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Finding my car had been written off

Owen Nutkins profile

Owen Nutkins

November 22, 2018

Young driver stories 6 min read

Hi everyone, I’m Owen! Recently I was involved in an accident on the road, however, it was one where someone hit my car when I wasn’t around. This was just as nerve-wracking and confusing as an accident if I’d have been in the car, so I wanted to share my experiences with you and hope that if you’re ever in a similar situation, you can take something away from this.

Finding my car had been involved in an accident

I went down to Bristol for the day for work and got there around 10:00 am.  I Parked my car up slightly on the path but was safely secured. The road is a rather busy road but my car was out of the way and parked somewhere that I deemed as safe and legal. Fast forwarding time, it came to around 4:30 and it was time for me to head off. I packed up and walked back to my car, which was about a minute away.

As I was walking back to my car, I could see a police car and an ambulance. My first thoughts were ‘’I wonder what’s happened, is everyone okay?’’ which is pretty normal at the scene of an accident! As I walked down it became clearer that there was some sort of car collision, which seemed to be where my car was parked. Had my car been hit?


I continued to walk towards the scene where I could see more clearly – my car had been hit! As I got down there I saw a policeman and instantly had to ask what had happened! At first it seemed like his thoughts were ‘’I can’t really discuss this’’ but when I pointed out that my car was hit– he then explained that the lady who was driving the other vehicle  had some sort of attack behind the wheel and from this piled into not only my car but the car that was parked behind mine as well.

Originally, the policeman said my car was fine and it was just a dent and I could drive away after I’d given some details. I was asked to wait in my car while he went to get more details from the other drivers. As I was waiting, I was able to get a  closer look at my car. I realised quickly that my tyre had actually been punched from the impact – meaning I couldn’t drive it away like I thought I’d be able to.

I’ve never had to deal with a situation like this before, so I wasn’t sure what I was really supposed to do but having a policeman there did make me feel a lot calmer about the situation. The driver had an attack which couldn’t be helped – but led to me not being able to drive my car, and being somewhat stranded in the middle of Bristol!


What happens now?!

The ambulance was taking care of the lady, and as the rain started to pour down – I called my girlfriend and my mum to let them know what was happening. At this point, I was actually a little worried about how I was going to get home. After a little while, I was able to give my details to the police. I also mentioned that I needed my tyre changing, luckily I had a spare tyre with the tools, so between me and the policeman, we changed the tyre so I could drive back home to fix the rest of the damage, which I thought was just a small dent at the time!

After making it home, the next step was to phone my insurance company. I gave them the details and they said it sounded like the car had been written off and they deemed it un-drivable. They then said that I’d be sent a hire car the next day – every cloud has a silver lining, right?


The next day, a brand new VW turned up. The smart interior and latest tech was a world away from my older Citroen! It even had sensors, which for the short time I had the car, made it a lot easier to park!

After around a week, I got a call saying my car was confirmed as a write-off – it was fixable but would have cost more than the car was worth!  I was given a price for the insurance claim which I agreed to. This meant I could now hunt for a new car with this pay-out. I was also heading on holiday a few weeks after this, so really needed to get my hands on a new car before then.

After driving the brand new VW for the last week, I’d actually gotten used to it – so wanted a car as similar to this one as I could get (unfortunately, the brand new version was a little out of my budget!).  After viewing and test driving three different cars, I went for a 2003 Ford Fiesta (not as smart as the VW).


I wasn’t expecting that

All in all, the experience was pretty scary and stressful. When I woke up that morning, I definitely didn’t think I’d not have a car by the end of the day and I sure didn’t plan for it either. I’m thankful that the police officer was so helpful! If you do find yourself in a situation like this, I would say to do your best to remain calm.  Also remember that because you’ve found your car in an accident, it won’t be your fault (unless your parking has caused the accident) so as long as there are witnesses and proof then you will be okay to make a claim. Don’t forget to take lots of photos, and get as many details as possible about the accident and other drivers involved.

You also need to remember that there can be insurance charges when transferring insurance from one vehicle to another, as they may be different risk factors. Because I was pushing myself to get a new car as quickly as possible before heading off on my holiday, I felt that I didn’t give myself the time to look properly into other cars and the insurance prices on them. Although the insurance on my new car is slightly more, it isn’t too bad in terms of tax and other aspects. However, my new car is so much better than my old one – so I’d say I came out on top!

Owen Nutkins profile

By Owen Nutkins

'I'm a filmmaker and photographer from the UK. I've recently started taking driving lessons and I feel it would be great to write about my personal experiences, and be able to share advice to others whilst I prepare myself for my driving test. I've recently started taking driving lessons and I feel it would be great to write about my personal experiences, and be able to share advice to others whilst I prepare myself for my driving test.'  See more posts by Owen

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