3 days ago vandals ran amok in our (quiet) estate. I had stupidly gone to bed without locking the door, leaving my bunch of keys on the table inside. Until 3 weeks ago I had a dog who let no-one in until he'd checked them out - he died suddenly, age 15y.
Long story short, thugs came in (about 3am) took my cash and keys, drove my car round the corner and stuffed the petrol inlet with plastic bags and set light to it!!!!
First I knew was police at my door in the morning asking where I parked my car....I pointed to my drive...no car!!....3 hours of statements, forensics, CSI etc. They said just to call my insurance.
However, during 3 days I've learned a lot.
Thankfully the milkman saw the fire, called the fire brigade and police so the fire didn't get out of control. I saw the car damage that didn't look too bad - mangled plastic burnt to a cinder and smoke damage to the body above. Forensics had to take it away for inspection and obviously I couldn't touch it.
When I spoke with the insurers they mentioned the dreaded 'your car may be a write off'.....alarm bells. I love my car. It's a Peugeot 206 cc and I've just spent £700 on MOT, service, new brakes etc. Bought it for £2300 last year. I checked Glass's value:- trade-in £700+; Private sale £1600+; Dealer £2300+. Minimum values.
So, I thought I'd just pay for the damage myself as the excess is £350. However, when the mechanic (at the garage where the police left my car) checked it he found the petrol tank is a complete unit (not in parts). A new one is approx. £1000.
Therefore, with all this info I have a dilemma. Do I leave it with the insurers? Who will likely want to write it off. I know I have the choice to buy it back. But I've heard horror stories of valuations etc! Basically, I want my car back. End of!!!
Or, do I buy a second hand tank (I've already had quotes for less than £100), let my garage fit it (they said 1.5 hours labour)? This is the most obvious choice but I've already had to pay for new house locks, hire car (insurers won't give me one until they've assessed the damage and AGREED to repair it).
Financially, it seems I could come out 'quids in' if I go through the insurers and they write it off and I buy it back. I think it's classed as Cat C? But are there more pitfalls to doing that????? Apart from the negotiating bit....I'm not too afraid of that! Well.....usually...
Thing is I don't want these thugs to win!!!! Any advice would be really helpful.
PS. The paintwork is fine - I checked it myself. So, it's only the petrol inlet/pipe/tank. Oh, and the spare key to be reprogrammed and another key to replace the stolen one. I know how that's done.