If your vehicle has been damaged by the course of an accident, then it might become too expensive to fix. If that’s the case, it’ll become “written off” by your insurance company. Cat S cars are those that have been written off by insurance companies. Cat S car is one which has been written off because of structural damage.
Here, we take a look greater detail about the meaning of Cat S means and the nature of the damages it covers. We also look into whether buying an used Cat S car is ever worth it, as well as what is the cost to insure it.
Cat S meaning
Insurance companies employ four categories to explain the extent of damage a vehicle has sustained in order to be declared a total loss. Up until October 2017 there were four categories: A B, C, and D. In the present they’re now A, B S, N and A.
Cat S (Cat S ) car, which is similar to the former Cat C) car has suffered structural damage to its structure. It usually occurs as a result of the result of a collision or another accident. It’s good news that it is repairable and then driven. But it is essential that all Cat S cars must be renewed registered by the DVLA before they can be allowed to be driven again.
Other categories include:
Cat N (similar to that of Cat D): Cat N cars have suffered cosmetic damage. The structure of the car is intact. Similar to Cat S, a Cat N vehicle is repairable and reintroduced to the roads. It’s not required to register to the DVLA However, you’ll be required to inform them that the vehicle was disposed of. Find out more information regarding Cat N cars here.
Cat B Cat B cars are too old or damaged to repair, however, some parts can be salvaged and used or to be sold. After the expert is done with these components, the rest of the vehicle will be scrapped.
Cat A Cat A cars are too old or damaged to be repaired and are not used for part. Cat A vehicles are taken to a licensed scrapyard where they will be safely removed and crushed.
Are Cat S identical to Cat C?
Not quite. In fact, Cat S as well as Cat N have replaced the Cat C along with Cat D when the categories were revised in the year 2017. Prior to that, the focus was on repair cost rather than the kind of damage.
If the expense to repair the car was more than the value of the vehicle then it was classified as a Cat C write-off. If otherwise, it was transferred towards Cat D. If a vehicle was classified to be Cat D, the repair expenses were less than what the car was worth but the costs associated with it (like transportation of the vehicle) could render repair uneconomical.
The present day, Cat S focuses more on structural damages which could compromise safety for vehicles and safety, not how much it will cost to repair.
What exactly is Cat S damage?
The most common examples for Cat S damage include:
Crumpled or twisted chassis
Twisted A or B posts
Broken or damaged cant rails or headers
Sills that have cracked or become corroded
Dented wheel extension for the housing of the wheel
The wings are snapped (or support wing)
Why do insurance companies write off Class S vehicles?
In many instances, Cat S cars can be repaired without risk and then returned back on the road. However, the majority of structural damage can cost quite a bit to repair.
Insurers weigh the labour, parts as well as administrative expenses in order to determine if you’re eligible to hire a vehicle while your own is in a state of repair. In general, if the repair costs exceed 50-60 percent of the worth of your car prior to the accident, it will be classified as Category S.
What is a DVLA cat S inspection? Find out on My Car Inspections…
If my vehicle was written off?
In the majority of cases that your vehicle is deemed to be a total loss and you don’t receive it back. The insurance company will keep it, and you’re an amount of an amount of money.
As Cat A or Cat B.
If your vehicle has being taken away (Cat A and Cat B) Your insurance company will make arrangements for that.
In the event that this happens then you’ll have to:
You can send the log book to your insurance company (but make sure you keep the yellow “selling or transferring or part-exchanging the vehicle to an individual or a motor dealer” section)
Inform the DVLA inform the DVLA that your vehicle is being written off by the DVLA. Don’t leave this out as you could get fined up to $1,000 If you don’t inform them!
Be aware that if your vehicle is registered with private number plates it is required to make an application to get off the plate prior to scrapping it. It’s easy to do this via gov.uk.
As either Cat S (or Cat N
If your vehicle falls within Cat S or Cat N You can purchase it from an insurance company and repair it yourself. For this you’ll have to:
Completely send your logbook to your insurance company.
Request a duplicate of the log book (using the form V62)
In the end, the DVLA will also record your vehicle’s classification in the new log book.
Who is the person who repairs Cat S cars?
If you’re looking to purchase or repurchase your Cat S car from your insurer and then have it fixed it is necessary to locate an approved body or garage shop that is willing to do the job.
There’s no legal requirement that repairs made on an Cat S car to be independently checked. So, you can’t be certain the vehicle you return will be safe for driving.
To be sure that, you must consider a third party inspection prior to signing off on repairs. There are two organizations that offer inspections. AA as well as the RAC both provide vehicle inspection services. It’s a little more cost. But you’ll be able to enjoy security of knowing that the vehicle is structurally and mechanically sound prior to you even drive it.
Does the purchase of an Cat S car worth it?
It depends! If you’re looking for an affordable second-hand vehicle that you could drive till the end of its lifespan and still be affordable, a Cat S car could be attractive. However, as with any second-hand car, it will not be ideal.
The repair should (hopefully) make the vehicle road-worthy again. However, there could be some annoying rattles, squeaks and other small imperfections you’ll need to bear. The imperfections may cause you to lose the money when you attempt to sell it later in the future.
What’s the bottom point? Do your homework. If you’re planning to purchase an Cat S car, pay for a history check in order to have a complete picture of the car prior to committing your money.
There’s no law that requires Cat S repairs need to be independently checked. You’ll need to purchase an independent inspection in order to ensure that the vehicle can be driven safely.
Do Cat S cars cost more to insure?
The answer is simple: yes, insuring your Cat S car can be more costly.
If a vehicle has been declared Category S and then repaired however, it may still have issues later on in its the course of. This means it’s a greater chance for insurance companies. To mitigate any risk to their customers, some insurance companies will charge a higher premium than that of a comparable vehicle that hasn’t been written off. Other insurers, for instance, simply not take on for a Cat S car.
Recap: What is Cat S refer to on the car?
An Cat S car is one that has been written off due to structural damage. But, the vehicle is able to be repaired safely and re-introduced to the roads provided it’s registered by the DVLA.
If you buy a pre-owned Cat S car could net you a good price, however they’re usually more costly to cover. Keep in mind that repairs don’t need to be inspected by an independent party before returning the vehicle to you. You can ensure that the vehicle is roadworthy by hiring a third party to inspect it.
Our suggestion? Beware the buyer.