New Insurance Write off Categories Explained

Published Date: 3rd Oct 2017

New categories A, B, S and N will replace the old A,B,C and D categories. The new codes are introduced to better represent the complex repairs on today’s technically advanced vehicles.

All vehicles that have been salvaged before will be clearer to identify from this month as new changes to the V5C registration document come into play.

The changes have been brought about by the ABI, the Association of British Insurers determine the codes.

If you’re buying a new car it will be far easier to be alerted to the cars history as the newer V5c will display an ‘S’ to let you know the car has been salvaged at some point.

What are the new Insurance write off categories?

A, B, C and D will be replaced with

A. - Scrap

B. - Break 

S. - Structurally damaged repairable

N. - Non structurally damaged repairable

As before, both A and B are still reserved for cars that have been significantly damaged and will not be sent back onto Britain’s roads but salvaged parts from a category B can still be used for repairs on other vehicles.

Both S and N vehicles are allowed back onto the roads after sufficient repairs have been carried out. With S meaning the car was structurally damaged and repaired and N meaning non structural damage repaired.

Scrapyard picture containing scrap cars staked on each other, all damaged and missing various parts

The new categories make it far more difficult for a car that should be sent off to the scrap yard appears back on the road. This is mainly down to new qualification requirements for those in charge of inspecting the vehicle prior to repair, and focusing on the condition rather than the total repair cost.

Ben Howarth the Senior Policy Adviser for Motor and Liability at the Association of British Insurers (ABI), said: “Not all insurance write offs need to be taken off the road forever and buying one of these cars can be a great way to find a bargain. The new Salvage Code should mean there is better information for anyone considering a second hand car, so you know what questions to ask and can buy with confidence. While these changes work their way through the system, make sure you also carry out other background checks on any used car you’re thinking of getting.”