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How to Check If The Car Has A Category and It’s Full History For Cheaper

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Are you buying a second-hand car? Know that it’s highly crucial to get a history check on it. The used car you want to buy has been in an accident Previously. 

The insurance companies write-off the car when it has been in an accident, and the damage makes it unsafe to get back on the road, or the repair cost is more than the current value of the car in the market. They call it “beyond economic repair” (BER). But did you know how to check if the car has a category before buying it? Let’s discuss further in detail.
How to Check If a Used Car Is Cat A, B, S or N
Table of Contents

What are the Types of Insurance Write-off Category?

The insurance companies specified some categories to highlight structural issues affecting the cars and passengers’ safety. Each category tells you a different story of damage. Following are the four categories.

  • Category A
  • Category B
  • Category S
  • Category N

How to Check if a car has been Written-off?

If you ever want to check if the vehicle is written off, note that The Auto Experts provides this information for any vehicle in the UK, with a considerable discount. Just enter your registration number to begin.

You can find a full Car History Check report that tells you about what type of financial deals the vehicle had, previously reported as stolen, even if the car is clocked or cloned.

So, let’s further uncover and explain the four A, B, S, and N write-off categories and what they tell you about the car’s damage.

Write-Off Category A

Cars marked as Cat A means that it has suffered severe damage which is beyond repair. It’s marked Cat A when the car’s chassis or bodyshell is heavily damaged by accident or fire. The remaining body is just scrap, and the insurance companies issue a Certificate of Destruction as the marked cars are not worth being on the roads again.

So, remember, this type of cars are not supposed to be on the road. If you see one, it’s just because the insurance companies return it to its owners as the car is somehow valuable to them.

Write-Off Category B

Those cars which have suffered severe damage by accident or fire are put in Cat B. Their chassis and body shells are destroyed and irreparable, but some parts will be salvageable.

Unlike Cat A, some parts of the cars can be used in the other vehicles, but the Cat B marked vehicle is not worthy of being on the roads again.

Write-Off Category S (Previously CAT C)

Cars marked as Cat S have suffered damage to structural areas,but the damage caused is repairable, and it’s possible to make it roadworthy.

However, if the vehicle is Category S, then a certified Engineer must inspect it and get it re-registered with DVLA. The DVLA will issue a new registration number depending on the parts used to repair the car.

Write-Off Category N (Previously CAT D)

Cat N marked vehicles have suffered non-structural damage. These cars are repairable and worthy of being on the road again. The non-structural term includes many parts of the vehicle such as roof panels, bumpers, electrics, not to mention the engine and the seats.

Since the damage is not severe, the Cat N marked vehicles doesn’t need inspection and re-registration to be roadworthy.

Hire an experienced mechanic to inspect the Cat S, N cars includes 300+ point inspection and make them roadworthy.

Is the Written Off Category Status Reflected in V5c?

Since the next buyer should inform the DVLA if the car has been declared a Cat S write-off, the vehicle will be issued with a new V5C logbook mentioning the car has been written off. It saves the used car buyers against unwittingly buying a car that was previously an insurance written-off. Sometimes, the car owners fail to do this. It’s much better to consider a car write off check before buying any used car.

Is a Repaired Write-Off Car Worth Buying?

If the vehicle is Cat S or Cat N; you can consider buying them but with caution. When you go with your eyes open, there won’t be any problem.

But if the vehicle write-off check shows Cat A and Cat B, you can skip it as it can’t be roadworthy even when repaired. Plus, the insurance companies won’t provide cover for such cars.

Still, if you repair the written-off car and bring it back to roadworthy condition, it doesn’t mean that it’s restored to a factory standard. Only the manufacturers of the vehicle can repair it perfectly.

In most cases, the repaired car faces issues due to poorly fitted parts, poorly aligned panels, and low-quality paints. Also, there will be other errors and bodges that only an expert can find. So, before paying for a used car, it’s imperative to check the car accident history.

Can I insure a write-off?

Most insurance companies won’t provide cover for write-off vehicles. It’s because they are not sure about the repair quality, and they know that such cars will need many repairs. So, when you are considering buying a write-off vehicle, inform your insurer and let them know about the vehicle’s condition. See if they agree to provide cover.

Those insurance companies who provide cover will ask you for the engineer’s inspection report and decide after that. Don’t forget that the insuring write-off cars will be costly as compared to new cars.


A car write off check or insurance written-off check is helpful to check whether the used car you want to buy has been in accident and to check if the car has a category.

It’s not possible to check the car accident history for free. But you can it for £8.95, which is cheapest in the UK to check if the vehicle is written-off by insurance company and all hidden history.

If your car is written-off by the finance company after accident, then the ownership will be transferred to them and you will get some compensation. More over if the car is write-off, you have a chance of buying it and repair on your own cost and risk.
When it comes to insuring a Category cars, it will be higher. If the car has not more non-structural damage, then the insurance cost is negligible. If the car met a bad accident, then it will cost you more to insure the car.