NSW RTA.
When he changed rego to Qld he had to pay $500 for a report as they would not except NSW approval.
Still a nice car

AnswerID: 495802

Reply By: Member - Mike H (QLD) - Friday, Sep 28, 2012 at 20:24

Friday, Sep 28, 2012 at 20:24
Many thanks again for the replies. The vehicle was a repairable writeoff and has been passed and inspected in 2006. That part of it is legal, all chassis numbers and plates all corresspond.
When I purchased the vehicle, the dealer had the rev payment on the contract invoice, not any special reciept direct from revs. So nothing there to pursue.
What the drama is that I now have a vehicle that nobody will trade in nor buy privately due to this written off status. My main question is since the dealer failed to give me the revs report nor advice me of the status, was that legal and are they liable ?
AnswerID: 495849

Reply By: Legendts - Saturday, Sep 29, 2012 at 11:53

Saturday, Sep 29, 2012 at 11:53
Mike, why not spend a few dollars and get good legal advice. Toing and froing on a forum will not resolve the issue, albeit with good intentions and in a general nature. If it was me, I would spend $100 and get some legal advice and at least then you will know where you stand and what your options are.

Good luck.

AnswerID: 495871

Reply By: blown4by - Saturday, Sep 29, 2012 at 15:13

Saturday, Sep 29, 2012 at 15:13
In WA there is no obligation(sadly) on the seller to inform the buyer the vehicle is a WOVR however if you do a REVS check or ask the DoT they will tell you if it is a WOVR or not. In other words it is a case of 'caveat emptor' (let the buyer beware) Not sure what the consumer law in QLS states.
AnswerID: 495879

Reply By: Life Member Tour Boy( Bundy) - Saturday, Sep 29, 2012 at 18:37

Saturday, Sep 29, 2012 at 18:37
Hi Mike MM sent
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AnswerID: 495891

Reply By: Member - Mike H (QLD) - Wednesday, Oct 03, 2012 at 20:24

Wednesday, Oct 03, 2012 at 20:24
I finally did what Jeff recommended, and paid my 250 bucks to find out that I don't have a leg to stand on !!!
In Qld, the dealers do not have to disclose that a vehicle has been in a write off, only if they sold you an unregistered vehicle !! As whom buys an unreg. vehicle of a dealer ?!!
So buyers beware, you have the same protection as if you buy private.
So thanks again for all the replies, am just off to drown my sorrows.........
AnswerID: 496115

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