Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Coping with a car crash: the financial implications

Car crashes suck. Even if you escape physically unharmed, your bank account most likely won’t. Somebody may have crashed into you, in which case they’ll pay for your repairs. But if you crashed into someone else and only have third party (or alternatively crashed into an inanimate object, as is more the case), you’re going to have to fork out for it yourself. With Christmas only a couple weeks away, nobody wants to be paying money on bumper repairs and new wheel arches. Here are ways to make the damage cheaper.

Make a legal claim
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Hurt in an accident that wasn’t your fault? You’re probably well aware of these ads and openly despise the kind of people that sue at every given instance. But in some cases you may be well in your right to gain compensation for an injury. Obstructions on roads should be clearly marked, and many crashes occur because things weren’t clearly signposted. You or someone else could have received a nasty injury as a result, in which case you shouldn’t suffer in silence, and ought to pursue a personal injury claim (there are many personal injury lawyers that specialise purely in car crashes).

Repair or replace?

If you’ve well and truly totaled your car, repair costs could be more than a replacement. In this case, you should probably cut your losses and get a new cheap vehicle. Scrapping your wrecked car could get you some extra money.

That said, don’t scrap your car just because it’s missing a wing mirror! There are places that do cheap repairs. Avoid repairing yourself unless you know your stuff, as this could affect insurance.

Weigh up whether you really need a courtesy car

If you’re getting your car repaired, think strongly about whether you need a rental car in the meantime. Rental cars can be costly. Unless driving is your livelihood, you should be able to commute to work by another means. Even if you don’t want to resort to public transport, someone may be able to give you a lift. For more local travel, you could always try using those appendages making up the lower half of your body – they’re not just for pressing pedals! Basically, just avoid being robbed by rental car companies, as they’re not worth a couple of days hire.

Take some safe driving courses to lower insurance

Once you’ve been in a crash – whether or not you were the perpetrator - insurance companies automatically think you’re a menace on the roads and up your insurance rates. The best way to prove to these buggers that you’re not a menace is to take an advanced driving course. Some of these are designed specifically to lower insurance rates, as passing them proves to companies that you’re a safe driver (therefore they can’t overcharge you by law). Another more extreme alternative is to insert a black box, that will monitor your driving at all times, allowing insurance companies to charge you fairly on the safety of your driving. That said, many drivers don’t like the restriction this can impose and the idea of always being monitored.


** This is a collaborative post

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