Insuring a category C D S or N car


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How to insure a written-off car

If you own a car that has previously been declared an insurance write-off (or 'total loss') under either Category C, Category D or (since October 2017) Category N or Category S meaning that the vehicle has been damaged and repaired following an accident, theft or other insurance claim, it is possible that you may have made a healthy saving on the purchase price of the second-hand vehicle when compared to a vehicle of the same make and model but which is not classified as written off.

Insuring a car that has been written-off is however quite straightforward, despite the vehicle potentially having sustained significant damage. Assuming that the car has been MOT'd (if it is more than 3 years old) since the repair or that you have evidence that the car has been correctly repaired if it is less than 3 years old, then the insurance scheme available through QuoteRack brokers means that you can insure your damaged and repaired vehicle in the same way as any other car.

"For Category C and Category D vehicles, it is important for owners to ensure that they declare the 'written off' status of their car to their insurers when first insuring the vehicle, as failure to do so may invalidate their insurance cover"

Generally speaking, Category C damage is likely to be quite signficant, making the cost of repairing the car more expensive than the cost of paying out the market value of the car to its unfortunate owner; category D damage is likely to be more superficial, i.e. not structural, but an insurer chooses not to pay to have the car repaired, perhaps because it was stolen and not recovered until after the theft claim had been settled.

"Categories C and D have been replaced by new classifications of Cat S and Cat N respectively"

Taking all of these factors into account, it is understandable why the idea appeals of buying and insuring an insurance write-off under either Category C or Category D.

What are the various write-off categories?

The insurance industry uses seven basic levels when referring to accidental damage to cars and vans, known as categories A, B, C, D, F, N and S.

Category F is reserved for fire-damaged cars.

Category A refers to a vehicle that is too damaged for any purpose, even to be sold for spares or scrap, and needs to be crushed.

Category B and Category C cars will still have significant damage and an insurance company has decided that they are considered unsuitable for repairs, owing to the extent of the damage. Category C cars may be repaired and then put back on the road, subject to notifying DVLA.

Category D damage is considered to be (relatively) light but the insurer has decided that owing to the cost of parts and the repairs, it is uneconomical to proceed with the repair of the car and it therefore effectively declares it a 'total loss', or 'write off' as it is more commonly known.

Category N damage is considered to be significant but non-structural ('N') and might include minor cosmetic damage, broken mechanical parts or cracked glass. The insurer has decided that owing to the cost of parts and the repairs, it is uneconomical to proceed with the repair of the car and it therefore effectively declares it a 'total loss' but the vehicle is still capable of being repaired. 'Cat N' will eventually 'Cat D'.

Category S damage is considered to be structural ('S') but professionally repairable. 'Cat S' will eventually replace 'Cat C'.

Whether you’re looking at insuring a Cat S car, Cat N insurance quotes, Cat D insurance quotes or Cat C insurance quotes, QuoteRack’s panel of approved brokers can help.

Frequently asked questions

Car I keep my written off car?

If your written off car is a Category B, N or S, you have the ability to buy your car back for between 10-30% of the car’s market value. Category A cars will be sent to the scrapyard and are unable to be purchased. For Category B cars, you will have the ability to salvage parts through a certified breaker.

How can QuoteRack help?

QuoteRack will pass your written off car insurance requirements to specialist insurance brokers who will be able to offer you competitive quotes and relevant advice on insuring a car that has been written off.

Enquire through us for insuring a car that has been written off

If you have explored other sources of enquiry in your search for insuring a car that has been written off, then you are welcome to submit your details through the QuoteRack website, without cost or obligation to proceed when you receive your insurance quote.

Category C, D, N and S Insurance - resources

The Government's official classification of damaged vehicles

The full list of write-off categories are shown on HM Government's website

Should you buy a Cat N car?

Some useful tips about buying a category N write-off.

Salvage Rebuilds UK

Interested to see how damaged cars are put back on the road? Check out Salvage Rebuilds UK YouTube channel.


"Form V5C (the vehicle's 'log book' document) will not be reissued for vehicles that have sustained Category A or Category B damage. You can still apply for a replacement V5C document for Category C and Category D damaged and repaired vehicles."

"From October 2017, Cat C and Cat D are being replaced by Cat S and Cat N respectively - although similar, there are slight differences."

Category C, D, N and S Write-Off Insurance