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The AA crashed my Campervan! :(

Offline The_Fonz

#1

Hi, thanks for adding me.

Firstly, apologies for those who have seen this about on facebook for example.

I have also been putting updates on twitter is you want to follow me there; retweeting for me would be especially helpful in spreading the word! @GarethHollis1 Wink

So, to the "scoop": early December, on the day I was taking my T25 to get a faster engine, it chose that day to not start. I called the AA and they couldn't get it to start and I told them not to waste too much time as it was a Sunday, getting dark and the engine and gearbox were coming out anyway so they sent for a recovery truck to tow it to the garage instead. I was going to accompany it to the garage (about 40 minutes away) but with it being late, they took it to their depot for the night instead and then took it to the garage the next morning. It left me with the back wheels on a beaverlift thing, being towed backwards and was delivered the next day on a low loader (I was at work by this point). Nearly 2 weeks later, my Cavalier was booked in the have something done at the same garage and when I got there, I couldn't believe the state of my van; the back box was hanging off, snapped, and the whole of the drivers side was caved in from hitting something. They hadn't even told me! They accepted liability and I had to get an estimate; the estimate was from a VW specialist localish to me and came in at £4,500 plus parts plus paint plus VAT. The AA then assessed that its value before the accident was £50 as it is left hand drive and wasn't running. (I assume the majority of the vehicles they recover are not running so be careful before you call them out to your pride and joy as they will probably use the same logic). Anyway, they said that the van only really had scrap value and therefore I hadn't really been affected and so offered me £250 as a gesture of goodwill (final settlement).

As you can imagine, I turned it down. 

They pushed it back to the assessor who came back with the same £50 valuation and I got the same £250 offer which I again turned down. They sent me a screen shot the assessor had found for a van like mine on gumtree. It was a spares or repairs T4 so I pointed out this incompetence to the AA. I also trawled through ebay, facebook marketplace and gumtree and sent them a link to every single uncut T25 panel van on there, regardless of price or condition. There was about half a dozen altogether.

A different assessor went out this week and valued it at £700 (still pretty low for a T25, especially a panel van) but estimated the repairs at £2,000 including £60 for parts (drivers door, b pillar, middle panel up to swage line and side skirt) which is pretty unrealistic as the cheapest middle panel alone that I can find is £175. Regardless, they had only offered £700 anyway (maybe they thought I would only want to do a third of the repairs?)

I sent them links to the parts at the prices I found and asked them to supply me the links to the parts their engineer found to prove he hadn't just plucked a number out the air and also asked him for links to the vans he had found like mine so I could make sure that they were similar and not more T4s or vans with windows and that they weren't diesel as on the report, he put mine down as diesel whereas it's a 1913cc petrol with 5 speed gearbox so fairly desirable. I also asked for a link to a VW specialist garage who would be prepared to do the job for the price he quoted.

I have not heard back yet but it is looking likely that this may end up going through my insurance

About the van:
I have owned it for nearly 10 years. I bought it when I lived in Germany (Army) and then brought it with me when I moved back in December 2013. It has never failed an MOT for welding and did not need any that I was aware of. It had done less than 120,000 miles and had never let me down until that fateful Sunday. It has a big list of modifications:
Big bumper bodykit
Aftermarket sideskirts
VW Corrado Mirrors
Front arch extensions
Front door pods
16" alloys
Lowered Suspension
Ford Granada rear spoiler
Range Rover bull bars (quite rusty now and damaged further during recovery)
Roof lights
Spot lights
Fog Lights
Clear Indicators
Clear rear lights
VW Caddy VOLKSWAGEN script in boot lid
Side ladder
Peco Big Bore 4 backbox (fitted last December)
Leather front seats
4 Point harnesses
Double din touchscreen headunit (sat nav, DVD, USB, etc)
Dash tidy
Rev gauge
Rock & Roll full width rock & roll bed trimmed in leather (not the best job of trimming in fairness)
6x9 speakers mounted under rear seat
Subwoofer
2 amplifiers
TV
Nintendo Wii under rear seat
Fold up table
Laminate flooring
Interesting headlining and interior decor
Remote central locking (front doors only at the moment)
Alarm

Needless to say, it is worth a lot more than £700 to me!
The 4 exterior shots are the photos the AA took when they came to pick it up, interior shots are mine and are about a year old now.

I'll keep you posted on how this turns out but has been going on for nearly 7 weeks now already.
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Offline Old bill

#2

Hi Fonz just read your post. I have a 1999 T4 Topaz 120000+ miles . I found out after a sliding door totaled in a car park you can insure it for as much as you like. But organisations just do not have a clue about values. They assume that because it has a Glasses Guide value thats all its worth. No awaress of how much of your time and attention you have put in to it. When you insure a ( Vintage car ) God knows how they asses value. The only solution appears to me to be to KILL THEM ALL. Get your own asseser and good luck. Look forwards to hearing Progress.
They probably thought the bullet holes were rust worm.
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