Up till September 30th last month,these levels have been A, B, C and D.But to simplify things,from 1st of October 2017 this month,they are renamed A, B, S and N.
Under the old system,Cat A cars are the worst. They’re so badly damaged they can’t even be used for salvage purposes and should be crushed.
Cat B vehicles have also sustained serious damage, but it’s OK for them to be broken down into spares.
A Cat C vehicle is fixable, but the cost of repairs will exceed the value of the car, so the insurance company will have ‘written it off’.
A Cat D write-off is also fixable, and at a repair cost lower than the car’s market value, but the insurance company’s decision to repair a vehicle like this will take into account other factors, such as the cost of a courtesy car while it’s being mended and the cost of inspection fees to validate the completed repairs.
In that case the insurers might decide to ‘write off’ a very lightly damaged car, selling it to an independent dealer who will then do the same repairs that the insurance company would have organized if it hadn’t been written off. That dealers will then sell it on to the public.
But from October 2017,the former A,B,C and D categories for crash-damaged cars has now been replaced by new A, B, S and N categories.
The biggest difference between the outgoing A, B, C, D system and the new A, B, S and N one is that the updated system concentrates more on the condition of the car rather than on the cost of repair.
Here’s how the new system will work:
Category A, or ‘Scrap’ cars, remain the most badly damaged vehicles. They can’t be repaired or even broken for spares.
Category B, or ‘Break’ cars, are again very badly damaged and beyond repair, but they can be ‘broken’ into parts for salvage and recycling.
Category S, or ‘Structural’ cars have incurred damage to the basic structure that gives a car its strength. These ‘S’ cars can be fixed and re-sold, but you should ensure that the work has been checked by a qualified mechanic.
Category N, or ‘Non-structural’ cars, are equivalent to old Cat D cars. Their damage isn’t to the core structure, but there might still be some safety-related parts in areas like suspension or steering that will need to be replaced.
Buying a Category N car can look tempting. Such cars often have attention-grabbing low prices,but it’s important to research the history of any car you’re thinking of buying.
When shopping for a used car,the best protection is to have an independent mechanic look over the vehicle before buying. A mechanic will have the experience and tools to best assess a car’s true condition.
A good mechanic knows what to check and could find accident damage that you’ve not spotted. Doing this could save you from buying a potentially unsafe car.
Typically,a mechanic will charge a modest fee for the service,but the protection is well worth the investment.
See Related Post 12 Reasons To Do A Car VIN Check Before You Buy That Car