Mechanic warns drivers to 'stay away' from certain used petrol and diesel cars

Wrench in hand on the background of cars .
Investing in a wrote off vehicle could cost more in the long run -Credit:Getty Images

Car shoppers should avoid buying certain seemingly cheap cars that could cost more in the long run, according to one auto expert.

Scotty Kilmer is an American mechanic with over 55 years of experience in the industry. He regularly shares his wealth of knowledge on social media to help motorists save money and make good vehicle choices.

His latest tip concerns "salvaged" or written-off cars, which seem cheap upfront, with many choosing to invest in one with intentions to restore the vehicle to its former glory. Car shoppers on low budgets can also get a good deal by opting for a salvaged model, as these are likely to not be in high demand.

However, Scotty warned that car insurance companies will often “raise the rates” for these vehicles going forward, meaning any upfront savings could be handed back in premiums alone, reports the Express.

Speaking on his YouTube channel, Scotty said: “Today I'm going to tell you why not to buy a car with a salvaged title. It doesn't matter if the title says salvaged or rebuilt. It just means the car was totalled by an insurance company.

Crashed car is immersed in tow truck closeup. Car evacuation after an accident concept
Many opt to buy wrote off vehicles so they can restore them to their former glory -Credit:Getty Images

“They only total them for rather large reasons. Let’s say it was flooded. It may run fine now but the water damage may ruin it months down the line.

“Now we are all tempted by low prices but realise insurance companies will often raise the rates if you have one that has been totalled. There are plenty of used cars out there. But stay away from ones that have been totalled.”

Breakdown specialists and car insurance experts at the RAC warned some sellers may keep quiet about a vehicle’s true condition in a major blow. Its experts revealed buyers should be “fully aware” of a vehicle’s past before parting with their money by conducting thorough research ahead of a sale.

They commented: “Some sellers try to pass off Cat S or Cat N cars as non-damaged by hiding their past. If the buyer does not carry out a vehicle history check, they might not be aware the car has previously been damaged and so could pay over the odds for an insurance write-off.”

According to Compare the Market, insurance firms will usually put damaged cars into a category ranging from models that have to be scrapped to vehicles which are just too expensive to repair.

However, Category N (non structurally damaged repairable) and Category S (structurally damaged repairable) can be purchased. But, they also raised fears around the cost of car insurance with motorists likely to struggle to find affordable cover.

They explained: “You can also buy and sell second-hand S and N write-offs. But these cars may be more difficult and expensive to insure in the future. Some providers won’t insure them at all.

“If you’re considering buying an S or N write-off, first check out how much you’re likely to pay to insure it.”

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