Had an RAA Check Done on a 2014 Navara That Turned out to Be a Repaired Write Off

This is a bit of a rant but also a warning to anyone buying a second hand car.

I recently took a low kilometer 2014 Navara for a test drive through a private sale and it drove really well, the guy selling it seemed very genuine and I was pretty much ready to hand my money over.

I told him that I would be getting it checked out through RAA and that I had an experience in the past, where I was trying to buy an old camper van interstate and the person told me the van was in tip top condition. Long story short the RAA came back and basically said that if I took it camping it probably wouldn't make it back.
So I asked him expressly, "is there anything negative that the RAA are going to tell me that you know about? because I really don't want to waste another $300". He told me that it wouldn't be an issue and it will check out fine.

The car seemed in such good condition that I was tossing up whether to get the inspection done or not but in the end decided to go through with it. When the RAA mechanic called me on the day of the inspection, the first thing he told me was that it had been written off in Victoria and repaired then re registered in South Australia. He then went on to tell me that there were multiple defects. So I feel like I have dodged a bullet but at the same time am a bit annoyed that I am out of pocket $300. Still better than if I had bought the car though.

So the guy has messaged me today asking if I am still interested and I told him that it had been written off in Victoria and there were a few defects so I was not interested. At this point I thought that maybe he didn't know that it was previously written off so I felt a bit sorry for him. Then he wrote me a long message about how it doesn't matter if it was written off because it is all good now and it can be registered anywhere in Australia (Which is false) and that he had already looked into all of that, he also asked for a list of the defects.

This really made me angry because I asked him if they were going to find anything and he lied to me. If he had told me about it being a repaired write off, there is no way I would have paid for a report.

I told him this in a message and didn't send him the list of defects. If he asks again I'm planning on telling him that he can give my my $300 back and then I will send him the report.

Yes so that's the end of my rant.

So if you're looking to buy a second hand car, make sure you get it checked out, even if it does seem in fantastic condition.

It annoys me that he is probably going to end up selling it for way more than it is worth to someone who takes his word and doesn't get it checked out.

Was about to buy a second hand car,
Car seemed in great condition but I told the owner I wanted to get an RAA check
Told him they cost $300, so before I get a check, is there anything he knows about that will come back negative on the report,
Owner told me that an RAA check will come back fine,
Ended up being a repaired write off and having a few defects
Owner seemed to know that it was previously written off and now wants me to send him a list of the defects.

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    lets bash him


      lol. I wouldn't go that far over $300 but maybe the person who ends up buying it will feel more inclined (if they ever find out). I just wish there was a way that I could warn people.

    • +1 vote

      No, you ar meant to send the OzB bikies round

  • +21 votes

    Lol should've done a ppsr check. Could've saved you $298

    • +2 votes

      Was about to say the same thing lol

      • +2 votes

        I was told this by a friend after the fact.
        I will definitely be doing one before an RAA check going forward though.

        • +8 votes

          It's even come up as a deal on ozbargain a few times. Oh well, live and learn. Ay least you did a check in the first place. Tell the dude he can have the list for $300.

          • +2 votes

            @subywagon: Was going to say the same thing. Don’t give the report to the guy unless he wants to pay you for it.

            And even though it cost $300 to get it done, it’s still a damn sight cheaper than being lumbered with a shitbox. This is exactly what the inspection was supposed to do.


              @pegaxs: That's exactly what I did and he just replied - lol good luck.

              I know I'm lucky that I did it and found out before handing over any cash.
              I'm just annoyed that he mislead me and knew I was going to spend $300 and find out that way.

  • +5 votes

    Morale of the story is you cant trust anyone, especially people you don't know at all. There are people out there that know you and family might screw you, so imagine what a total stranger could potentially do.


      Awesome. I'm looking at a few more cars, so will use this deal for sure.


      This. Should be the first thing you do… Then once it’s not confirmed to not be written off or under finance you do the mechanical check.

      You’re lucky your mechanic did this for you. It could’ve come back with no faults but still have been under finance.


    now wants me to send him a list of the defects.

    You could send the list of defects to authorities. They might pull the car up and issue a defect notice. I'm guessing you cannot sell a car a registered, if there is a defect notice from police or rta.

    On the other hand, you didn't ask if it had ever been written off. You asked a somewhat ambiguous question "will they find anything" . Owner possibly didn't know that they would find something, and was hoping they wouldn't find any defects etc I guess.

    If you really feel seller screwed you over, and if the "defects" mean it is unsafe and unroadworthy, then I would report it to authorities to get vehicle off the road until repairs are done for safety reasons, if nothing else.


    he wrote me a long message about how it doesn't matter if it was written off because it is all good now and it can be registered anywhere in Australia (Which is false)

    Which state will refuse to register an interstate re-registered repaired written-off vehicle?


      NSW makes it very hard to register interstate written off vehicles. If it is currently registered and you’re transferring it, it’s a hassle, but ok. If it then falls out of rego and you want to get it re-registered, it’s a nightmare.

      I did it with a bike when I moved from Vic back to NSW and they wanted me to take the bike back to Vic to get the VIV inspection done again, re-register in Vic, come back to NSW and transfer the rego.

      So, technically not a “refusal” but certainly they make it hard enough for people to give up due to costs.


        I bought my touring 4WD as a re-registered repaired write-off. Haven't had any hassles with it or trouble getting comprehensive insurance. That said, it was a proper good-as-new repair and has only been NSW registered.


        My brother's weekend fun car was a QLD registered repaired write-off. Pretty sure he only required a blue slip to register in NSW since it had been registered for over 12 months (less than would have required an additional NSW inspection).
        That said, I wouldn't consider a registered repaired write-off without a deep look into the vehicle's history and repair.


          Has he had if for a while? I think it was a fairly recent change to combat car rebirthing.

          Just took this from the NSW services.gov.au website in regards to when to eligibility for registering repaired writeoffs

          The vehicle must be in an exempt category. The exempt categories are:
          hail damaged vehicles, where you were the registered operator for more than 28 days before the vehicle was hail damaged
          a vehicle that you inherited in a will or letters of administration
          a vehicle that you owned for at least 28 days before it was damaged, or
          a vehicle used for motorsport only.



    Your tl;dr is too long. Maybe you need a second one.

    • +1 vote

      Sent second hand Navara for a pre-purchase inspection just to find out it has been written off and has a lot of defects concealed. This was known to the owner who is still insisting on false claims but still wants the list of defects from RAA.

    • -1 vote

      I agree.

  • +3 votes

    Good outcome. You did the research and it worked out well. Valuable lesson for the rest of us.

    Don't worry about the cost for the report, it is worth it compared to the headaches and extra $ you would of had to deal with.


    Now you can just buy the new Jimney instead

  • +1 vote

    OP, great story that others can learn from. I've had a similar experience with seemingly genuine sellers either failing PPSR or passing then failing the mechanical inspection. There are a lot of guys flipping auctioned off write-offs in Vic. Glad you went with your head and not your heart! You just saved yourself a lot of money and pain.


    I do a ppsr check before even going to look at a car. Money owing - pass, written off - pass

  • +2 votes

    Chill… You've done well. You did your due diligence. That's part of investing in a car,(yeah not an amg but anw).

    That's the lesson. Don't trust whatever someone says. Do your research. 300 is a small price to pay compared with buying a lemon.

    Nice work op. Good luck in your search!

  • -3 votes

    If you buying a car off ScumTree, always do a https://www.google.com.au/search?q=car+history+check, which is around $10
    You can do a history check while talking to the owner, its fast.
    Then do a RAA.

    Alarm bells, when car is low kilometer, and better value than off dealers.

  • +4 votes

    Sell him the report for $100-$150? At least you are less out of pocket, and I can't imagine you will get $300 from him.

    To be honest I don't see there being much advantage for him personally for buying the report off you for $150, let alone $300. But since you said he seemed like a nice guy maybe you can come to an agreement with him paying half of the cost to get the report.

    P.s. obviously don't provide report until money is transferred.


    Owner told me that an RAA check will come back fine,
    Ended up being a repaired write off and having a few defects

    Thats why you get the checks done ;)

    Owner seemed to know that it was previously written off and now wants me to send him a list of the defects.

    If you're a nice guy, you can let them know the defects. Guessing they want to fix them up for the next person, not pressure you into a sale. The simple it was a repaired write off is enough reason to walk away.

    But as many others have said, do the ppsr check online for a few dollars FIRST and if it comes back clean, then move on to your RAA check.


    Cars can be a financial write off and still be repaired/reregistered. Were there any defects still on the car? Or were they repaired as part of the write off?


      The car had been written off, fixed and then registered in South Australia. The car will probably be in good working order but from my understanding, you can have issues with comprehensive insurance with repaired write offs and you can never register it in NSW. This isn't an issue for me at the moment but I am looking at the future when I try to sell it on. The defects were picked up by RAA, the car is not currently defected but it can be if a cop pulls the car over and happens to find them.


        "the car is not currently defected but it can be if a cop pulls the car over" So is it defected or isn't it? I don't think you fully understand the rules around repaired write offs.


          The car has been written off and repaired. That part is not the cause of the defects. The RAA inspector has found a couple of other issues that are detectable. But still, I would try avoid purchasing a previously defected car.


        The report didn't include why it was written off?

        Sometimes older cars can be written off for the most minor of things. A scrape down 2 or 3 panels would make it uneconomical to fix in a car worth 3k for example.

        If you're mechanically minded you could just use it as a bargaining chip. However given he lied to you in your face about it he's probably just looking for a clueless mug to sell it for top dollar.

        Bottom line is that written off cars can still be reliable cars but only if you can tell the good from the crap. Given the significant discount that usually follows a written off car, it could be a good way to get a car you couldn't previously afford, or just a way to save money. Or a good way to burn cash if you get it wrong.


          He said that someone tried to break into it and they had to replace all the locks but it is a $20k car so I would be surprised if it would cost more than $20k to replace the locks.

    • +1 vote

      Why would you want to bother though, lots of cars available. You get terrible resale, and possible issues down the road.


    repairable writeoff doesnt mean that it has been trashed. What it means is, at some point, an insurance company has been it not economical to repair. Sometimes it could just be expensive body work.

    It needs to go though VIV before it can be registered again.
    I have friends who buy motorbike repairable writeoff, repair them, register them and ride or sell them
    If I were selling one, I would disclose that it was a repairable writeoff.

    A statutory writeoff on the other hand, means that there is significant structure damage. and CANNOT be on the road again.
    My friends also buy stat write off motorbikes and repair them for track bikes.
    They know what they are doing, and most important of all, know how much to pay for them.


      I understand that and it is good that they disclose it when selling. The issue is that you cant really find out why it has been written off, you just have to take the sellers word for it.
      A repairable write off is something that I personally wouldn't want to take a $20k gamble on.
      The reason that I'm annoyed is that I wouldn't have thought about purchasing the vehicle if he told me that it had been written off so wouldn't have spent $300 getting it checked out. He chose not to disclose it while also knowing that I was going to find out in the report.


        That is very true. It is different with motorbikes than cars. Visual inspection and a bit of poking around and we can see obvious damages.

        I agree that it is $300 that you need not have to spend.
        It is a pair of Bose QC35 in the bin.

        Hope you have better luck and land a good deal soon.

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