What is a Cat S car write-off?

Should I buy a Category S written-off vehicle?

Things to consider before you buy a write-off

Four factors in car history impact car safety, finances, or the legality of buying.

  • Theft
  • Mileage fraud
  • Outstanding finance
  • Write off (otherwise known as written off cars)

It spells problems for drivers looking to buy a new car, either privately or from a dealership.

Attention existing customers:

Does your CarVeto report highlight Cat S car damage?

Click here for details on what to do

Snapshot of Cat S warning in CarVeto reg checker

A description of damage recorded on a car with Cat S.

Check write-off instantly

Enter a plate number

(Such as HG67BPE)

What is Cat S damage write-off category?

S salvage category write-offs includes cars, motorcycles, and light commercials that have suffered structural damage.

Defining structural car damage.

It may include:

  • Chassis
  • Structural frame
  • Broken seals
  • Crumple zones
  • Bulkhead cracks
  • A-post or B-post deformation such as twists
  • Collapsed wheel housings
  • Fractured rails (Category N write-off tends to be cosmetic damage. Cat N is the only non-structural, minor damage category.) Go here for Cat N write off.

Cat S level of damage

The integrity and structure of the car are compromised, and repairs are likely to be expensive.

An insurance assessor evaluates the vehicle and determines the extent of the damage.

If the predicated cost of repair exceeds car value, a write off classification is applied.

All write off categories describe the extensiveness of damage in a manner that is simple to understand.

Structural hidden damage to a vehicle.

Image provided by abi.org.uk

Buying a car is a difficult decision to reverse

By that, we mean that once you buy a new car, it is often an irreversible decision. If there are mechanical problems or hidden history, as the new owner, you are typically liable.

It highlights the need to have all the information about a car before you make a commitment to purchase.

Buying a Category S write-off car should typically be avoided, as a write off status remains with the car for the rest of its life.

That means Cat S car value is significantly less than true market worth.

Run a Cat S car check

Unseen damage and severe damage car checks

96% Of our customers reject a Cat S write off.

Using the car registration number, get a complete overview of car history and background, including any potential insurance categories. These include:

    • Category A write-off
    • Category B write-off
    • Cat S write-off
    • Cat N write-off

Run your car check via CarVeto before you buy, or even lay down a holding deposit.

Again, pay special attention to theft, mileage, finance and car write-off alerts.

Managing a Category S accident damage alert

For most common drivers, a Cat S insurance write off is not recommended as the car will be worth so much less than the same car undamaged.

  • Resell can be tricky
  • Most car buyers will ignore accident damaged and repaired vehicles

Reasons to buy a Cat S

However, should you have access to the right competencies, resources, and tools, a Category S car write off becomes an opportunity to buy a valuable vehicle and put it back on the road for significantly less than true market value.

To get a Cat S car back on the road, it must be repaired to the latest road safety standards.

Car documents (vehicle log book)

The DVLA logbook for a category C or S vehicle is usually sent to the insurance company prior to payout.

If a car is bought back with the intention of putting it back on the road after repair, a free duplicate logbook is provided by the DVLA via form V62.

Note, write-off classification is recorded on the new V5C.

You should not buy a car without seeing its V5C registration certificate first.