Write Off Categories

Write Off Vehicles

A Write-off is a vehicle that has been recorded as written-off or a total loss by an insurance company due to a damage or theft-related insurance claim. A damage-related insurance claim means the insurer has decided that the vehicle is uneconomical to repair. Potential buyers should only proceed with the purchase once they are satisfied that the repairs have been carried out to a high standard and that the car is roadworthy. The only way to be sure about the repair standard is to get a qualified engineer to inspect the vehicle. The AA for eg; can provide this service. Although write-offs can legitimately be allowed back on the road, almost half are beyond repair or structurally compromised.

Category A: Scrap only – The vehicle must be scrapped and no parts or components can be sold other than for scrap. Amounts vary but the scrap value rarely covers the cost of recovery and delivery to a scrap yard. Category A is severely damaged, total burnout or flood damage with no serviceable parts, or already a stripped out shell. In Ireland this vehicle would have to be disposed of in an authorised treatment facility and have a death certificate issued and the vehicle then becomes End of Life (ELV). In the UK the DVLA will require a “Notification of Destruction”.

Category B: The vehicle must not be used again but non- structural and roadworthy parts and components may be recovered for use in other vehicles. Care must be taken to ensure that they are not critical components with important safety functions. A Category B will have been damaged beyond economical repair, usually with major structural damage. In Ireland this vehicle would have to be disposed of in an authorised treatment facility and have a death certificate issued and the vehicle then becomes End of Life (ELV). In the UK the DVLA will require “Notification of Destruction” but parts can be removed and sold on.

Category C: This vehicle was repairable, but the repair costs exceeded the vehicle value. The insurer chose not to repair for economic reasons.

This vehicle can be repaired by third party and put back on the Road. In Ireland the vehicle is not subject to a mandatory examination to check if roadworthy. It is subject to an NCT examination if it is 4 years old or more. In the UK this category of vehicle could not be sold on and driven on the road until it passes a vehicle technical examination by the Road Transport Authority and deemed to be roadworthy.

Category D: The vehicle is economically repairable but other factors are involved that cause the insurer to declare the vehicle a write off. Perhaps the replacement car hire is too costly or it will take too long for a specialist part to be delivered. A Cat D is repairable salvage. The Motor Insurers Anti-Fraud and Theft Register (MIAFTR) defines Cat D as repairable total loss vehicles where repair costs including VAT do not exceed the vehicle’s pre-accident value (PAV).