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Auction of hail-damaged cars offers bargains but do your research

Ian Bushnell 7 February 2020 49
Hail-damaged cars

Hundreds of hail-damaged cars in the Hume holding yard. Photos: Supplied.

Auctions of Canberra’s hail-damaged vehicles are set to begin next week, offering potential bargains to buyers unconcerned about dimpled bodywork.

But excitement at the prospect of a cheap car needs to be tempered with the knowledge that there will be conditions and restrictions compared with an undamaged vehicle.

Mannheim Auctions will stage the first of many expected sale events on Monday with an online, ‘Simulcast’ auction of hundreds of vehicles of various makes and models, some not very old, on behalf of its insurance customers.

The vehicles, damaged in the January 20 storm, can only be viewed in the online catalogue due to safety concerns at the storage site in Hume. They are sold unregistered and without plates and cannot be driven from the holding yard.

Mannheim’s Head of Salvage Jonothan Ellerton said the auctions provided a fantastic opportunity to purchase a written off hail damaged vehicle for a great price.

“The benefit of hail damaged vehicles is that most of them are still structurally sound and the damage is largely cosmetic,” he said.

Mr Ellerton said that ACT-registered repairable write-offs could be repaired and re-registered locally or in another state, but he said potential buyers should do their own research into registration conditions, insurance and repair costs.

“Most of the vehicles that have been written off by insurers were because they were deemed too expensive to repair. Also, broken windscreens can be costly, especially if there are rain and wiper sensors embedded in the glass,” Mr Ellerton said.

He said vehicles registered in NSW that had been written off were classified as statutory write-offs and could not be repaired or re-registered in any state.

“Vehicles in this category tend to be purchased by vehicle exporters who tend to buy late model vehicles or parts recyclers who break the cars down and sell their individual parts,” he said.

Damaged vehicles

Some of the damaged vehicles to be auctioned.

An ACT Government spokesperson said that to re-register a repairable write off in the ACT, the vehicle had to have been registered in the ACT prior to being notified as a written off vehicle, and the ACT was unable to register a vehicle from interstate with a current written-off restriction.

“While some consumers may seek to get a bargain when buying a hail damaged vehicle, there are a number of important factors and associated costs you must consider before choosing to purchase a written-off vehicle,” the spokesperson said.

A vehicle which has been assessed as a statutory write-off cannot be registered and may only be used as a limited source of spare parts or scrap metal. Only an economic repairable written-off vehicle can be repaired and re-registered.

ACT Road Transport legislation prohibits re-registration of written-off vehicles in the ACT unless the vehicle is an economical repairable write off and was registered in the ACT at the time it was written off.

Even in a repaired state, the value of a written-off vehicle will generally be diminished in comparison to a vehicle that has not been recorded as a write-off.

While cosmetic damage may not need to be repaired to clear a vehicle’s written-off status for economic write-offs, the vehicle must be structurally sound and have passed a full roadworthy inspection.

All vehicle structural repairs must be done in accordance with manufacturer’s guidelines or industry standards that relate to structural integrity and safety and must be certified by an appropriately licensed motor vehicle repairer.

Consumers may experience stricter conditions and higher premiums when taking out insurance on a previously written-off vehicle.


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49 Responses to Auction of hail-damaged cars offers bargains but do your research
Jessie Sumalinog Jessie Sumalinog 11:46 pm 15 Feb 20

Looking for prado kakadu has hail damage

Beau A Davis Beau A Davis 10:40 pm 09 Feb 20

Hayden Mate 🤔 interesting

Peter Bucke Peter Bucke 9:08 pm 09 Feb 20

Thanks for providing this clear information.

Ray Mcgee Ray Mcgee 2:56 pm 09 Feb 20

How are people feeling having their cars written off just to see it auctioned off....?

    Graham Williams Graham Williams 6:07 pm 15 Feb 20

    Ray Mcgee ours is 2011 suzuki and prob worth 3500 on open market but insured for 11000 and we were just about to upgrade , so happy but feel for people that may have perfectly good cars and not much value

Alfred Fripp Alfred Fripp 11:04 am 09 Feb 20

Went on to the Manheim website to take a look at the cars. The photos are all pretty bad with no effort made to really show the damage. All of the descriptions say the same thing. "Hail damage".... that's all. Given that you can't go and look at the cars where they sit, I wouldn't touch this auction to buy a car to put on the road. Way too risky. Would be different if they had better photos. Only good for parts or race car projects.

    Steve Wallace Steve Wallace 1:13 pm 10 Feb 20

    Alfred Fripp It was mentioned, the cars would NOT be able to be registered if the insurer has written them off.

    Graham Williams Graham Williams 6:02 pm 15 Feb 20

    Steve Wallace I don't think that's right I think you can't insure them comprehensive but u can rego them if road worthy

James Wilkinson James Wilkinson 10:04 am 09 Feb 20

Anything with a 4a-gze in it??

Caroline Van Lohuizen Caroline Van Lohuizen 3:04 pm 08 Feb 20

Barry William Govaars, this is what you saw 😁

Zhong Yu Wang Zhong Yu Wang 1:33 pm 08 Feb 20

Tess Campbell your lucky day maybe?

    Tess Campbell Tess Campbell 8:04 pm 08 Feb 20

    Zhong Yu Wang could be the one of my dreams in there!!!

Andre De Menezes Ribeiro Andre De Menezes Ribeiro 9:44 am 08 Feb 20

Sharon Grills if you wanted to find a car for conner this might be a good place!

Troy Summerfield Troy Summerfield 8:57 am 08 Feb 20

Anyone who’s looking to get into 24hrs of Lemons will be cheering

Daniel Morassutti Daniel Morassutti 8:39 am 08 Feb 20

Corey Mitchell the perfect way to start our beater racing career

canberranmedia canberranmedia 8:30 am 08 Feb 20

Government once again cashing in on Disaster. Keeping big business afloat by not allowing a flood of cheap drivable cars into the market.

Freedom Summers Freedom Summers 7:58 am 08 Feb 20

is it true you cant insure a hail damaged buy?

    Oday Nassir Oday Nassir 8:14 am 08 Feb 20

    Freedom Summers yes u have to fix them first. I am with Aami they told me if i dont fix it no comprehensive insurance only 3rd party

    Cathy Rushbrook Cathy Rushbrook 9:26 am 09 Feb 20

    Freedom Summers u can insure it without fixing it, but only 3rd party property

    Chris Baylis Chris Baylis 12:39 am 10 Feb 20

    As above. Comprehensive insurance generally requires the vehicle to "have no unrepaired damage".

    Either insure for 3rd party only or pay for to fully repair all damage before seeking comprehensive coverage.

    Karen Spedding Karen Spedding 11:28 am 10 Feb 20

    Freedom Summers it also has to be an ACT registered car. Can’t re register a NSW car in ACT if it’s been written off

Marina Bradshaw Marina Bradshaw 7:18 am 08 Feb 20

Michael cheap engine 😂

Jake Horyna Jake Horyna 4:07 am 08 Feb 20

Tom RedBeard Horyna something to lol at

    Tom RedBeard Horyna Tom RedBeard Horyna 6:54 am 08 Feb 20

    Jake Horyna we've got the barina now :) Nat's old car

    Jake Horyna Jake Horyna 8:16 am 08 Feb 20

    Nice so does that mean the white ones gone ?

    Tom RedBeard Horyna Tom RedBeard Horyna 8:23 am 08 Feb 20

    Jake Horyna yeah man. Written off

Timmy Bilingual Timmy Bilingual 11:47 pm 07 Feb 20

Stuart Garner definitely a few business opportunities

Jenny Moore Jenny Moore 9:13 pm 07 Feb 20

Still waiting to discover the fate of my car!

Jenny Bolin Jenny Bolin 9:00 pm 07 Feb 20

Is the boat for sale too? How did the hail affect it? 😀

    Gareth Rowlands Gareth Rowlands 9:52 pm 07 Feb 20

    Jenny Bolin It's full of holes most likely...which is bad for a boat apparently 🤣

    Mason Batley Mason Batley 10:12 pm 08 Feb 20

    Jenny Bolin water damage

Jordan Mulach Jordan Mulach 8:27 pm 07 Feb 20

Dan Sainty have a dig lad

Brendan Rocha Brendan Rocha 8:25 pm 07 Feb 20

Don Miguel Rocha if you’re happy with a golf ball looking car you should jump on this

    Don Miguel Rocha Don Miguel Rocha 9:36 pm 07 Feb 20

    Brendan Rocha majority of them are ride offs.... wouldn’t be worth it

    Brendan Rocha Brendan Rocha 10:26 pm 07 Feb 20

    Don Miguel Rocha write offs only cos of the cosmetic damage. But still structurally sounds and engine working. That’s why I said if u don’t mind ur car staying looking like a golf ball then it’s a good deal

    Don Miguel Rocha Don Miguel Rocha 10:27 pm 07 Feb 20

    Brendan Rocha hahaha nah I’ll pass lol

    Nicky Ng Nicky Ng 6:58 pm 10 Feb 20

    Brendan Rocha buy mine

    Brendan Rocha Brendan Rocha 8:42 pm 10 Feb 20

    Nicky Ng was urs a write off???

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