Damaged Car Categories

What are the categories for damaged cars?

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) and Lloyd’s Market Association (LMA) updated their codes and practices on the 1st of October 2017, making it easier for buyers to see why the vehicle was written off. Categories A and B remained the same. Categories C and D changed and was replaced with two new categories, S and N.

What are the four main salvage categories?

Category A

A written-off car or vehicle must be scrapped and cannot return to the road, meaning the damage to your vehicle is so extreme that no part can be salvaged.

Category B

A written-off car or vehicle must have its chassis destroyed and not return to the road. Still, parts can be re-sold, meaning the damage to your vehicle is extensive (i.e. the vehicle’s body, frame, or chassis could not be used again), and the car will be scrapped.

Category S (formerly C)

A written-off car or vehicle that has chassis or structural damage but is repairable, meaning there is structural damage to your vehicle (i.e. the wheel axis is bent, a part of the chassis deemed unsafe) and is uneconomical to repair. This means that the car will avoid being scrapped but professionally repaired before being driven on the road.

Category N (formerly D)

A written-off car or vehicle with non-structural damage or stolen-recovered means your vehicle has no structural damage. Still, it has an issue that makes it uneconomical to repair.

Other categories are:

Category U

These vehicles are not classed as salvage, but there still is a chance that they’re damaged.

Category X – Stolen/Recovered

These vehicles have been subject to an insurance claim but more than often have received minimal or no damage.

You might hear the terms ‘actual loss’ describes categories A and B, and ‘constructive loss’ represents categories S and N.

How to deal with a car that's damaged

How do insurers decide that your vehicle is a ‘write-off’?

Your insurer will ‘write off’ your vehicle if the damage is so extreme that it can’t be repaired or if the cost of fixing it is uneconomical. They won’t just calculate whether the repair cost exceeds the car’s market value (the price it is likely to fetch if sold). The insurer also needs to consider providing a courtesy vehicle and any admin costs – for example, sending an inspection engineer.

In most cases, any repairs that exceed around half to two-thirds of the vehicle’s value will lead to the insurer considering the car not worth repairing and a write-off. Meaning an insurer will not repair a vehicle if it is uneconomical or unsafe to do so.

Can I keep the damaged car and have it repaired?

If the vehicle is a Category A or B write-off, then you can’t keep your car to be repaired. The Association of British Insurers (ABI) Salvage Code states that these cars should be destroyed and crushed. Vehicle parts from Category B cars that are considered safe can be sold.

If the vehicle is a Category S or N, you should be able to keep it, although the costs to fix it may be more than the car’s value. These vehicles may also be sold for repair after your insurer compensates you. You will need to seek advice from your insurer.

Do insurance companies report the status of a vehicle to the DVLA?

It’s entirely up to the vehicle’s registered owner to notify the DVLA when a written-off car or vehicle is passed onto an insurer.

The car owner can give permission to the insurer to act on their behalf when telling the DVLA about a car’s condition. In this case, the insurer must notify the DVLA using the appropriate section of the car’s V5C logbook. If an insurer doesn’t complete this, the registered owner will still be legally responsible and liable for the vehicle.

What happens if a vehicle is stolen but comes back a write-off?

While vehicle security is constantly improving, an estimated 89,400 vehicle’s were stolen in the UK in 2020/2021. Around half are recovered by the police, but cars don’t always return to their owner’s in tip-top shape.

Recovered stolen vehicles written-off will also be categorised as A, B, S or N.

If the recovered vehicle has minor damage or is undamaged, the Motor Insurance Anti Fraud and Theft Register (MIAFTR) must be notified, so they can mark the car as recovered.

Insurance for Category S and N cars

Can I get insurance for a Cat S car?

Yes, some companies will insure a Category S car. They will almost certainly ask for the vehicle to undergo a new MOT test and may ask for an engineer’s report for the car in question.

Can I insure a Cat N car?

It’s possible to ensure a Category N car. Similarly to Cat S, the insurer may require a new MOT and engineer’s report.

What happens to a Cat S insurance write-off?

Once the insurance claim has been paid out to the owner, Cat S vehicles can be sold for repair or are commonly sold at auctions to car traders or garages by an insurer. This way, the insurer recoups some of the cost.

Cat S cars can be made as safe as a new car and driven again. If you’re considering buying a Cat S car, it may be worth checking any repair to ensure it’s been done to the correct standard.

What happens to a Cat N insurance write-off?

Like Cat S write-offs, Cat N vehicles can also be sold or repaired by an insurer after the claim has been paid out to the owner.

As Cat N cars are lightly damaged, some businesses and garages specialise in repairing them back to a roadworthy condition to sell on.

Car safety and costs

Are Cat S cars less safe than regular cars?

Category S cars should be just as safe and legal to drive like a new car when properly repaired. Have an independent inspector check it if you’re thinking of buying a Cat S car but are unsure about its condition.

Are Cat N cars less safe than regular cars?

Category N cars are written-off because they are uneconomical to repair, meaning the extent of their damage may be minor. Still, the insurer may determine it is too expensive to repair or replace a vehicle part.

So even though the vehicle’s safety wasn’t compromised, it becomes a Cat N write-off for purely economic reasons. However, it can be straightforward to restore the car to a safe, working condition.

If you think that a Cat N car is not up to roadworthy status, you can hire an independent inspector to check it.

Are Cat S and N cars cheaper to buy?

Yes, Category S and N cars are usually available to buy at a lower price because of their damage history.

Do Cat S and N cars have higher insurance premiums?

Some insurance companies might not insure Category S and N cars, and others may charge more. Insurance companies often require an engineer’s report before offering insurance for Cat S cars. The same goes for Cat N.

Can I check if a vehicle has ever been damaged to a Category S and N level?

Yes, you can, and at Reclamet Limited, we always ensure any buyers are aware of all the facts about a vehicle before buying. Professional car traders and vendors must state whether a car has been previously written off.

Call Reclamet today on:01843 800800Β for a detailed quote
or Email:Β enquiries@reclamet.co.uk

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john dinnage
john dinnage08-11-2021
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The Service was amazing from start to finish, the best price was given for my car, was picked up the next day and the money was in my account that day. 10 out of 10 would highly recommend

Chris Watkins
Chris Watkins08-11-2021
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Excellent customer service!

Odette Askew
Odette Askew01-11-2021
Google

The Team at Reclamet are exceptional and I am so happy with their work. I had a vehicle recycled as it was involved in an accident. Still shaken- the team were care and compassionate. The collection was completely stress free and the staff looked after me all the way. Thanks to all of you ! Brilliant customer service from start to finish!

C Roch
C Roch25-10-2021
Google

Always good professional service would highly recommend πŸ‘Œ

Albert Snelson
Albert Snelson31-07-2021
Google

Great service from Tony in the tyre department cheers

adrian burford
adrian burford31-07-2021
Google

Very good service and cheap.

John Sani
John Sani31-07-2021
Google

Really friendly and helpful.

Keith Reading
Keith Reading30-06-2021
Google

A good experience, we needed two part warm tyres for the wife, we turned up, the tyres fitted and we drove away 30 minutes late job done. πŸ™‚

John Gregory
John Gregory30-06-2021
Google

Really helpful

eddie fisher
eddie fisher30-06-2021
Google

Good price for scrap metal.

Excellent customer service and communication. Prompt pick up of old car and all personnel were friendly and professional.

Sarah Trigg
Sarah Trigg31-05-2021
Google

Fantastic business to trade with. Stuart and the team are all extremely helpful, would highly recommend

Daniel O'Brien
Daniel O'Brien30-04-2021
Google

Excellent service from start to finish. A special mention to Sacha and Gus for their professional and helpful approach.

luke stevens
luke stevens30-04-2021
Google

Top service

alex milham
alex milham30-04-2021
Google

Booked in for my car to be collected. very efficient, well organized with no issues, money paid straight into my account the same day. The driver was very helpful and polite. Would happily use this company again.

Margate Missy
Margate Missy30-04-2021
Google

Found the experience very easy and all staff i dealt with were very helpfull

Jerry Borrie
Jerry Borrie30-04-2021
Google

Fabulous service and very straight forward. I found Stuart to be immensely helpful and knowledgeable.

Andy Morrison
Andy Morrison30-04-2021
Google

Was unsure where to begin with locating a certain part, was recommended to Reclamet and now wouldn't go anywhere else, easy and quick process to buy what I was looking for.

Leon W
Leon W30-04-2021
Google

Great place found the staff very helpful and pleasant would definitely recommend them

chris obrien
chris obrien30-04-2021
Google

Fantastic service. Recommended.

skweeble
skweeble30-04-2021
Google

Excellent service they had exactly what I needed.

Gary Gould
Gary Gould30-04-2021
Google

Brought my car in to be scrapped and was offered a fair price, much more than i expected to get for my mini. The owner of the business - Stuart was very helpful along with the girls in the office and the weighbridge. Would happily recommend to friends and family.

Verity Smith
Verity Smith30-04-2021
Google

Needed a few parts for my van a week ago kieran was very helpful and knowledgeable part fits and works thanks for the help highly recommended extremely professional and outstanding customer service

Adam Burkett
Adam Burkett18-03-2021
Google

Very happy with the service I received. Helpful and friendly, even changed the battery for me. Would try them for parts fist before anywhere else.

Craig Alexander
Craig Alexander27-11-2020
Google

Honest, great communication, great prices. Friendly. I had a damaged catalytic converter from an attempted theft and Reclamet was the only company that had adequate communication and was not dodgy as most of the other scrap metal dealers seemed. So it was well-worth my drive from central London to Kent to get the Β£784 they paid me for the catalytic converter. Impressive :-)

Peter Johnson
Peter Johnson27-11-2020
Google

Friendly staff helpful and have most things in stock

Sam Small
Sam Small20-11-2020
Google

Great people to do business with.

Steve Ranger
Steve Ranger20-11-2020
Google

Needed my car scrapped and used Scrap My Car, great service and fast turn around and got a good price too.

Ian Fraser
Ian Fraser15-11-2020
Google

Always go for puncture repairs, Β£10. Also do new and part worn tyres

Mark Wilcox
Mark Wilcox11-11-2020
Google

I needed a part for my car but didn't want to pay through the nose. i went to the shop and they found the part i needed quickly. i was very happy with my purchase.

Justin Evans
Justin Evans11-11-2020
Google

Absolutely brilliant, needed some steel re-bar for a project, super friendly staff, let me pick out what I needed. Excellent, highly recommended. Will come back!

Bambi Sham
Bambi Sham11-11-2020
Google

Brilliant service

Terri Green
Terri Green11-10-2020
Google

Very friendly both over the phone and in person. Had all the parts I needed. Matt was extremely helpful and went out his way to find all the parts I needed.

Connor
Connor11-09-2020
Google

Bought two new tires, balanced and fittedStaff are professional and courteous.

Alex Broadley
Alex Broadley11-08-2020
Google

Got new wheel for my fiat 500 less than third of price as another dealer, highly recommend

Lucy Bryant
Lucy Bryant11-08-2020
Google

Bought a car from them no problems at all highly recommend to all.

Nigel Nelly
Nigel Nelly11-03-2020
Google

Great service, no problems had a new tyre fitted, and new headlight for my car. Very reasonable prices. Staff polite and helpful. Will use again.

Vicky xxx
Vicky xxx11-02-2020
Google

Brilliant service as always,Good price and fitting.

Adam Messenger
Adam Messenger11-12-2019
Google

Great price, quick job, excellent all round.

Chris Hazelden
Chris Hazelden11-12-2019
Google

Saying goodbye to my faithful old car was a wrench but the man at the kiosk was so kind. Excellent service, no mucking around but understanding. Good rate for scrap too. Thank you.

Davina Holness
Davina Holness11-12-2018
Google

Good as gold every time I visit.

Graham Palmer
Graham Palmer01-04-2018
Google

Trustpilot Reviews

Google Reviews

Excellent customer service. They assisted me in finding a motor and springs for my granddaughters drivers side door mirror. Would definitely use again and would recommend to anyone else that needs help. Thank you guys!

john dinnage
john dinnage08-11-2021
Google

The Service was amazing from start to finish, the best price was given for my car, was picked up the next day and the money was in my account that day. 10 out of 10 would highly recommend

Chris Watkins
Chris Watkins08-11-2021
Google

Excellent customer service!

Odette Askew
Odette Askew01-11-2021
Google

The Team at Reclamet are exceptional and I am so happy with their work. I had a vehicle recycled as it was involved in an accident. Still shaken- the team were care and compassionate. The collection was completely stress free and the staff looked after me all the way. Thanks to all of you ! Brilliant customer service from start to finish!

C Roch
C Roch25-10-2021
Google

Always good professional service would highly recommend πŸ‘Œ

Albert Snelson
Albert Snelson31-07-2021
Google

Great service from Tony in the tyre department cheers

adrian burford
adrian burford31-07-2021
Google

Very good service and cheap.

John Sani
John Sani31-07-2021
Google

Really friendly and helpful.

Keith Reading
Keith Reading30-06-2021
Google

A good experience, we needed two part warm tyres for the wife, we turned up, the tyres fitted and we drove away 30 minutes late job done. πŸ™‚

John Gregory
John Gregory30-06-2021
Google

Really helpful

eddie fisher
eddie fisher30-06-2021
Google

Good price for scrap metal.

Excellent customer service and communication. Prompt pick up of old car and all personnel were friendly and professional.

Sarah Trigg
Sarah Trigg31-05-2021
Google

Fantastic business to trade with. Stuart and the team are all extremely helpful, would highly recommend

Daniel O'Brien
Daniel O'Brien30-04-2021
Google

Excellent service from start to finish. A special mention to Sacha and Gus for their professional and helpful approach.

luke stevens
luke stevens30-04-2021
Google

Top service

alex milham
alex milham30-04-2021
Google

Booked in for my car to be collected. very efficient, well organized with no issues, money paid straight into my account the same day. The driver was very helpful and polite. Would happily use this company again.

Margate Missy
Margate Missy30-04-2021
Google

Found the experience very easy and all staff i dealt with were very helpfull

Jerry Borrie
Jerry Borrie30-04-2021
Google

Fabulous service and very straight forward. I found Stuart to be immensely helpful and knowledgeable.

Andy Morrison
Andy Morrison30-04-2021
Google

Was unsure where to begin with locating a certain part, was recommended to Reclamet and now wouldn't go anywhere else, easy and quick process to buy what I was looking for.

Leon W
Leon W30-04-2021
Google

Great place found the staff very helpful and pleasant would definitely recommend them

chris obrien
chris obrien30-04-2021
Google

Fantastic service. Recommended.

skweeble
skweeble30-04-2021
Google

Excellent service they had exactly what I needed.

Gary Gould
Gary Gould30-04-2021
Google

Brought my car in to be scrapped and was offered a fair price, much more than i expected to get for my mini. The owner of the business - Stuart was very helpful along with the girls in the office and the weighbridge. Would happily recommend to friends and family.

Verity Smith
Verity Smith30-04-2021
Google

Needed a few parts for my van a week ago kieran was very helpful and knowledgeable part fits and works thanks for the help highly recommended extremely professional and outstanding customer service

Adam Burkett
Adam Burkett18-03-2021
Google

Very happy with the service I received. Helpful and friendly, even changed the battery for me. Would try them for parts fist before anywhere else.

Craig Alexander
Craig Alexander27-11-2020
Google

Honest, great communication, great prices. Friendly. I had a damaged catalytic converter from an attempted theft and Reclamet was the only company that had adequate communication and was not dodgy as most of the other scrap metal dealers seemed. So it was well-worth my drive from central London to Kent to get the Β£784 they paid me for the catalytic converter. Impressive :-)

Peter Johnson
Peter Johnson27-11-2020
Google

Friendly staff helpful and have most things in stock

Sam Small
Sam Small20-11-2020
Google

Great people to do business with.

Steve Ranger
Steve Ranger20-11-2020
Google

Needed my car scrapped and used Scrap My Car, great service and fast turn around and got a good price too.

Ian Fraser
Ian Fraser15-11-2020
Google

Always go for puncture repairs, Β£10. Also do new and part worn tyres

Mark Wilcox
Mark Wilcox11-11-2020
Google

I needed a part for my car but didn't want to pay through the nose. i went to the shop and they found the part i needed quickly. i was very happy with my purchase.

Justin Evans
Justin Evans11-11-2020
Google

Absolutely brilliant, needed some steel re-bar for a project, super friendly staff, let me pick out what I needed. Excellent, highly recommended. Will come back!

Bambi Sham
Bambi Sham11-11-2020
Google

Brilliant service

Terri Green
Terri Green11-10-2020
Google

Very friendly both over the phone and in person. Had all the parts I needed. Matt was extremely helpful and went out his way to find all the parts I needed.

Connor
Connor11-09-2020
Google

Bought two new tires, balanced and fittedStaff are professional and courteous.

Alex Broadley
Alex Broadley11-08-2020
Google

Got new wheel for my fiat 500 less than third of price as another dealer, highly recommend

Lucy Bryant
Lucy Bryant11-08-2020
Google

Bought a car from them no problems at all highly recommend to all.

Nigel Nelly
Nigel Nelly11-03-2020
Google

Great service, no problems had a new tyre fitted, and new headlight for my car. Very reasonable prices. Staff polite and helpful. Will use again.

Vicky xxx
Vicky xxx11-02-2020
Google

Brilliant service as always,Good price and fitting.

Adam Messenger
Adam Messenger11-12-2019
Google

Great price, quick job, excellent all round.

Chris Hazelden
Chris Hazelden11-12-2019
Google

Saying goodbye to my faithful old car was a wrench but the man at the kiosk was so kind. Excellent service, no mucking around but understanding. Good rate for scrap too. Thank you.

Davina Holness
Davina Holness11-12-2018
Google

Good as gold every time I visit.

Graham Palmer
Graham Palmer01-04-2018
Google

Trustpilot Reviews