Crash-test dummies and expensive write-offs

A visit to the Motor Insurance Repair Research Centre doesn’t sound like the most exciting afternoon you’ll ever have but Thatcham (as it’s known for short) is a mecca for car enthusiasts all over the world. I went to find out about their work on whiplash claims and came away reeling. An expensive car won’t protect you from the most common car crash injury – BMW and Porsche have repeatedly refused to supply their seats for testing – and VW-devotees would be horrified to see Golfs that have been written off at just 6mph. Most shocking of all was the 2008 Nissan Navara, one of the biggest, meanest looking 4×4 pick-ups on the road, which folded in half in a crash-test at 44mph, and received the worst safety rating since the Rover Metro in 1996.