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Motor Accident?

Why is my car a write off?


Your car will be deemed a 'write off' by an insurance company if it is considered to be beyond economic repair, in other words the cost of repairing it would be more than the insured value of the car.

When considering repair costs they may take into account not only parts and labour but possibly also costs for a hire car while your vehicle is off the road. Even though the damage may seem minor the replacement parts are not usually the major cost, it could be the labour charges that often push the costs over uneconomical threshold.

When a vehicle is written off or considered to be a total loss by an insurer it will be then be referred to as 'salvage'. It will then be categorised in the following way:-

  • Category A. This vehicle has been inspected by an appropriately qualified person, declared unsuitable or beyond repair and has been identified to be crushed in its entirety. This vehicle is deemed not suitable to be repaired. Must be crushed without any parts being removed. This vehicle will be classed as waste.

  • Category B.This vehicle has been inspected by an appropriately qualified person and declared unsuitable or beyond repair. The vehicle is deemed not suitable to be repaired. Usable parts can be recycled. This vehicle will be classed as waste

  • Category S. This vehicle has been inspected by an appropriately qualified person and declared suitable for repair. Repairable vehicle which has sustained damage to any part of the structural frame or chassis and the insurer/ self-insured owner has decided not to repair the vehicle.

  • Category N. This vehicle has been inspected by an appropriately qualified person and declared suitable for repair.

    Repairable vehicle which has not sustained damage to the structural frame or chassis and the insurer/ self-insured owner has decided not to repair the vehicle.

    While the damage to the vehicle has been noted as non-structural, there may still be some safety critical items that require replacement e.g. steering and suspension parts.


Vehicle Identity Checks were introduced to help prevent criminals from using the identities of written off vehicles to disguise those of stolen vehicles. If a car is declared a total loss by an insurer, they will notify the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency who will then put what is known as a 'VIC' marker on the vehicles record. This marker cannot be removed until the vehicle has been inspected.

Removal of the VIC marker does not necessarily mean the vehicle is safe to drive on the road however, the owner will need to get a separate inspection in order to do this.

If you have had a car accident that was not your fault, please telephone Car Call UK on 02392 484 244 or start your free claim enquiry online using the button below, and one of our experienced claims advisors will be happy to assist you.
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