Buying Repairable Write-off Car

I would like to pick a brain of this community on this. I'm in the market to buy used car and stumbled upon one car that meets my requirement but it's a repairable write off car. It's been repaired to sell on market.

What are your views on buying such car. Appreciate if you can share your experience if you have bought one like before. What are the cons of buying this. I can think of one, being high cost of comprehensive insurance.

For little more context I'm looking to buy 2016 Mazda CX-9.


  • +1 vote


    • it's been crashed so hard that it's been a repairable write off.

    • You don't know the quality of the repair.

    • It's very hard to sell.

    How much cheaper is it than others?

    Done a ppsr check? It will tell you the exact damage that occurred. Any "heavy structural"?

    • +1 vote

      Thanks. I'll get PPSR check done. Dealer mentioned that it's cosmetics damage that's been repaired professionally. It's about $10k lower than market value. Good point on resale value but I don't intend to sell the car. I usually drive the car untill it dies

      • +2 votes

        It'd be an awful lot of cosmetic damage to be declared a write off. See what the PPSR returns as suggested and evaluate from there.

        • +4 votes

          Hail damage will do that pretty easily

          • +1 vote

            @whitelie: Yeah hail damage is an easy cosmetic w/o. I've got one myself (not on WOVR as >15yrs) but also have alot of family who've bought w/o's from last years hail auctions in Canberra.

            To OP, don't take the dealer's word for anything get everything checked out by yourself or another professional. What others have said is true re: resale value, and also take into consideration that the dealer is making a healthy margin.
            You could buy a similar car yourself from Pickles (not know, but usually a month after a hail storm) for about 50-60% of its sale price now and decide to spend the extra 5-10k for hail repairs if you decide its worth it.

            In saying that I wouldn't recommend buying any w/o, unless its hail damaged. Hail damage easily makes the car's economically unviable to fix, but there literally is no damage to the car (other than a broken windscreen), and the damage is also nearly 100% reversible if you have enough funds. The rules regarding write offs are stupid when it comes to hail damage as they haven't considered a separate cosmetic w/o status (kinda like in the UK) and instead class them all as repairable (default statutory in NSW), which categorizes them similarly to much more serious accident cases.

            Make sure to check the PPSR as mentioned and make sure it ties to what has been mentioned, I'd seriously suggest calling a professional to gauge the quality of repair (hail or otherwise) as you don't want to be paying decent coin for a bog & fill job.

            Also if you ever plan to move/sell the car interstate, the processes to do so are possible but unnecessarily complicated

            Insurance will also only be based on market values for comprehensive, which in the event of an accident will mean a significant haircut to the standard market price given W/O status. Prices should be largely the same though, you'd just be limited to the major players (NRMA etc)

      • +5 votes

        If the dealers lips were moving, they were lying. They wouldn't know what was done to it, or how it was repaired most likely. Ask them to see the invoice from the panel shop.

        $10k lower than market value.

        No idea what market value is on one of those, but I personally wouldn't be interested in a repairable write off unless it was about half market value, and was going to keep it forever.


          What if market value is $20K 😉


    Would have to be extremely cheap for me to consider it.
    Whilst I don't have an issue with the vehicle being repaired as such, resale down the track will be terrible and potentially difficult to offload.

    They're probably 32-38k (depending on model variant) with low kms, in good condition, so it would want to be low to mid 20's for me to consider it personally.

    We had a CX9 from new that my wife got involved in a heavy bingle (80km/h head on). Wasn't written off and was repaired. Every Mazda dealer it went to couldn't pick it was repaired, so they can be done very well thru the right repairers.


    for 10k to 15k lower I'd go for it if I am going to be the last owner of the car till it dies. most important thing will be that the repairs must be sound (warranty on repairs would be a plus), should not have had repairs to any major components (replacements with decent parts / brands would be fine though). might need to be careful with structural repairs, if they were not done well the next accident could be catastrophic.
    I'd like to know about insurance consequences too - perhaps someone who knows will chime in


    Find out what damage was done on the car before.

    What do you think of the comments on similar post here

  • +1 vote

    Try and get insurance on the car then get back to us.

    • +3 votes

      I've owned repairable writeoffs in the past, no problems with insurance because the repairs have to be done to a standard, then checked and passed.


      I've always wondered about this, I don't think I've ever been asked if a car is a repairable write off when getting insurance.


        I assume the insurance company checks the WOVR database against the VIN when you request a quote.


          Would be interesting to try a known written off vehicle, and one not written off, and see what happens, for science.


    It can be risky, and yes, if the dealers lips are moving they are stretching he truth at best and outright lying at worst.

    It’s cheap for a reason. They are much harder to sell with the written off . Get the written off report and make your own assessment of wether the damage is serious or ‘cosmetic’ might have been hail damage or similar. Don’t touch it if it has been in water, electrical gremlins will take time to appear.

    Big dealer or tiny yard dodgy joe? I suspect the latter, in which case they have no concern for maintaining a good reputation and won’t care after it leaves the lot. A bigger dealer might try to do a little better, but unlikely.

  • +1 vote

    If the damage was in the critical areas, that might affect crash safety (depends on the quality of repairs - don't trust anyone). Since it's a CX9, it must be for family, do you want to put your family at risk?


    Would not touch unless the discount is HUGE, your other options were even less safe and you weren't worried about insurance.

    The amount of damage required to write off a brand new car is generally astronomical - Think $30k+ worth of damage on a $50k car. No, some expensive headlights won't do this (Have heard a dealer say exactly that)

    Check the PSSR report, high chance that amount of damage will be structural. No car will ever be the same with that amount of damage repaired.

    I'd be less weary of an older car getting written off (e.g $5k+ damage writing off a $10k car)

    • +2 votes

      Thanks mate…your logic helps..After reading all these comments, we have decided to stay away from this vehicle due to this being a family car and don't want to take any risk on safety..


        Did you check the write off report?

    • +1 vote

      The amount of damage required to write off a brand new car is generally astronomical -

      While this is generally true, it is possible the insurance co might write off a bunch of hail damaged cars if there aren’t enough repairers. Customers don’t want to be waiting for months for repairs and the insurer might take the hit knowing they might get a decent return on a hail damaged car st auction, especially if in otherwise good condition.

      Know someone who had a car hail damaged, were told it would be repaired. It took ages, they re registered, including 4 new tyres and shortly afterward got a call from the insurer saying we are sending a cheque and will pick up your car. Written off months after the incident.


    I looked at something like this a few months ago - also a CX9. The insurance companies were happy with insuring a repairable write off, but the banks wouldn’t lend for it. Ultimately the size of the discount wasn’t enough to justify the purchase.


    I am in qld and the laws here are changing to fall in line with other states, a write off is a write off and not repairable. There will be a big flood on the market before the enforcement ddue to this and I would say a lot of dodgy repairs.
    Buyer beware


      That’s good. About time qld came into line with everyone else. Too many dodgy repairs and vin swaps going on from repairable write offs.


    Ensure that it is registrable. Sometimes in a complete write off, the vehicle can not be repaired.

    In other instances, something as little as a rear tail light, could in fact write off the entire vehicle.

    Do your research.


      It’s a repairable write off. The means it is suitable for registration once repaired.


    No problems with buying one here, has served well for the past 4 years. I spoke to the repairer who did the job for the owner who was selling it, and he went through the work involved. He replaced the whole rear tailgate door, rear quarter panels, tail lights, etc. It was signed off by a Toyota engineer. If you can get the manufacturer to inspect it and sign off on it then it should be good.