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One in three UK drivers would expect their insurer to pay out the purchase price of their car if it was completely written off, a study by Consumer Intelligence has found.
Insurance only covers the market price at the time of the accident or theft, minus any depreciation. This means drivers are left to fund the shortfall if they wish to replace the car.
Of drivers who but their car on finance, 78% believe their outstanding loan would be cleared by the Insurance Company.
According to Consumer Intelligence, depreciation means the average three-year-old car with 30,000 miles on the clock tends to lose around 60% of its value, while the average new car loses 20% of its original sale value the moment it is sold.
Any driver suffering a total loss write-off during the first three years of their vehicle's life would be likely to receive an insurance payout between 40%-*05 of what they paid.
Industry estimates show that around 384,000 cars are written off in the UK every year.