How to spot a cut and shut?

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When shopping, a two-for-one offer is usually a deal that would excite you and make you more likely to part with your cash. When shopping for a car, however, it’s a situation that should make you turn and run a mile. We’re talking, of course, about a cut and shut situation. If you ever find yourself in a situation where you’re fairly sure you’re looking at a cut and shut car, walk away. Quickly.

Read More: How to check if a car has been scrapped

What is a cut and shut car?

A cut and shut car is one where a dodgy dealer has created one car out of two broken cars, effectively the motoring equivalent of a Frankenstein’s monster. This is done by taking the two good halves from broken cars and welding them together in the middle, usually at the pillars and top of the rear windscreen.

What’s wrong with a cut and shut car?

Two wrongs don’t make a right. You may think that it’s a good recycling project to turn two damaged cars into one working one without having to confine any to the scrap pile, but you’ll soon regret your decision the moment you’re involved in an accident. As cut and shut cars are almost certainly going to be the products of criminals, the welding work is likely to be subpar at best. The structural integrity of the cars will be heavily compromised due to the poor welds, and in an impact, your car is highly likely to fall apart. 

The other question you’ll need to ask is whether the cars had any underlying issues as a result of their previous, written-off, lives. Just because the visual damage has been taken away, any mechanical or structural problems won’t have magically disappeared and are still going to be causing you headaches.

Are cut and shut cars illegal?

Disguising two broken motors as one “genuine” article is fraud, and the practice is absolutely against the law. While there’s nothing to stop you from making weld-based repairs to your car, as long as you’re not trying to disguise the car as something it isn’t, you should be okay. The reason a cut and shut car is against the law is it is trying to hide the fact that the car(s) have a dodgy past.

How to spot a cut and shut car

As the main reason a dodgy seller will produce a cut and shut is to pull the wool over your eyes, they’ll often try and hide the evidence as much as possible. However, there are a few warning signs to look out for:

  • Most cut and shut cars are welded around the windscreen pillars and the middle of the car, so make sure to have a good look here. If you see any clues that serious work has taken place, then start asking questions.
  • Be vigilant when it comes to colours. If you notice colours don’t properly match, especially on the bonnet, doors and boot lid, then something’s not right.
  • While checking the paintwork, check the glass seals and the trim to check there’s no overspray.
  • Any badly fitting or mismatched trim inside the car can also be a clue that there’s been some dodgy dealings going on.
  • Make sure to check the paperwork thoroughly, particularly that the VIN matches the V5, and keep an eye on service history and MOT certificates. Any gaps may need explaining.
  • Why is this car so cheap? Because they’re trying to get rid of it as soon as possible. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.

If you’ve been involved in an accident that has caused one half of your car to be a no-go zone, rather than delving into the dodgy dealings of a cut and shut, why not scrap the car with National Scrap Car instead? We can guarantee you’ll get the best price for your car, meaning you can put that money towards a better, and more importantly, safer option. We’ll even come and collect it from you at no extra cost, leaving you with a hassle free process and money in your bank account faster than any other option. Get started today by using our online quote generator, and see just how much your car could be worth as scrap.

For more information, be sure to get in touch with the team today.