Q: Can my car be repaired if it’s been written off?
A: “Your car might still be repairable, even if it’s been written off – it all depends on the scale of the damage, and which write-off category your vehicle has been assigned to.
Vehicles assigned to damage categories A or B have been deemed beyond all feasible methods of repair, and they must legally be crushed by a licensed professional.
If your car is assigned to category N or S, it could still be restored to roadworthy condition – as long as the right parts are available. However, the cost of these repairs will likely outweigh what the car is worth, which is why your insurer has assigned it to this category.”
Write-off vehicles: Frequently asked questions…
Q: Why do insurers write off repairable cars?
A: “Sometimes, an insurer will write off a vehicle even if it could technically be repaired. This often happens because the cost to repair the vehicle exceeds its estimated market value.
It’s therefore more economical for the insurer to pay out a sum close or equal to the vehicle’s market value, so that the owner can replace it.
If a vehicle is written off for cost-related reasons, it will be assigned to either category N or S – depending on the scale of the damage.“
Q: What does category N write-off mean?
A: “Category N: Non-Structural Damage
Category N means the car has sustained non-structural damage, and the insurer has decided that repair isn’t economical.
‘Non-structural damage’ could apply to anything from dents or scrapes on cosmetic panels, to mechanical damage affecting integral components.
Cars assigned to Category N can usually be repaired with the right parts, but it might cost more than the vehicle’s market value.”
Q: What does category S write-off mean?
A: “Category S: Structural Damage
Category S means the car has sustained structural damage, and the insurer has decided that repair isn’t economical.
This usually means the main chassis or framework have been damaged, and the car would require extensive repairs for it to be roadworthy.
However, Category S cars can often still be repaired with the right methods, but the cost of these repairs may exceed what the car is worth.“
Q: Can I get my car back if it’s written off?
A: “You might be able to keep your car if it’s written off – however, this depends on which damage category it falls into, and specifics of your insurance policy.
If your car is in category N or S, it can be reregistered for on-road use – as long as all critical repairs are completed.
If your vehicle falls into damage categories A or B, it’s beyond feasible repair, and must legally be crushed by a licensed professional. Cars assigned to these categories cannot be re-registered for on-road use, and therefore cannot be retained by their owner.”