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What to do if you car is written off

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  • 15-01-2019
What to do if you car is written off

If your car is damaged due to a crash and the insurer perceives that the repair costs are uneconomical (approximately 50% the value of the vehicle) then your vehicle will be categorised an insurance write-off. The insurer will keep your car and pay a cash payout for the loss, which is the market value of your vehicle- the value of disposal to a reliable dealership before the damage occurred. The company will deduct policy excess prior to paying out the lump sum.

What are the Insurance Write-off Categories?

A car written-off will be classed into one of four categories: A, B, S or N:

Category A
This category is most serious; the car should be scrapped immediately and no parts should be salvaged.

Category B
The vehicle has suffered extensive damage and should never be appear on the road again, though some parts of the vehicle can be salvaged.

Category S
Previously known as Category C, the vehicle will have suffered structural damage, including twisted or bent chassis. This vehicle can be driven again if it's been professionally repaired.

Category N
It is a write-off in which the vehicle only suffered cosmetic damages, but the repair cost is high compared to the value of the vehicle. This is most common in newer vehicles. Post-repair, this vehicle can be sold and driven safely again, though a thorough inspection is still recommended.

car salvage

IF MY CAR IS WRITTEN OFF, CAN I KEEP IT?

This will depend on the category for which your car was written off for. It's generally not recommended to keep a Category S or N vehicle, even though they have only suffered minor cosmetic damages. Not only will you be responsible for the cost of repairing the vehicle, you are required to declare its insurance status which can adversely affect its market value. 

Even if you choose not to sell the vehicle, you should commission a thorough safety inspection prior to driving the vehicle on the road again. Please note that the insurance premium is also likely to higher on a previously written-off vehicle.


If you are involved in an accident, it is important to find an accident repair garage that you can trust. Follow the link below to contact a car repair mechanic in Watford.