Acquiring a pre-owned vehicle can be a challenging endeavour, with a crucial consideration being whether the car has undergone a write-off. Contrary to common assumptions that a written-off vehicle cannot be sold or that owners are obligated to declare it, the reality is more nuanced.
Before finalising a vehicle purchase, it is advisable to perform a thorough check for any previous write-off incidents. This check can reveal potential damages and guide your decision-making process.
Even if you have already made the purchase, conducting an insurance write-off check remains imperative. This ensures you have essential information about the vehicle’s history, helping you assess its safety for driving.
Understanding what constitutes a write-off is crucial
A vehicle is typically deemed a write-off if it cannot be made roadworthy or if the repair costs exceed its market value. The categorisation of write-offs has evolved, with the current system classifying them as Category A, B, S, or N.
- Category A: Vehicles in this category have sustained irreparable damage and cannot be resold due to safety concerns or obsolescence.
- Category B: Similar to Category A, these vehicles cannot be resold, but some parts may be salvaged for reuse.
- Category S (Structurally damaged repairable): Vehicles in this category have suffered damage to the chassis but can be repaired and put back on the road, subject to re-registration.
- Category N (Non-structurally damaged repaired): Vehicles in this category have non-structural damage, such as cosmetic issues, and are considered repairable.
Contrary to popular belief, the deployment of airbags does not automatically result in a write-off. The vehicle undergoes assessment to determine repairability and associated costs.
The legality of selling a written-off car depends on its category. Category A and B vehicles cannot be resold, whereas Category S and N cars can be.
It is possible for a car to be written off multiple times
If a vehicle classified as Category S or N is repaired and subsequently sustains further damage, it may be written off again with a new category assignment.
Determining the course of action when your vehicle is written off depends on the assigned category. For Category A or B, the insurance company typically takes ownership, scraps the car, and offers a financial settlement. In the case of Category N or S, you might consider repurchasing the vehicle from the insurance company and covering repair costs independently if deemed economically viable.
Keep in mind that a written-off status can impact the resale value of a vehicle.
Some individuals opt to scrap or sell it as salvage, even if technically repairable. For a hassle-free car scrappage experience in Suffolk and Essex, consider visiting Assington Autos, where experts can assist with the DVLA notification process for obtaining a Certificate of Destruction (CoD). Contact us today to learn more!