Sir, - I write this as a timely warning to careful drivers of NCT-tested cars who believe themselves to be well insured!

I was recently involved in an accident in which I was completely blameless. My car, a 1990 Mitsubishi Colt, was considered "beyond economical repair" by the insurance company involved.

After long negotiations it refused to pay the full cost of the repairs needed to put the car back on the road. I now have a damaged car and a shortfall of £933 to make up, from my own pocket, to put my car back on the road. Hardly fair.

From the insurance company's point of view, it may not be economical for them to repair my car. From my perspective I am being penalised for an accident in which I was the injured party. I have two options: make up the shortfall and have the car repaired; or take the pre-accident value offered plus my damaged car, find £2,000 to £4,000, and buy another car.

Apparently there is no onus or even moral obligation on insurance companies to pay anything other than the pre-accident value of the car. I wonder how many other people finding themselves in this situation may be unable to make up the difference and, through no fault of their own, lose the freedom of movement enjoyed by car owners.

It just seems so very very unfair. - Yours, etc.,


Arnold Park,


Co Dublin.