What is a vehicle Write-off?
Write-off Categories Explained
When a vehicle is written off by an Insurance Company, they will make a record of the Write Off category and notify The Department of Transport.
There are 4 levels of insurance write off categories which are allocated when an insurer declines to repair a vehicle following an accident or other damage. These are allocated as A,B,C,D.
Any vehicle which has been allocated a category will have a lower value than if it did not, regardless as to the quality of repair.
Category A write-off
These cars should only be scrapped or crushed and are deemed “End of Life”. There are few (if any) economically salvageable parts. The only worth is in the raw materials that are less damaged. These vehicles should never appear on the road again.
Category B write-off
These vehicles are suitable only for spare parts and their shell should be crushed and are also deemed “End of Life”. This means that in the opinion of the insurance company it would be uneconomical to render the vehicle safe to use on the road and salvage yards are not allowed to sell the vehicle for repair. These vehicles should not appear on the road again.
Category C write-off
Significantly less damaged than Cat A or B, yet repair costs exceed a vehicle’s pre-accident value and are deemed “Beyond Economical Repair”. These cars are fixable and are popular with car enthusiasts who wish to make a car their own and like a project.
It is legally allowed to be returned to the road after a Post Accident Inspection Report by a qualified Motor Engineer or Assessor, stating that the vehicle has been repaired to a safe industry standard.
The majority of Insurance Companies will insist on this Engineer’s report, prior to insuring the vehicle. The Pre-Accident Value will more than likely be affected by a vehicle being a previous Category C, so ensure that you do not pay the fair market value for a vehicle Category C vehicle. We would urge extreme caution.
Category D write-off
Category D cars where the insurer declined to repair, either on the basis of the cost of repair, other costs (e.g. car hire, delay in spare parts) or policy (e.g. water ingress, rare vehicle etc.) and are deemed “Beyond Economical Repair”.
They can range from major to relatively minor repair work. It is legally allowed to be returned to the road prior to an Engineer’s Inspection stating that the vehicle has been repaired to a safe industry standard.
The majority of Insurance Companies will insist on this Engineer’s report, prior to insuring the vehicle. The Pre-Accident Value will more than likely be affected by a vehicle being a previous Category D, so ensure that you do not pay the fair market value for a vehicle Category D vehicle. We would urge extreme caution.
Protect yourself against purchasing a Category vehicle
A MyVehicle.ie car history check on a previous or current UK registration number will disclose if a vehicle has been categorised as a category A, B, C or D.
Unfortunately for Irish Vehicle registration numbers we will only disclose Category A and B. This is because The Department of Transport do not release Category C and D data (unless a previous UK registered vehicle).
A MyVehicle.ie Irish history Check will inform you if a vehicle has ever been recorded as being damaged and the date that this happened.
We can not disclose any personal or additional information about any damage alert, but we would strongly advise that if you have already or are considering purchasing the vehicle, that you have an independent engineers report carried out on the vehicle to ensure that the vehicle has been repaired to a safe and industry standard.
MyVehicle.ie do offer a low cost Pre-Purchase Vehicle Inspection by a highly qualified engineer assessor. On-Site Vehicle Inspection
Justin Kavanagh is a recognised leader in automotive intelligence and vehicle data supply to the entire motor industry. He has almost 20 years experience in building systems from the ground up. As the Managing Director of Vehicle Management System, he understands the need and importance of trustworthy and reliable vehicle history and advice to both the trade and the public.
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