What is a Category A Write-Off

Cat A car explained

Insurance Database Services Ltd and the Motor Insurance Anti-Fraud and Theft Register (MIAFTR)

Vehicles with insurance company involvement suffer sufficient accident damage and are classified as write-offs.

There are six classified levels of car write-off damage: A, B, C, D, S and N.

This guide discusses Category A (informally known as Cat A), the most severe classification.

Run a Cat A car check

Enter a reg number (such as WP63YNS)

Cat A defined:
A vehicle has been inspected and declared beyond repair. The car is unsuitable and unroadworthy and must be dismantled and crushed entirely without any parts being removed or used again.

The Cat A vehicle will be classed as waste and waste controlled.

Disintegrated front end of a Ford Focus.

Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
The VIN number and car parts from the vehicle cannot be reused. MIAFTR markers confirm the vehicle will be destroyed to prevent the reissue of a vehicle registration document (V5C logbook).

At the point of dismantling, a certificate of destruction is issued in line with Government law.

The registered keeper has a responsibility to notify DVLA when a vehicle is given to their insurance company after a final settlement for losses.

At the point of salvage, all sections of the V5C are destroyed.

If you find a Cat A vehicle for sale
Any Cat A vehicle has suffered extreme damage occurred from a major accident, fire, or significant flood damage. An insurer deemed the vehicle as an absolute write-off.

Do not buy a Cat A car, motorcycle or light commercial as the previous insurer deemed the car irreparable.

It is likely that any repair work is not of an adequate, roadworthy standard. After all, the vehicle is not legally allowed to be on the road.

You cannot get the car insured, taxed or mot’d.

It means you should not buy a Cat A and you cannot legally sell it.


I have learned that my car is a category A write-off
The extent of damage is difficult to know. The vehicle should not be on the road and insurance will be invalid.

Steps to take:
Confirm write off via a CarVeto write off check – check a car
Have the car professionally inspected
Notify your insurance company immediately

If you bought from a dealer, you need to contact them right way. The dealer should have notified you prior to purchase. You’ll have the right to a legal claim towards refund.

Currently, private sellers don’t need to disclose write off status unless they were aware of it. If you ask, they must tell you, but there is a chance they did not know themselves.


I think my vehicle is wrongly classified as Cat A
Contact us immediately if our database has recorded your vehicle as Cat A but you believe the information incorrect. We will run some additional background checks to confirm our findings and provide additional support.

Include the vehicle registration number when you get in touch.

Guide for car buyers