Buying a damaged vehicle for use on the roads
Each year in the UK, around 350,000 vehicle become written off at Cat a, Cat b, Cat c, Cat d, Cat s or Cat n.
You can check vehicle status quickly and easily with a car data check.
Write off definition: a damaged vehicle resulting from accident or other impact such as flood damage or fire that is too badly damaged to be economically repaired.
Some of these write off categories allow vehicles to be put back on to the road if they are repaired to a safe, legal standard.
Pre 2017, A, B, C and D write offs were employed to define vehicle status. But since this date they have been updated to better reflect damage and roadworthiness.
Cat A write off – this remains the same as 2017. The vehicle must be crushed
Cat B write off – remains unchanged also. Some of the parts can be salvaged and used as parts but the main bulk of the car is desposed
Cat S write off (the old Cat C) – the vehicle may be put back on the road if the damage is repaired correctly
Cat N write off (old Cat D) – there was no structural damage. The car might have suffered electrical or water damage but can be put back on the road if repaired to a good standard.
Visit a website resource like CarVeto and run a vehicle history check. The car reports inform you of full car history including accident damage, theft and write off status. You can also see about any finance outstanding, plate changes and import status.
Accident damaged repaired cars on UK roads
Based on the information listed above, Cat S and N car write off vehicles are most likely to be found on the road. You should not find a Cat A or B on the road whatsoever. If you do, the Police should be notified or the DVLA via .gov. https://www.gov.uk/scrapped-and-written-off-vehicles
Can I buy a Cat S or N?
The thing it consider when buying a car with a write off title is value. Any car with Category written off status lasts the life of the car and significantly reduces resale value.
How much less is a write off worth?
Hard to say, but at least 30% of true value is removed when a car has become written off and repaired.
It is also pretty difficult to sell a car that is accident damage repaired. These things need to be considered before buying. If a car history check shows warnings, you should expect to pay significantly less that true retail value.
Insuring a write off
Yes this can be a challenge as car value is reduced, insurance companies don’t really like to pay out premiums on this type of car. You need to discuss write off status with your insurance company before you buy and make sure you can can your car on the motor insurance database as per askMID.