About Insurance Car Write-Off Categories.

When a car is written off in an accident or stolen and not recovered, the insurance company will declare it a write-off. This means that the cost to repair the vehicle exceeds its value. The insurance company will then give the policyholder a payment for the market value of the vehicle at the time of the loss.

Four Categories

There are four categories that insurance companies use to determine if a car is a write-off: A, B, S, and N. Here's a brief explanation of each.

Category A

A Category A write-off means the vehicle has sustained severe structural damage and it isn't safe to attempt repairs. Whatever is left of the car must be scrapped and a Certificate of Destruction produced. 

Category B

A Category B write-off have sustained damage such that it must not be repaired. Parts can be salvaged from it but the chassis/body shell must be scrapped. 

Category S

A Category S write-off is when the vehicle has suffered some structural damage but the vehicle is permitted to be repaired to a roadworthy condition. However, if repaired, the vehicle will need to be inspected by an accredited engineer before being approved to be put back on the road. 

Category N

A Category N write-off  has suffered no structural damage and can easily be repaired and put back on the road without an inspection and approval of an accredited engineer. 


If you are in an accident and your car is totalled, your insurance company will declare it a write-off and reimburse you for its value. The insurance company will then sell your car to a salvage yard where it will either be dismantled for parts or, when permitted, it might be auctioned for a trade repairer to buy the damaged vehicle and repair it for re-sale. . The write-off category determines how much money you will receive from your insurance company as well as how much money the salvage yard will pay for your car.

If you find yourself in a position where your vehicle has been written off, contact Motorwise for advice and an instant quote.

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