Buying Vehicle but Seller Got Involved in Accident

Hi fellows, looking for advise.I paid deposit for a car after inspection to pick up this week in VIC. Seller arranged roadworthy and everything went well. However, today that car got hit by another car from behind (boot and bumper damaged). I was suppose to pick car tomorrow but now seller has arranged insurance to get repair done. Considering the damage and holidays coming, i don't think it will get repair in a week but probably 3-4 weeks.

The seller is going overseas for good on 26 Dec.

If I transfer the car on my name before repairs are completed, is there any risk of insurance claim going toward myself instead of earlier owner????

The seller is stuck as well as he cannot sell the car to anyone else because he has to fly out too. So i am thinking not to leave him hanging, and help him considering he is in tough spot if there is no risk to get vehicle transferred during the repair already lodged.


vehicle is honda city 2011. low KM. Single owner. $8500 agreed before it got hit. Damage is bumper and boot.



  • +201

    Cancel purchase, get deposit back, buy something else.

    • thats what i wud do too !

    • The only reasonable choice.

      And yes there is a risk with insurance with repairs not finished. One of the questions you have to answer when taking out insurance is, is there any unpaired damage to the vehicle?.

    • -24

      I’d walk away. If you feel bad let them keep the deposit.

      • +18

        The seller can't keep the deposit. The vehicle is no longer in the same condition as when the transaction was agreed upon. The buyer have the right to withdraw their offer and claim back the the deposit without any penalties.

      • +1

        What kind of advice is this, you either must be incredibly rich to be throwing money away or of questionable intelligence.

        • +2

          Or maybe the owner of the car for sale… D:

    • Yes walk away.

    • +6

      Just be careful, since the seller is leaving the country if he/she is dishonest he/she could just keep the deposit and disappear

    • +1

      Why was he driving a car that he has sold?

      • +1

        Yep. This is a good question. Shouldn't have been using it at all.

        I mean, it's not a law or anything, but it's a good rule to follow with anything that you've sold. It's not yours now. Don't use it. For exactly this reason.

        • Maybe he only has 1 car? It is like if you are doing simultaneous settlement on two properties most likely you will still be living in your current one even after the deposit has been paid.

    • +1

      I'd cancel purchase, get deposit back, then make him a lowball offer because you know it's been in an accident. He's leaving the country very soon, doesn't have time to find another buyer, so will probably accept the low offer.

  • +29


    Negotiate a price highly favourable to you

    • +18

      Thought so, but i feel it is not fair to take advantage of someone in this situation when he is stuck because of bad luck. He is arranging all the repairs already through insurance, and it is not costing him anything because other car was at fault.

      • +13

        sure, don't rip him off but the seller is already thinking 'what is the least I need to do to get this deal done, coz I prob won't want to care anymore once I fly out'

      • +19

        Listen to everyone's advice. The car has now been in an accident, leave it alone and move on.

        The seller has insurance so can have it repaired at their convenience, look to sell later at a more convenient time & lower price given the prior damage.

        You'd be crazy to get tangled this this deal so close to holidays, and with the seller about to go on holiday.

        • +4

          The seller has insurance so can have it repaired at their convenience, look to sell later at a more convenient time & lower price given the prior damage.


          The seller is going overseas for good on 26 Dec.

          • +6

            @DisabledUser26950: Even more reason not to buy this car. The seller has 2 weeks to do whatever he wants with his self damaged car.

            Also, people can spin any old tale to others when trying to sell things, so who’s to say this isn’t some story (leaving OZ for good) to try offloading a damaged car with the least future hassle for the seller?

            I still don’t see why the OP would any part of this? If OP buys a damaged car then he’s on the hook for all future issues it may have.

      • Okay, maybe not that highly favorable, but enough to cover your risk.

        If you want to help him out, find out what his next best option would be if you walked away - that would be a fair offer to make?? If that's a bargain for you, give him a going away present.

      • +3

        it's not your fault the seller left selling vehicle to the last minute

      • mate, you are actually doing him a favor if you buy, so say 6k is not a bad thing.
        He doesn't really have a choice now considering he has to go back for good.

      • A much better price was my thought too. Especially as the crash appears to have not been high speed. There are sure to be issues with the repair, and if they know about the sale the body shop may show less care than the even the average repairers do.

  • +19

    Maybe can you ask seller whether he could get a payout from insurance company. He gives you this money. Therefore can settle transaction and pay for repair yourself.

    • +1

      this is actually not a bad idea, dunno why people are downvoting you.

      • -3

        Probably coz you don't really ask the insurance company to payout, its something they decide.

        • +2

          Not true. You can take a cash settlement instead of repair Ive done it several times.

          • +2

            @stumo: My parents also have received a cash payment before. That is why l suggested it.

        • +1

          depends on your insurance company and the repairer, my mum hit my car and I got it assesed sent them a quote and they just sent me a cheque, the damage was actually very minor so I kept the cheque and didn't get it fixed, which the insurance company said I am perfectly entitled to do as my car has been devalued and they have compensated me for it, I can either repair it or take the compensation and accept that my car is worth less.

          But in this instance I would recomend OP not go through with the sale but OP seems to want to go through with the sale.

      • Because at the end of the day op still has to organise repairs, get them done, get them redone if not happy with it, and he has payed full price for a working car. He should just get his money back and buy the same car off someone else.

        • yes my first suggestion would be to cancel the sale, but OP doesn't seem to want to do that.

    • good idea, only this usually takes weeks to arrange. not sure if it can be done by december 26.

    • how do you say SPAM in Czech?

    • Yeah a credit union uses a gmail address

  • +16

    I hope you're not paying the same price for a car that's been damaged. Regardless of whether it's been fixed, I would ask for a reduction in price.

  • +6

    GET A REFUND. DOnt transfer car under your name if its not even been repaired yet.

  • +8

    back out of the deal, try very very hard to get your deposit back…

    I usually won't hand my money (unless I get the goods in full at the same time), especially dealing with a non-permanent resident ?

    smelling something fishy here…

  • +3

    The seller is going overseas for good on 26 Dec.

    This is your leverage to renegotiate new terms for the transaction. Whatever the amount that agreed to before the collision is now 1/4 or less.

  • +13

    just reconsider that you are now buying a damaged car, no matter how good it got repair( all new parts), still the car got hit and may be the chassis too.

    Therefore I would not buy the car at all cost, there are so many other car you can buy.

  • +18

    Hey OP,

    Say there's 2 identical cars for sale at the same price. The only difference is one was just in an accident and been repaired.

    Would you choose to buy the car just involved in an accident?

    Fact is the car is no longer worth the same as when you negotiated the price.

    You don't have to be a nice guy, look after yourself

  • +1

    The car is now damaged and will not be available for some time. Even when repaired it will not be as good as when you inspected it and decided you wanted it. Get your deposit back and go buy another car.

    If you feel sorry for the seller then stay with the deal and play the waiting game.

    The choice is yours, no one else's.

    • +4

      If I was the seller, I would Offer a tip (for when is completed on time) to panel beater, a bonus on top of what insurance company pays out. Call it a Christmas Bonus

      I'm guessing you have never dealt with panel beaters before. Good luck with this suggestion. That tip will be worth more than the car.

      • So panel beaters businesses don't care for making some extra $$ ?
        If I was running panel beater bussiness, and there was 1 urgent repair, then several other non-urgent repairs, and customer explained the circumstances and offered a bonus , I don't see why manager at panel beater bussines would not oblige . $200 was on the lower end, maybe a $500 or $1000 bonus.

        will be worth more than the car.

        How much is the car worth ?

        • +5

          My dad owned a panel beating business in Adelaide for ~20 years. Let me assure that almost all (apart from emergency Taxi repairs) work was pre-booked advance by some weeks.

          Also close to Christmas & thru the new year period panel beaters, and most if not all suppliers close shop, so it becomes extremely difficult to work.

          A few hundred $ won't make much of difference given the limited space, time, and resourcing over this period.

          • @xuqi:

            apart from emergency Taxi repairs

            So what incentives did your dad get to rush through the taxi repairs ? More than $1000 extra as bonus ?

            • +1

              @DisabledUser271064: Not OP but dad had a taxi for many years, the cars are serviced monthly and are regularly getting work done in the shop.
              Every day off the road is roughly $1000 lost. (this was country victoria before Uber most taxi's where averaging around 5000km a week.)
              The mechanics and Panel beaters will generally make these jobs happen fast, due to all the repeat business the taxi's bring in.

              In short when your getting your car serviced monthly you generally end up with a good working relationship with the repair shops

  • +1

    got a photo of the damage?

    how bad is the damage?

    what year + model car and how much are you paying for it?

    • Bumper and boot. Does not look like chasis damage. 2011 honda city 60k odometer single owner.

  • +5

    Why go through all the current hassle and any future hassle i.e.repairs are not to an acceptable standard etc? It’s then all on you. Shit happens. Everyone has a story, walk away.

  • +1

    It's obviously risky from here on in, my first piece of advice to you would be contact your insurance company and ask them for an opinion, if the owner was in an accident and he is not at fault then everything is covered for the car, if the owner did not even have insurance on the car this can go downhill very quickly as Noone will be chasing the at fault driver and if the at fault driver is not covered or does not make a claim this will end up being a very expensive loan car… The smash repairs won't get the car done before Christmas, how many working days are actually ahead of us until the 26th, majority of delays with repairing cars is from insurance companies approving the works to be completed and getting out to assess cars etc, so it's not just the smash repairers to pay a Christmas bonus.

    Walk away, feel good that you done more than alot of others would have in the same situation by trying to help this guy out at all but ultimately he's selling you a car that he needs gone and he shouldn't have been driving the car once a deposit was taken, it was just asking for something to go wrong.

    • Agree, I doubt it ll get repair before 26th. The seller has arranged 10 days hire call by his insurance company. I got copy of insurance company arrangement of repair and hire car.

  • So you know you've got Buckley's of having the repairs completed by 26/12. I've never heard of panelbeaters working right through the Christmas period. So you're not paying for a repaired car, it's still going to be damaged when you get it.

    If the repair isn't completed to your satisfaction, are you willing to pay even more for it to be fixed properly?

  • +1

    that is going to be a costly job,the car will more than likely be a stat write off maybe a repairable write off,you need to see the quote and the insurance company as it will be up to them to either repair it or write it off,you want to make sure it is going to be repaired by a reputable smash repair company because it may be repaired by a dodgy back yard merchant just making a quick backyard repair for a some money paid under the counter if you know what I mean and when you have to get a roadworthy or pink slip that is where you may find out you own a scrap metal car,

  • I'd personally walk away, but if the seller makes a claim and the car goes in for repairs, it'll all work out fine.

    The seller could even advise the insurer that you have power to act on their behalf and you could manage the claim.

    A lot of people posting here make a lot of sense though. The car now has prior damage and the price should reflect that.

    As I said, I'd walk away.

  • +1

    Don't buy this car. Its damaged now. You will regret it afterwards.

  • +4

    Walk away unless you are going to get a significantly lower price for the car.

    As a personal rule, I dont drive a car once I have taken a deposit for this reason.

  • +7

    I wouldn't feel too bad about canceling the deal. The seller shouldn't have been driving the car if it had been sold with a deposit taken.

  • +1

    Per the first 5000 comments. Don't buy. Get another. The world isn't short on Honda Citys

  • +4

    Do what Craig David would do. Walk away.

    • Can't Be Messing 'Round.

  • Did seller tell you they were going away before or after they damaged the vehicle?

  • +2

    Don’t do this guy any favors because you feel bad for him. Look out for number 1 and buy a non-damaged car.

  • +3

    I can't believe you're actually still thinking of taking the car.

    • -2

      Why? What's the difference from buying another can which could have been in any number of accidents and repaired.

      • +6

        Why? LOL, sure, buy a damaged car from someone who is leaving the country. What could possibly go wrong!

  • if you still want to buy the car, why cant the seller leave it with a friend and then organise the sale again once its all fixed?
    all the seller needs to do then is to sign and scan the vicroads transfer docs.

  • -1

    Bargain him down to 4k.

  • +1

    because of the accident, the car is worth less now than when you first negeotated

    buy it if you are happy with the repair job, however it is completely within reason to ask for a discount from initial agreed price

    if not, then just say sorry i dont want an accident repair car, deposit back please merry christmas see ya.

  • +1

    More hassle than its worth, at $8500 you have plenty of other choice of cars.
    As others have stated most places are shutting up shop for Christmas period so more likely this car is probably not repaired till mid-late January at best.
    You can also throw away the roadworthy the seller just did as you will want another one done after the accident repairs are complete its now essentially February before car is ready…

    I would say there is a high risk of insurance not paying out if you transfer before repair, you where not the insured owner at that stage, and your insurance policy wont cover existing damage the at fault driver has no idea who you are and neither does there insurance company.

    If your heart is absolutely set on this car I would not pay any more than $4k for it with the existing damage, your accepting to much risk.

    Don't let yourself get caught up in the emotion and life of the seller its not your fault he crashed or that he is moving overseas.

    Get your deposit back and go look for another car!

  • -2

    Ehh, damage isn't that bad, as long as there's nothing to the chassis.

    As long as the repair is satisfactory no real reason to stop the sale.

    Sure you could haggle/ask for your deposit back but it would be a bit dickish?

  • +4

    What you are considering OP, is very risky indeed. The car is relatively old and cheap. It doesn't look like it has been assessed for damage yet. If there is any potential damage to the substructure, it will very likely be written off. The seller (possibly even overseas by then) will receive a nice fat cheque from insurance rather than the car being repaired, and you will be left with nothing (since insurance usually pays out the market value).

    Insurance does not care that you now own the car. For all they know, you purchased it for its actual value (the price of the parts). Their contract is with the seller, and they will pay him.

    I don't see any benefits of proceeding in such a risky scenario. The best case outcome is you getting a satisfactorily repaired car which, by any standards, is worth less than what you negotiated. The worst case scenario is you getting almost nothing.

  • -1

    That's a tight spot, if it was me i would talk to the seller about value of the car now after its been in an accident. Try to fix on a price so you wont lose anything if you are going to sell it tomorrow.

    walking away like a few suggested above is not so nice move. Talk to him,it is also important how you feel about it.

    • +2

      Walk away is not nice but it is the best outcome.

      This is not an easy situation, many things come nto play. I.e. holiday, seller is leaving for good, accident, deposits paid etc

    • op doesnt owe the seller that crashed his car anything

      • sure

  • I’d definitely at least be at least asking for a price reduction if I were you. I understand you don’t want to screw Jim around because he’s got to fly overseas, but still, a cars value is massively reduced if it has an accident history, and sometimes can be harder or pricier to get insured later.

  • +1

    I'd get every cent of my money back and go find another car. It's not your fault that the seller crashed the car, and you shouldn't have to hurriedly buy a car that's been in an accident just because dude's got to fly overseas. Not your problem at all.

  • +1

    My understanding is also that most insurers won't transfer any warranty or guarantees on repairs once the owner changes. I got stung with this a while ago when I bought a car that had a windscreen replaced through RACQ weeks before I bought it. It was leaking water, however RACQ stated they would not do a free replacement even if they found it was a fault of their installation.

    So if any mistakes are made or a repair is missed, once you take over ownership I can't see the insurer wanting to assist you at all in correcting any issues.

    Edit: the original owner who made the claim also tried to contact the insurer to help get it sorted to no avail

  • +4

    Sellers own fault. If you drive a car that someone has agreed to buy and put a deposit on, it is YOUR own risk and responsibility. Understood that some require a car to work, but again… is a risk they agreed to when they decided to drive it after you agreed to buy it. Just get your deposit back and leave.

  • +3

    Seller shouldnt have taken the risk to be driving a sold car. Its bad luck but also could have been avoided.

  • +2

    Too much drama. Get deposit back. The situation has has changed significantly from original conditions.

  • +4

    The owner took the risk to drive a car that was already sold. Get deposit back and walk away. He/she shouldn't have taken the risk to drive a sold car. Don't feel bad.

  • +1

    New topic: I sold my car and crashed it. I hope the buyer still wants to take it!

    • +3

      New topic: I sold my car and got in a crash just before leaving overseas. Buyer refusing to proceed and asking for deposit money.

  • +1

    How about the option of taking back the deposit first, let the seller know that once the car is repaired, you'll buy it again?

    This way you minimise your risks, while the seller doesn't lose out on anything as his car insurance should cover any repairs and devaluation of the hit to the car.

  • +2

    Looks like the owner reversed it into something, thats not a car smash, get your money back and run

    • Yes you are right. Looks like a corner wall.

      • Could be anything, but that is no car crash

        • Fact the Seller lied is a massive redflag and is worthy of running away

  • +1

    My dad car get hit from behind and it only minor cosmetic damage at the bumper, when he brought for repair being told the chassis is pushed inward as well.

    when similar accident happen again the car will get more damage and may become a safety issue.

    Better be safe than sorry

  • +3

    Why would you even put a deposit, you either buy straight away or dont buy at all.

    • Why not…? This is quite a common practice to allow the buyer to organise funds…I put deposits down for both my vehicles back then simply because I inspected the vehicle over a weekend and the bank I'm with was not open. Unless I'm a Ibrahim, I don't see me being able to pull out a lump sum of that amount without visiting the bank either to withdraw the cash over the counter, or organising a bank cheque.

  • As Scar said to Simba:

    Run away and never return!

    Simply joy worth the hassle unless it was a one of a kind car with sentimental value

  • is that wats the car is worth?
    I have a 2012 city that I was going to sell soon, low km and single owner! that's pretty good value

    so smells like a scam lol, selling car, got deposit, had a "car crash" gotta leave soon

    hopefully not to a oil rig

    • About to be an 8 year old car that was $23k (???) new. It's about ballpark - not exceptional buying

  • Get your money back!

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