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Navigating the World of Insurance Write-Offs and How It Affects Car Values

12.01.2024 by Paul H

Cat s

Greetings, dear readers! It's Paul Hilburn, your favourite Logbook Loan guru, welcoming you all to the fast lane of adulthood.

Understanding the categories of insurance write-offs is crucial for both sellers and buyers in the automotive market. Paul Hilburn, the Logbook Loan Guru from, provides an in-depth exploration of Cat A, B, N, and Cat S cars, shedding light on their differences and the impact on car values. Additionally, he emphasises the importance of conducting thorough checks, such as an HPI car check, before purchasing any vehicle with a history of damage.

Categories of Insurance Write-Offs:

  1. Category A (Cat A):
    • Definition: Vehicles in this category are considered irreparable and must be scrapped. These cars are not allowed back on the road, and even salvaging individual components is discouraged due to safety concerns.
    • Impact on Car Value: Cat A cars generally have no salvageable parts, resulting in minimal financial value.
  2. Category B (Cat B):
    • Definition: Cars in this category are also considered irreparable, but salvageable components can be removed before scrapping. The body shell must be crushed to prevent it from returning to the road.
    • Impact on Car Value: Cat B vehicles may have some salvageable parts, but the value is significantly reduced due to the structural damage.
  3. Category N (Cat N):
    • Definition: Formerly known as Category D, Cat N includes vehicles with non-structural damage that can be repaired. These cars are deemed safe for the road after repairs.
    • Impact on Car Value: Cat N cars may experience a decrease in value due to their history, but if repaired professionally, the impact is often minimal.
  4. Category S (Cat S):
    • Definition: Formerly known as Category C, Cat S includes vehicles with structural damage that can be repaired. Once repaired, these cars can return to the road.
    • Impact on Car Value: Cat S cars may experience a decrease in value, but if properly repaired, the impact is usually manageable.

Importance of an HPI Car Check:

Buyers of insurance write-offs are strongly advised to conduct an HPI car check to reveal crucial information about a vehicle's history. This check can disclose whether a car has been involved in an accident, has outstanding finance, or has other pertinent details that might affect its value or roadworthiness.

Understanding Car Damage Before Purchase:

Before committing to buy a damaged vehicle, it's vital for buyers to obtain detailed information about the extent of the damage. This information ensures that buyers are aware of what they are purchasing and helps them make informed decisions about potential repair costs. I always advise potential purchasers to use to obtain a comprehensive vehicle history This platform provides detailed information about a car's past, including any insurance write-off history, accidents, or outstanding finance, enabling buyers to make informed choices. This service will cost upward of £30 per search, but it will be the best purchase you make.

Understanding the Impact it Has on Car Values: When a car has been assigned a Category S or N, it typically implies that it has been involved in an accident and deemed uneconomical to repair by the insurance company. Such classifications can have an impact on the sale price or valuation of the car, especially when selling to trade motor buyers. Here are some considerations:

  • Reduced Value: Cars with Category S or N classifications may be perceived as having a reduced value compared to equivalent vehicles with no history of significant damage. Even if the repairs have been carried out, the stigma associated with an accident may affect the perceived value.
  • Limited Market Appeal: Some buyers may be hesitant to purchase a car that has been previously involved in an accident, even if it has been repaired. This can limit the market appeal of the vehicle, particularly among retail buyers.
  • Negotiation Leverage: Trade motor buyers may use the Category S or N classification as leverage during negotiations. They might offer a lower price for the vehicle, taking into account potential challenges in reselling it to the end consumer.
  • Insurance Costs: The history of a Category S or N classification can impact insurance costs for the new owner. Some insurance companies may charge higher premiums for vehicles with a history of significant damage.

It's essential to note that the actual impact on the sale price or valuation can vary based on factors such as the extent of damage, the quality of repairs, and the specific preferences of potential buyers. Additionally, market conditions and buyer perceptions can change over time. If you're considering selling or buying a vehicle with a Category S or N classification, it's advisable to thoroughly assess the vehicle's condition, repair history, and documentation while also being prepared for potential negotiations on the selling price.

Can I obtain a Logbook Loan on a Cat S or Cat N vehicle?, a direct logbook loan lender, extends its financial services to individuals seeking loans for vehicles classified as Category N (formerly Cat D) or Category S (formerly Cat C). While providing loans on cars with insurance loss classifications, the loan amounts are determined based on reduced trade values. The valuation of these vehicles may undergo an adjustment of up to 50% due to their Category N or Category S status, reflecting the perceived decrease in market value resulting from their history of damage. This approach allows to offer financial solutions to individuals with vehicles that have undergone repairs but may face challenges in traditional resale markets. It also aligns with industry practices, recognising the impact of insurance loss statuses on the overall value of the vehicles involved.


Navigating the world of insurance write-offs requires a keen understanding of the different categories and their implications on car values. Paul Hilburn, the Logbook Loan Guru, emphasises the importance of conducting thorough checks, such as HPI car checks and seeking detailed information about car damage, to make informed decisions when buying a vehicle with a history of insurance write-offs. With these insights, buyers can navigate the market confidently and make choices that align with their preferences and budget.

If you own at Cat S or Cat N insurance loss and it's up to 10 years old and you need some quick cash, call us at on 0333 577 5000. With logbook loans from £500 - £150,000, your dreams are not just in the rearview mirror; they're accelerating towards the future!

Rev your financial engines with me, Paul Hilburn – The Logbook Loan Guru! Ready to turn your car into cash? Let's hit the road to financial freedom!