What Is An Insurance Write Off?

What is a Write Off?

If a car is an insurance write off, it may be cheaper, but is it a sensible thing to buy? Also what are the different categories of write off? We answer these important questions. Remember you can protect your investment in the case of a write of with MotorEasy GAP Insurance. 


Write off categories

The write off categories have recently changed and the emphasis has shifted from the repair cost to the actual vehicle condition, which seems more logical.

Category A

This refers to scrap and is applied to cars so badly damaged, that all of it has to be crushed and no parts can be salvaged. 

Category B

For a car to be category B the car has to be pretty badly damaged, but some of the parts can be salvaged and used again, but the car as a whole will never appear back on the road. 

Category S

This category used to be known as C but was changed recently to focus on the damage to the car. Category S means the car has suffered considerable structural damage such as the crumple zone collapsing in a crash. The car can go back on the road but it will need to be professionally repaired and cannot be driven until this has been done. 

Category N

This category used to be known as D, and this includes vehicles that haven't sustained structural damage but there could still be something wrong with the bodywork.  There could also be a problem with something like the electrics, which would cost more to fix than car is worth to repair. 

This doesn't however mean, that the car is driveable straight away as non-structural could still mean that there is something wrong with the steering or brakes. 

could you car be written off? This Category N write off can be fixed and driven again.

How do you check for a write off?

According to the vehicle data provider HPI, one in twenty five of the vehicles it checks are recorded as insurance write-offs and that insurers are writing off over 500,000 cars a year. Clearly, write offs are a potential issue and the only way to guard against this is to buy from a car dealer that is obliged to check the history of the vehicles they sell, or do it yourself. 

A single HPI check, which will tell you many important things about the car you want to buy, including whether it is an insurance write off, or if it has even been scrapped, had a number plate change, or stolen, starts at £19.99. 

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