What are the car damage categories and what do they mean?

One of the main reasons to scrap or salvage your car is because you were involved in an accident and the damage to the car was too expensive to repair. There are strict regulations that car insurance companies must follow when it comes to assessing the damage to a car after a crash.

A vehicle assessor will be dispatched from your insurer to examine the car and calculate the cost of repairs to make the decision about whether it is worth repairing or will be classed as a write-off.

What is a salvage category?

Your car will be assigned a category after inspection: A, B, S, or N.

These latest categories may seem unfamiliar because they were only introduced in October 2017. They replace the original categories C and D. They were brought in to focus more on the condition of the car and its structural issues after a collision that may impact on its safety on the road.

What is Category A?

This is the most severe category out of the four and means that the whole car is so entirely damaged (including all of its parts) that it must be immediately scrapped. They are unrepairable and can never be allowed back on the road again.

Category A cars include total burnouts with no economically salvageable materials or parts. These are suitable for scrapping or crushing only with no components allowed to be removed.

What is Category B?

The second most severe category is B. These cars will have suffered extensive damage and therefore be written off as unusable. However, these cars may still contain possibly salvageable parts.

These are dealt with by crushing the body of the car which cannot be repaired and will never be roadworthy again. But salvagers will take the undamaged parts out to resell them or transplant them into vehicles that can be made roadworthy again.

What is Category S?

This stands for structurally damaged but repairable.

Types of structural damage in type S cars usually mean a twisted or bent chassis and/or a destroyed crumple zone. This is a salvage category because it’s generally more economical to sell the vehicle to vehicle recyclers.

What is Category N?

These cars haven’t sustained structural damage but are still not economical to repair. Their faults may include brakes, steering or gearbox issues.

Salvagers will purchase these cars and restore them much more economically, meaning that the car can be made roadworthy once more.

For all of your salvaging queries and needs, get in touch with Motorwise today.


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