Used car buyers should fully understand the term ‘insurance write-off’

Vehicle information specialist HPI has urged used car buyers to make sure they fully understand the meaning of the term an ‘insurance write-off’.

A recent article in the motoring section of’s website explained that any vehicle that has been declared a write-off by an insurance company is placed into an industry-recognised damage classification.

Category A means that an insurance company views a car as being fit for scrap only – it should never reappear on the road.

Category B again means that the car should never be on the road, though it can be broken down for spare parts.

Category C means that the insurer has decided not to repair and that the vehicle should have an independent inspection before being allowed back onto the road.

Category D means the vehicle is damaged and the insurer has decided not to repair and category F means that the vehicle is damaged by fire and the insurer has decided not to repair.

Daniel Burgess, automotive director of HPI, told "Dealers need to be aware that even category C or D write-offs can have a big impact on the value of a vehicle; for example, a car worth £5000 could lose up to 20 per cent of its value if it has been declared a category D write-off at any stage.

"An HPI Check will spot one of these cars enabling the car buyer to ensure they are getting the vehicle for the right price, or walking away from an unsafe vehicle.”

Written by Emily Heskey


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