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Front end collision repair/insurance advice - Admiral


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I really want to try my best to save the Alphie.

 

I was involved in an accident yesterday with my 2007 Alphard 3.0 (which I only purchased in Dec 2023). I retrofitted cruise control onto it following the tutorial on this forum and had just fitted a new head unit and audio to the Alphie.

 

After reporting the accident to Admiral Insurance using the online form. Without hesitation, they immediately insisted the vehicle be written off. I called again this morning and the lady on the phone still insisted it be written off. I have tried to fight back today and asked them to at least have a body shop look at it. I would like to fix the Alphie as it is my pride and joy.

 

Damage that I could see: Front bumper cracks, paintwork, and appear to be pushed in, where the grill and radiator/fan combo also pushed in towards the passenger side of the car, where one of the fans now hit where the 12V battery tray is. Bonnet now has a significant body line gap when closed.

 

I am aware of the EPC site and the ru site where parts diagrams are available. But I am not very mechanically inclined. Does anyone know what damage could be done or what parts need to be ordered?

 

Does anyone know any body shops around London that could have a look at the damage and what needs to be done to avoid the car being written off? I'm based in South London. Thanks!

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Looking at it I reckon you'll be looking at bumper, grille, front slam panel (if it's damaged).  The bonnet is probably salvagable.  You've popped your rad as well.  That said the pictures do only show so much.

 

It can definitely be fixed, but most insurers will run a mile mainly due to the complications of sourcing parts and working with repairers that would be prepared to undertake the repairs (whilst Alphards have been in the UK for a good many years, the insurers and repairers don't have lots of form fixing them up when this happens - sad but true).

 

Your best bet is to fight the insurer to give you some form of non-loss payout on the vehicle, particularly if it's not your fault/can be claimed on a 3rd party on the basis that it's clearly not damaged to the extent to be a write off, but they can't assist in processing a claim. Basically they sign a cheque for an amount (usually nothing like the value of the vehicle but would go some way to cover repair costs) you keep the vehicle as is and the vehicle doesn't get written off.  You then take that money and put towards the repair.  Depends on the insurer and who you deal with I guess, but most would come to some sort of compromise like this if you make enough of a nuisance of yourself.

 

Otherwise, get the vehicle to a trusted body shop to be assessed so you know exactly what parts it will need, then endeavour to source what you need from breakers (there are JDM breakers out there, even those that concentrate on vehicles like Alphards), filling the blanks with companies like Anamaya in Japan (they source parts from dealers in Japan and UAE and ship to the UK....not always cheap but they tend to be able to get the things no one else can).  Using new genuine parts factoring in painting and labour you are sadly looking at a good few K (maybe 3 or 4, perhaps more) to repair that lot.

 

That said, if they are prepared to offer you a decent price for the vehicle to write it off, consider going down that route if you really don't fancy the work required to get the thing put back together.

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Hello William,

 

I have sent you a personal message with a suggestion of someone who may be able to help, or point you in the right direction.

 

I suggest you give them a call; they are not a million miles from you.

Perhaps you could visit them with a handful of photographs.

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1 hour ago, Rojie said:

Hello William,

 

I have sent you a personal message with a suggestion of someone who may be able to help, or point you in the right direction.

 

I suggest you give them a call; they are not a million miles from you.

Perhaps you could visit them with a handful of photographs.

Thanks for the suggestion. I’ll have to see what the insurance will come back to me with. But the Alphard is salvageable, and I don’t want a good family car to go to waste.

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13 hours ago, TLWilliam said:

Thanks for the suggestion. I’ll have to see what the insurance will come back to me with. But the Alphard is salvageable, and I don’t want a good family car to go to waste.

 

IMHO, it wouldn't hurt to start doing your research asap. Better prepared (to discuss) than not.

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I had a door and a wing damaged 6 months ago. I ordered a new door from Japan for 400 and fitted it myself and I am getting a wing repair tomorrow for 250.

All done.  Ask insurance for price you paid and you will see to repairs. 

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If they are giving you a good price for writing it off I would take it but then insist on purchasing the car back from them.

Do all the necessary work and get re-insured with it as a Cat C/D whatever....I did that with my Vauxhall zafira for 3 years and the insurance was just the same.

The only negative is the re-sale value, but who cares about that if they've already paid you for it?

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