What is a write-off?

We’re sure you’ve driven down the road before and seen a mangled car on the back of a recovery vehicle. Despite how bad the damage may seem it’s possible that the car could be back on the road in the following months.

If a car is damaged, the insurance company has the decision of either writing the car off and paying you the value of your car, or repairing the car to its original condition. When assessing the vehicle, it’ll fall into one of 4 categories. A, B, S and N. From the outside the damage may seem minor, however, generally if the cost of a repair is more than half of the cars value then they’ll write it off. Costs quickly spiral out of control as most specify that only manufacturer approved parts can be fitted and all repairs must be conducted in a certified repair shop.

Category A means the damage is so catastrophic, it can’t return to the road. Even the parts usually salvaged on it must be crushed to prevent unsafe vehicles filling our roads.  Category B then is similar to Category A as the car can’t be driven on the road again, however undamaged parts may be salvaged for resale. Category S means the car has suffered some structural damage, potentially around the crumple zone, bumper or chassis. The car can return to the road once it’s been professionally restored. Category N cars haven’t suffered any structural damage, the issue could be either cosmetic, electronic or an important part. The damage may seem minimal but it could include vital features such as the brakes and steering. Before buying a category N car it’s vital to get a comprehensive check.

So, is it worth buying a Cat S or Cat N car? It depends on the damage and the quality of the repair. If the issue was dealt with cheaply it could lead to costly bills down the line or worse, endanger your life and others around you. Any damage the car has suffered should be detailed in its history. Be wary of private sellers trying to quickly offload damaged cars, they may not explain the full extent of the damage to you or the quality of the repair. By having your preferred garage check a car over before you buy it, they can point out any potential issues or if the car is legal at all!

If you want to find a cheap pre-owned car for an affordable price without taking a risk with a repaired car, a pre-owned dealer may be the way to go. Dealers such as Emerald Vehicle Sales provide quality cars at a great price so visit their site now!