Wreckage: what happens to the car that's damaged?

Verified 26 March 2020 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

A car that has suffered a serious accident must be tested before repair or return to service. The expert may declare it repairable, non-repairable or dangerous. The vehicle is declared non-repairable if repair is too expensive or impossible. He is declared dangerous if he is no longer in a condition to travel safely. When the vehicle is declared non-repairable or unsafe, the insurer must make a redemption offer within 15 days of the receipt of the expert report.

The insurance company responsible for your compensation usually offers you to do to carry out an assessment.

It mandates one of its experts, who will be responsible for:

  • Identify the car, record the damage and check its likelihood with the declared circumstances of the accident
  • Determine impact point(s)
  • Establish repair options (technically and economically)
  • Validate the repair price charged by the garage
  • Define a possible age rating (on tires or radiator for example)
  • Calculate the replacement value to say expert (Vrade: titleContent) of the vehicle
  • Indicate whether the vehicle is still safe to use.

The expert report, usually drawn up under 8 to 12 calendar days, will be sent to you and the insurer.

If you wish to challenge the expert's findings, you can order a counter-expert, but you will have to pay the expert's fees.

If the damaged vehicle is considered repairable by the expert appointed by insurance, the repair work can be carried out.

The expert report drawn up following the accident may show that the work required to refurbish the vehicle is more than its market value at the time of the disaster. It is then considered to be economically unrepairable).

The expert report may also show that it is impossible to repair the vehicle, which will then be declared technically not repairable.

In these 2 cases, the insurer must offer a purchase of the vehicle within 15 days of the delivery of the expert report. The owner of the vehicle must give his answer within 30 days.

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Owner agrees to buy back vehicle

If the owner accepts the proposal, the owner must complete the certificate of assignment of the vehicle in the name of the insurer. Carte grise carte grise He must send him the form accompanied by the person taking the vehicle or the notice to withdraw the vehicle, when the dangerousness of the vehicle has been detected by a judicial police officer. The insurance will pay him the price mentioned in the offer.

Certificate of transfer of a second-hand vehicle

Owner refuses buyback or does not respond

Carte grise The insurer must notify the National Agency for Secure Securities (ANTS), which blocks any transfer of the This freeze prevents the transfer of the vehicle to an individual, but the transfer to a purchaser professional remains possible. The latter will be able to repair the car or destroy the carcass after having recovered the spare parts.

Carte grise In order to obtain the lifting of the transfer freeze from the vehicle, the owner must order a new expertise of the vehicle, at his own expense. The TTY may authorize the transfers and recirculation of the vehicle if:

  • if the new expert report certifies that the safety work has been carried out by a professional
  • and that the vehicle is safe to drive.

If the expert finds that the vehicle is no longer in a condition for safe operation, he shall declare it dangerous. The expert should inform the National Agency for Secure Titles (NSA) of this situation. The TTY must in turn inform the vehicle owner by registered mail (with acknowledgement of receipt) that his vehicle is no longer authorized to drive. The mail must also indicate that he can no longer sell the vehicle or give it away, unless it is to an authorized demolitionist.

The insurer must make an offer to buy back the vehicle within 15 days of receipt of the expert report.

If the owner accepts this offer, the insurer will take care of the formalities of destruction of the vehicle.

If the owner refuses the insurance proposal, he retains his vehicle, but can only sell (or give it) to a demoliser for destruction.