Car Write Off Categories
A vehicle from which spare parts may be salvaged, but the bodyshell should have been crushed and the car should never return to the road.
An extensively damaged vehicle which the insurer has decided not to repair, but which could be repaired and returned to the road.
A damaged vehicle which the insurer has decided not to repair, but which could be repaired and returned to the road.
A vehicle damaged by fire, which the insurer has decided not to repair. Theft These vehicles have not been recovered and ownership rests with the insurer who made the total loss payment. They are able to repossess the car as soon as it is identified, even if it has been bought innocently.
Vehicles categorised as A, B or C require a VIC test before the DVLA will issue a new registration document. This will then be noted on the V5C.
Around 500,000 vehicles that are involved in a car accident are 'written-off' in the UK each year. If a car is deemed a write-off (or 'total loss') it means that due to the age and extent of the damage, it is beyond economical repair. A vehicle that has been deemed a write-off is known as salvage.
How does a car become 'Written off'?
Insurance assessors and engineers use a calculation to determine whether a car should be deemed a write off.
If the total repair estimate for the vehicle is £5,150 and the vehicle has a value of £5,000 it clearly makes sense for the insurance company to write the vehicle off; pay the policyholder £5,000 (less the excess - the first part of any claim the insured must pay) and save the extra £150 repair costs.
What about the salvage value?
If the car is deemed a write off and the car insurance company pays the policyholder a cash settlement, the salvage becomes the property of the insurance company and could be sold. Many car insurance companies have arrangements with salvage agents for the disposal of salvage.
Vehicles can also be written off by adding hire charges to the equation. Whilst the damage to the vehicle alone may not in itself be sufficient for the car insurance company to write the vehicle off, if they take into consideration a third party having use of a hire car attracting daily costs that the car insurance company is liable for, the loss soon mounts up. Courtesy cars can off-set the loss but are not always available. If the car insurance company makes payment to the policyholder (or third party) that person is now in possession of sufficient funds to purchase a vehicle, ending the need for them hire a car.