Selling a repairable write-off car

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Selling a repairable write-off car
Sell Salvaged Vehicle
Doug Whiffin
Doug Whiffin
National Automotive Buyer and Second-In-Command Manager
August 14, 2023
minute read

How to sell a car that needs repairs for the most money

What is a damaged car? Well, that’s a matter of perspective. To some, junk cars are just hunks of metal, rubber and glass to be shunted off to the junkyard. But to discerning car buyers, a broken car is a pile of money.

In this guide, we’ll explain how you can turn your repairable write-offs into cash in the bank. 

Want to sell your repairable write-off car for the best price?? Get in touch with 1800 Salvage’s vehicle specialists today.

What is a repairable write-off?

A repairable write-off is a damaged vehicle that is no longer roadworthy but could still be repaired and approved for driving. Written-off vehicles are judged not to be worth the cost of repairs.

Once your insurer or panel beater has deemed your car a repairable write-off, they must inform your local road authority. That authority will then add your vehicle to the Written-Off Vehicle Register (WOVR), the national write-off database. 

How do I know if my vehicle's on the WOVR?

Your local road authority will send you a confirmation that your vehicle has been written off.

You can check a vehicle’s write-off status using the Personal Properties Securities Register (PPSR).

Can I sell a car that needs repairs?

All Australian states allow you to sell repairable write-off vehicles. However, Australian consumer protection laws demand that you are honest about their write-off status to potential buyers. 

Should I repair my written-off car before selling it?

To decide if a repairable write-off is worth repairing, compare the repair costs to buyer quotes for a repaired and unrepaired car. If the repair costs are higher than the price for a repaired vehicle, don’t bother. You’ll make more money by selling it as is to the right buyer.

The costs of repairing a write-off don’t just stop at the mechanic’s shop. You’ll also have to pay for an up-to-date Certificate of Roadworthiness and Vehicle Identification Inspection Certificate. You will need both documents to get your written-off car registered by your road authority.

Between the rising costs and the migraine you get from trying to get your vehicle identity validation documents, you’ll soon see that selling a repairable write-off is the best way to go.

Who buys repairable write-offs?

The key to getting the best price for selling your repairable write-off is to find the right buyer. Every buyer will conduct their own written-off vehicle inspection to determine a fair market price. We recommend that you get a quote from multiple sources. 

Private buyers

You can sell your car privately to anyone you like. People often advertise repairable write-offs on Facebook Marketplace or through their suburb’s community groups — some just stick a ‘For Sale’ sign to their parked car.

While you’ll likely get a fair few expressions of interest, it’s hard to parse the serious buyers from the time-wasters. And those who are willing to buy are likely to haggle your price down to peanuts.

Trade-ins and dealerships

You can offer to sell your repairable write-off to a used-car dealership or back to the original manufacturer’s used car service. They may be willing to pay more than a private seller, but chances are they’ll pay the trade-in value in credits rather than cash.

Selling to a dealership might be a good idea if you’re planning on buying a car from them and want credits to put towards that. It might not be the best option if you just want cash in your pocket.

Vehicle salvage specialists

Private buyers and dealerships want repairable write-offs to repair, which is why they’re likely to lowball you and call it a fair price. But vehicle salvagers, like 1800 Salvage, want your write-off car as is and don’t intend to repair it. Instead, we look at your vehicle as a collection of components, each of which has its own value to our specialist buyer network.

Best of all, car salvagers pay cash.

Car salvager specialists are better equipped to value repairable write-offs and pay top dollar for them. Compare a quote from a salvager with quotes from private buyers and dealerships, and it’ll be clear who you should sell to.

1800 Salvage will buy your repairable write-off for cash

At 1800 Salvage, we buy all cars and vehicles in practically any condition. We just need a few details to give you a competitive quote for your repairable write-off:

  • The make and model of the vehicle
  • The vehicle’s age and its odometer reading
  • A description of its condition and level of damage
  • Internal and external photos

Our valuations process is entirely digital — just email through the details we need. Once you approve of our quote, we’ll book a free tow truck to collect your vehicle, no matter where it’s located in Australia. Once we’ve picked up your vehicle, we’ll instantly deposit your cash into your nominated bank account.

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Get in touch for friendly advice

Whether you want to buy or sell salvage vehicles, we are here to help. Get in touch and we will get back to you soon with the information you need.

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