Nearly a third of drivers have had a car written off

Writing off a car might seem unusual to many, but nearly a third (29 per cent) of UK drivers have written a car off, almost a third of men (32 per cent) and a quarter of women (26 per cent), and 7 per cent have written a car off more than once.

In the survey of over 2,000 UK drivers, carried out by Opinion for, a leading provider of GAP (Guaranteed Asset Protection) insurance for new and second-hand cars, nearly two-thirds say it was not their fault, with over half (55 per cent) blaming the other driver, and one in ten (10 per cent) saying that the car was stolen and written off.

Over a quarter (27 per cent) admit it actually was their fault, with one in ten (9 per cent) citing an incident with another vehicle, and one in ten (10 per cent) admitting they were the only vehicle involved. This rockets in the North East, with nearly two-fifths (38 per cent) of drivers, who have written a car off, saying it was their fault.

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. Almost half (45 per cent) of those surveyed say that if their car got written off and the insurer only paid out half of what they had paid for it, they could not afford to buy exactly the same car again.

Ben Wooltorton, chief operating officer of, said: “Most people don’t think about the possibility of their car getting written off.  However, this research shows that it’s happened to nearly a third of UK drivers, and for two-thirds of them, it was not their fault.”

He continues: “Buying a car is a big investment, but depreciation means that it can lose its value quite quickly. If your car is written off the insurance company will usually only pay its value at the time of the incident, not what you paid for it, which can be especially painful if you’re still paying finance on it.”

He concludes: “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, for usually significantly less than the insurance offered by the car showrooms. It’s always best to shop around.”

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