Dealing with write-off from a car accident


Insurance category written-off cars and depleted values

A growing number of motorists consider buying a write off repaired vehicle because they cost so much less to buy. There are some important aspects to dealing with a write off repair after accident, flood or fire damage.

Part of best practice is evaluating the car online with a  free car check. It is important to do so before you buy or sell the vehicle.

Check car write-off

Enter a vehicle registration (number plate)
Example KX63TWF

Checking bodywork alignment after accident damage repairs.

Categories of damage

We have a complete write off categories guide for motorists. In brief, here are the car categories and classifications of car write offs that you’ll need to know:

  • Category A: includes vehicles with extensive damage that caused irreparable damage with no to little hope of salvaging parts
  • Category B: includes vehicles with irreparable damage, but with salvageable parts
  • Category S and N: includes vehicles in which the vehicle can be repaired, but the cost of repairs would exceed its overall value

Please be aware that before October 1, 2017, categories S and N were known as categories C and D.

It’s important to know that insurance companies do not want to repair cars in categories S and N. This is because repairs are possible, but the insurance company has decided it is more cost effective to replace them. However, you may still purchase cars in either of these categories.

Toyota Yaris front end accident.


Difference Between Categories N and S

While cars in either MIAFTR (MOTOR INSURANCE ANTI-FRAUD THEFT REGISTER) category can be repaired and put back on the road, there is one major difference you’ll want to consider before doing this. Cat S car damage includes structural. (This damage could be anywhere, including the chassis.)  Cars in category N had not had structural damage to their frames.

Cars in categories S and N often land in salvage yards where a third party will purchase them, make repairs, and list them for sale.


Purchasing a Car in Categories S and N

As long as the car has undergone all the necessary repairs and has received Autoalign certification, it is legal to purchase them. Their value is usually much lower than a comparative car that hasn’t been classified as S or N. While this means you may be able to get the car at a good price now, you will likely have trouble selling it in the future. Have a look at a vehicle history check for factual information on car background. A good service includes finance, write off status, theft and mileage checks. See this free hpi check video for more information about this type service.

On a final note, you should know that not all insurance companies will insure a category S or N car. You will need to check with individual companies beforehand. You’ll also want to do a thorough online check to make sure all information about the car checks out.