• Over a third admit it was their fault
  • 8% had cars stolen, then written off by insurer  

Drivers in East of England (37%) are more likely than any other UK region to have written a car off, followed by Northern Ireland (33%) and the North West (32%). Drivers in Wales (24%), East Midlands (25%), Scotland (26%) and the South East (26%) are the least likely to have written off a car.

In the Opinium* survey of 2,000 UK drivers, for InsuretheGap.com, a leading provider of GAP (Guaranteed Asset Protection) insurance for new and second-hand cars, almost a half (49%) said other drivers’ actions caused their cars to be written off. Almost one in ten drivers (8%) had their cars stolen and then written off by the insurer, and 3% cited a technical issue or fault in the car.

Over a third (36%) admit they were at fault when their car was written off. 15% said they were the only vehicle involved when they wrote the vehicle off (men 19% and women 10%), and 16% said they were at fault with another vehicle involved (men 14% and women 18%). 5% said that they and the other driver(s) were at fault in the accident.

If a car is written off, the insurance company usually only pays out what the car was worth at the time of the incident. Because of depreciation, this can be significantly less than what was paid for it.
Half of drivers (50%) said that if their car got written off and the insurer only paid out half of what they had originally paid for the car, they could not afford to buy exactly the same model again (men 45% and women 55%).

Ben Wooltorton, Chief Operating Officer of InsuretheGap.com, said: Cars lose their value very quickly once driven off the forecourt. It pays to protect your investment should your car get written off, as the insurance company will generally only pay its value at the time of the incident, not what you paid for it. It also won’t take into account if you’re still paying back finance on it.”

He continues: “GAP insurance will pay out the difference between what you paid for the car, and the value when it’s written off. GAP insurance is available from standalone providers, like InsuretheGap.com, for usually significantly less than the insurance offered by the car showrooms. It’s always best to shop around.”

* The survey of 2,004 drivers (18+) was carried out by Opinium from 21 – 27 January 2020.