The cost of total losses is £2 billion

Nearly 12 percent of all crashes over the past year resulted in at least one vehicle being written-off, according to new research by Accident Exchange.

Analysis of 40,000 collisions handled by the accident management firm indicates that across the UK the number of write-offs topped 257,000 in just 12 months – at a cost of £1,968,610,160.

Despite the numbers involved, dealerships rarely provide adequate post-accident care or capitalise on the sales opportunity following a total loss – invaluable leads worth billions potentially.

The new investigation highlights a clear summer-winter divide in the frequency of serious accidents which result in at least one vehicle being written-off.

November sees more insurance write-offs than any other month, with the final quarter of the year notching up 30 percent of the annual total. Summer months – May, June and July – see the fewest total losses.

Liz Fisher, sales director at Accident Exchange, commented, ‘A total loss generally indicates that a serious accident has taken place, and the research shows that they are perhaps more prevalent than anyone expects. The value of vehicles written-off annually is staggering.’

‘What’s most surprising though, from an industry perspective, is that dealers often don’t have a plan to provide the necessary follow-up calls when a customer has had an accident – in fact they sometimes never even find out.’

‘As the first port of call for tens of thousands of drivers after an accident, the post-accident leads we provide dealers have become an invaluable source of additional revenue, allowing them to offer better customer service and sell more cars.’

New car owners, who might be expected to be particularly careful with their vehicles, are surprisingly susceptible; more than two percent of vehicles written-off – over 5,000 – are less than 12-months old.