Category B Write Off Explained

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

Vehicles that suffer with a sufficient extent of accident damage with insurance company involvement are classified as write-offs.

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

This guide discusses Category B (informally known as Cat B) which is the second most severe classification.

See if a car is classed as Cat B write-off

Cat B defined:
A vehicle has been examined by a qualified engineer and declared beyond repair and unsuited for road use.

Usable parts may be recycled (unlike Cat A car damage)

The vehicle is classed as waste and waste control protocols are followed.

Mazda MX6 with significant rear end damage.

Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)

Cat B write-offs will have their VIN, frame and engine numbers destroyed along with the chassis. They cannot be legally used again. All structural frameworks, including the frame and bodyshell, must be dismantled/crushed entirely, along with all structural components.

The MIAFTR will confirm the intent to destroy. It ensures the V5 registration document cannot be reissued in future.

The vehicle is not eligible to undergo a condition inspected change from VCAR – Vehicle Condition Alert Register.

A certificate of destruction must be declared in keeping with government laws.

The vehicle registration number plate is removed.

The VIN, chassis and frame numbers must not be removed from the body of the vehicle.

SRS components (Supplementary Restraint Systems) such has seat belts, airbags etc are disposed of correctly within the vehicle manufacturer guidelines. Such items cannot be repurposed, resold or reused.

If you find a Cat B vehicle for sale

Cat B cars, motorcycles and light commercial vehicles have suffered major damage. The insurer has deemed the vehicle a write-off, and repairing or putting it back on the road is illegal. 

You should not buy a Category A write-off. Any repair work is unlikely to be of a satisfactory standard. Any road tax, MOT or alleged insurance is unlikely to be legal.

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

I have learned that my car is a Category B write off
It’s not possible to determine how much damage was caused to the vehicle.

Steps to take:
Confirm Cat B write-off via a CarVeto check – Use this link to check the vehicle
Has the car been professionally inspected? Services like Clickmechanic offer affordable inspections.
Notify your insurance company immediately.

A dealer is not allowed to sell a category write-off car without declaration. You have a right to claim a refund.

A private seller is not obliged to tell you about a write-off classification unless they know it at the point of sale.


My vehicle is wrongly classified as Cat B

Get in touch with our team immediately if we have a record of a car write-off, and you believe our data is incorrect. We provide excellent customer support for users.

Remember to include the vehicle registration number when you contact us.

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