What is a ‘Write Off’?

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What is a ‘Write Off’?

Write offIf a vehicle has been involved in an accident or theft and sustained material damage to its condition it may be declared a ‘write off’ or ‘total loss’ by an insurer. There are over 100,000 write-offs recorded by Irish insurers every year and another 30,000 cases of theft.

Having been classed as a ‘Write-off’ doesn’t necessarily mean that the vehicle is not road worthy. You will need to know what category of ‘Write-off’ the vehicle has been given and satisfy yourself that any repairs made were performed  to the correct standards. Having a qualified Engineer inspect the car and issue a certificate of road worthiness is an important part of checking the cars mechanical condition and of course the price you pay for it should reflect the fact that it has once been classed as a ‘Write-off’.”

Category A:

Scrap only – this vehicle should be crushed. It should never reappear on the road and there are no economically salvageable parts. It is of value only for scrap metal – e.g. a totally burnt-out vehicle.

Category B:

The bodyshell should be crushed. The vehicle should never reappear on the road, but it can be broken for spare parts plus any residual scrap metal.

Category C:

Vehicle extensively damaged and insurer has decided not to repair. May be repaired and put back on the road. In the UK a vehicle has to pass an inspection costing £36 (2007 price) to be re-registered as damaged repaired. In Ireland Motorcheck offers a pre-purchase inspection that examines a used car under 123 seperate headings. Click here for more.

Category D:

Vehicle damaged and insurer has decided not to repair. In the Uk when this vehicle has been repaired it can re-registered as ‘damaged repaired’.

Category S:

Structurally damaged repairable. (Introduced 1st Oct 2017)

Category N:

Non-structurally damaged repairable. (Introduced 1st Oct 2017)

Category F:

Vehicle damaged by fire and insurer has decided not to repair. In the Uk when this vehicle has been repaired it can re-registered as ‘damaged repaired’.

In October 2017 the Association Of British Insurers (ABI) in the UK amended their code of practice to introduce new categories of write-off. These effectively keep Category A and B as they are and replace Category C and D with Category S and N write-offs, as follows:

  • A: Scrap
  • B: Break
  • S: Structurally damaged repairable
  • N: Non-structurally damaged repairable

 

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