A Simple Guide to Category Vehicles

Why our car insurance

    • checkOver 110 car insurance providers
    • checkRated Excellent on Trustpilot
    • checkSave time and money

Enter vehicle registration number

Don’t know the registration number?

Written by Michael Foote , founder of Quote Goat, with over 13 years experience working in the finance, insurance and currency sectors.

When a car is involved in an accident, it may be considered a ‘write-off’ by the insurance company that it is insured with and placed into a category that helps the driver and other insurers understand how severe the damage was. When obtaining an insurance quote, it is vital that you are honest about the mechanical and electrical state of your vehicle as failing to provide accurate information may invalidate your cover. Since category vehicles are often harder to insure, it can be worthwhile to learn what the different categories mean. Read on to find out more….

Category A

When a vehicle gets into an accident that leaves it with irreparable damage, the insurance company may write it off as a category A vehicle. This means that the car is considered scrap and should be taken to an appropriate crushing facility where even salvageable parts must be destroyed. These vehicles are deemed a serious safety risk and should never be used on the roads again.

Category B

Sometimes a car may get into an accident that damages the shell extensively, however some of the internal parts can be salvaged and used in other road-worthy vehicles. This type of insurance write-off is known as a category B car. With this said, the body shell should be destroyed at a crushing facility and the vehicle should never be seen on the roads again because it still signifies extensive damage.

Category S (Formally Category C)

A vehicle that has been written off as category S signifies structural damage to the outer shell. This may include a bent or twisted chassis (the frame under the vehicle) or a bent crumple zone. Since this damage is much more than cosmetic, it should be professionally repaired and the vehicle is not safe to drive until this has been carried out. In addition to this, category S cars may be more expensive to insure because they are deemed more of a risk on the road.

Category N (Formally Category D)

The lowest category that vehicles can be placed into is category N, and these cars have often sustained cosmetic or electrical damage rather than structural damage. This means that they are typically written off because the insurance company deems the damage too expensive to repair. With this said, non-structural faults can include the brakes and steering so a category N car should always be inspected and repaired before it goes back onto the road.

A vehicle may be placed into category for a variety of different reasons. In fact, category A and B vehicles should never see the tarmac of a public road again and are impossible to insure. On the other hand, you may be able to obtain a reasonable quote for category S and N vehicles provided that you have the full history of the accident that led to the vehicle being written-off. For all your car insurance needs, check out Quote Goats’ trusted comparison site today!

Car Insurance Guides