So, you’ve been involved in a car accident and found out your car has been classed as damaged or even irreparable? If so, your car is now known as a write-off.
During this process, your car has been given a category rating by the insurance company and you’ve been left wondering what it means and where to go from here.
Don’t worry, understanding these categories and how they affect the legal status of your car and your insurance quote isn’t as confusing as it may first seem.
In this guide, we’ll give you all the answers regarding categories and how they affect your insurance to make sure you’re ready to get back out on the road as fast as possible.
Table of Contents
What is an insurance write-off?
Let’s start with the basics of answering the question of when do insurance companies write off cars?
A write-off is a situation where a car is involved in an accident and the costs of the subsequent repairs are too high when compared with the value of the vehicle in total.
For example, if you have a car worth £1,000 but the repairs are £2,000+, your insurance company will deem this a write-off because it’s simply not worth spending that amount of money. There are many causes to an insurance write off, the most common being a complete wreck after a major accident.
However, it’s worth noting that even a little knock can deem a car insurance write off, even if it doesn’t look like much, since the damage could be electronic or not visible and may still exceed the value of the vehicle.
Fortunately, there are many different kinds of write-off category which can help you understand how damaged your car is and what kind of insurance you may need if it’s still driveable but still classed as a write-off.
To find out what kind of category a car is registered as, you’ll need to conduct a car insurance write off check below.
What are the write-off categories?
There are six total car insurance write off categories used during the car insurance write off procedure in the eyes of insurance policies, but only four of these categories are typically used on a regular basis. These are known as A, B, N, and S.
Here’s what they mean.
|Category A||If a car is incapable of being repaired and must be removed from the road completely, either in the form of being crushed or dismantled and destroyed, this is a category A write off. |
When classed as this category, you cannot sell the vehicle, regardless of the car insurance valuation write off.
|Category B||If a car is completely written off and damaged and the main bulk of the car is damaged, but you can still salvage parts from it, this is a category B. |
Just like when a provider of insurance write off cars as category A, you cannot sell a car since the car is not legally capable of being driven in a safe way and may put others in danger.
|Category C||If your car is damaged but still repairable, but the costs of the repairs are considered too high for your insurance company to pay for in comparison to the value of the car, it will get a cat C insurance write off rating. |
While insurance companies won’t pay to fix the car, you can pay for the repairs yourself. You can buy and sell second-hand cars that have a category C rating, and you can also use a car insurance write-off calculator to see what value you might be getting. All repairs must be completed by a professional, and you must have a certificate confirming this.
|Category D||Similar to category C ratings, if a car is deemed repairable, but the external costs outside of repairing the car are considered too much compared with the car insurance write off value, such as transporting the car to a garage, has made the final price too expensive, it will be given a Category D rating. Just like Cat C cars, you can buy and sell registered Cat D cars as long as legal documentation is provided. |
Again, all repairs must be completed by a professional, and you must have a certificate confirming this, and you’ll be able to confirm the car write off insurance payout value
While still a category, more commonly Category N is now used in its place as one of the new insurance write off categories.
|Category N||N, or Non-Structural Damage, is a category where the main body of the car is still considered intact and roadworthy, and shouldn’t have any problems regarding body work or how the car drives. |
However, this category indicates there are problems to repair in terms of electronics or mechanics. Once repaired, the car can safely return to being used on public roads.
|Category S||Considered the opposite of Cat N, Cat S indicates structural damage, referring to the physical body of the car, usually the chassis or any part of the bodywork. |
These repairs need to be carried out before the car is to be driven on public roads or sold.You can check the category of a vehicle by conducting a free insurance write off check online.
Compare category C&D write-off insurance policies
If your car is classed in the C or D category, this means your car is still driveable and you’ll insure the car in the usual way with a write off car insurance policy.
There’s a diverse range of options out there for you to choose from covering all requirements and budgets, meaning you’ll easily be able to find a policy for a price that suits you. So, when you’re asking yourself where can i buy insurance write off cars, these are some great places to get started.
|Insurance companies||Average price for standard cat C vehicle||Main features||Our comment|
|£186 per year|
|£211 per year|
|£217 per year|
|£237 per year|
|£232 per year|
|£243 per year|
Figures are shown for a Vaxhaull Corsa 1.3 registered as a Category C vehicle for a 30 year old male. Prices can vary depending on your personal details and the car you’re insuring.
If you’re looking for information when it comes to finding the best insurance policies for category C and D vehicles, or you want to find the best prices, shop around to compare car insurance policies.
Why would you buy a category C&D write off?
One of the most common questions asked is if you would buy insurance write off cars or why you would want to buy a category C or D (N) car anyway? The car has been through a lot of damage that’s needed to be repaired, and quite rightly this could shake your trust in the car being a feasible investment, but this isn’t always the case.
Some of the advantages of buying a category C car include the fact that the car is typically so much more affordable than similar models of the same mileage and year, and you know the car has been repaired.
You can buy write-off cars from insurance companies, or private dealers and sellers.
One of the most important things to remember when buying an insurance write off check or looking for decent insurance write off cars for sale uk is that private sellers or anybody selling a car who isn’t an authorized dealer, may be selling you the car unlawfully and it hasn’t gone through the proper checks of repairs, or may not even tell you the car has a Cat C or D rating, which can leave you purchasing a car that’s only going to let you down in the long term. Always check insurance write off status before you buy.
This is why it’s highly recommended that you run a check on any car before you buy it. You can do this using any of the big motoring organisations websites, such as the AA or the RAC, who can check the vehicle and notify you of its legal status.
What happens during a category C write-off?
Commonly, when a car is a cat C write off, this means that the car is sold off to an auction or motor trader that specialises in Cat C cars and is licensed to repair and sell them.
This could be any auction house or even a repair garage that buys up cars, fixes them, and sells them on. Don’t worry, you’ll always receive a car insurance payout for write off when the car is your own and the insurance company is selling it.
This is typically because these companies can fix the cars for trade prices which is far more affordable than an insurance company would be able to organise. Since there’s this price gap, insurance companies will pay out the owner for a cat c write off insurance, the policy covering the car at the time of the accident, when it’s been written off and will close their insurance policy or transfer it to a new car and then recoup some of the money through the sale to the third-party.
If you want to fix the car yourself and you want to keep it, you can contact your provider to begin the car insurance write off buy back process, but this will depend on your individual insurer and how they want to deal with the situation. If you choose to sell your car, you’ll receive a car insurance write off valuation.
What happens during a category D write-off?
Generally, a cat D insurance write off is nothing more than a bit of damage or a small fault.
This could be something like the airbag ejecting during the accident and now needs replacing, or perhaps damage to the outer bodywork of the car, but the insurance write off valuation finds the car is still worth less than the cost of whatever repair is required.
In category D insurance write off situations like this, the insurance company will pay out the cost of the car to the owner and will then legally take ownership of the vehicle. Just like a category c insurance write off, the insurance company will then sell the car to a garage to repair and sell themselves to make some of the money back, or will repair the car using a repair service they have and then sell it on.
How to find a cheaper cat C&D insurance policy?
When you buy Cat C or D car, you will ensure it just the same as you would any other car, but since it’s registered as a Cat C or D vehicle in the DVLA database, the price of your insurance quotes will reflect this automatically, so how do you get it cheaper?
Well, just like any other insurance policy, there’s a few things you can do to increase your chances of being quoted a more affordable premium when you’ve found some nice insurance write off cars for sale you then want to buy. Let’s get into it;
- Shop around to find the best write-off insurance deal. By going with the first price you see when you buy insurance write off policy, you’re really limiting yourself to what potential prices are out there, so always take your time to research what’s the best price at the time you’re searching.
- Watch your yearly mileage. The more miles you plan to do, the more time you’re spending on the road and, therefore, the higher your insurance premium is going to be. Instead, try to cut down on your road miles where you can and you’ll be able to enjoy lower premiums.
- Drive carefully without convictions. If you have any motoring convictions, penalty points on your license, speeding fines, or any driving related problems, this is going to dramatically raise your premiums, so drive safely.
- Have a No Claims Bonus. Every year you drive and don’t claim on your insurance policy, you’ll receive a no claims bonus which grows every year. The more years you have in your bonus, the more affordable your insurance quotes will be.
- Consider what vehicle you’re getting. While getting a Cat C or D car can make purchasing the car affordable, the type of car you’re buying could make your premiums much higher. Getting a fast car with a big engine might sound fun, but it requires high costs.
- Think about who’s on your policy. If you’re adding everybody to your policy, including young people in your family, a partner, or even a friend or named driver, this can raise your premiums considerably, especially if they’re a young driver or have convictions on their license.