Category "B" insurance loss

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SurreyGuy | 15:07 Tue 25th Dec 2007 | Cars
12 Answers
I am due to collect a car from a private seller on Thursday evening. I've only put a �25 "holding" deposit on it, but there are a few things that I am puzzled about.

1. The yellow portion of the V5 Registration Document is missing. Having looked at the V5 for my current car, I know it is the "sold to a motor trader portion".

The name on the V5 is the guy that is selling it to me, so do I need to worry that the yellow portion is missing?

2. I did a check on the vehicle using the "Cartext" service that has recently been advertised on TV and was notified that................................

"The vehicle was damage category B" in July 2006. The message went on to say "Bodyshell should be crushed and spare parts may be sold".

The car passed its M.O.T. in November this year, so could the seller have had it professionally repaired?

I've gone onto a website to clarify what "Category B" means and, if I'm reading it right, it gives the impression that an Engineers Report could render the car
re-sellable, but I'm not 100% sure.

From reading the website, I now know that the "Category B" will show on the V5, but (as I have never bought a write-off before nor had I even considered that this car may be such a vehicle) I didn't even look! Strangely, the seller never even mentioned it!

However, I did clarify that the VIN number on the vehicle is the same as on the V5.

Any advice gratefully received.


Category C and Category D Registered Cars


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cat a and b write offs are quite often sold after they have been repaired,but check your insurance company will insure you on it,as some must have been quite badly damaged in the accident,to be cat b,i would get it checked over by a garage if i were you.
also,all cat a,b,and c need to have a VOSA test,before its put back on the road,make sure it has a pass certificate.if not dvla will not issue you with a new V5,SO BE CAREFUL.
At the bottom right of the slip you have from the V5, there should be a date - it's in the document reference section - there will be a longish number, followed by three sets of two digits - this is the date that the V5 was printed. If it was printed AFTER the car was declared a total loss, then this would suggest that the car has either already had a VIC (Vehicle Identity Check) done, or hasn't been flagged to VOSA to indicate that it needs one.

If this is the case, you SHOULD be able to get a V5 for it.

And even though it has an MOT, I've seen loads come through the claims department that were prev total losses, and even though they've passed the MOT, and engineer has stated that the car should not have been put back on the road due to the sub-standard repairs
Category A and B write offs should NEVER be returned to the road, I'm afraid you are completely wrong.

Category C write offs can be returned to the road, but will need a VOSA test.

Category D is the lightest damage category. s.html
Question Author
Thanks folks.

gouldc - the car already had a V5 but, because I only found out about the "Cat B" write-off after I had viewed it (which meant I didn't even know about it being on the V5), I do not not know if it was the pre or post VOSA V5 that I saw.

Oldhamfan is right.

I phoned my insurance company this morning and they told me that a "Cat A" or "Cat B" car cannot be put back on the road!

I then phoned the DVLA and they confirmed that the bodyshell and chassis should have been crushed and that only the remaining spare parts could be sold.

The guy at the DVLA confirmed that the car was a "Cat B" write-off, but en said, "oh, that's odd. My system is showing that a VIC check and VOSA report have been carried out". when I asked why that was odd, he told me, "because Cat A and Cat B cars are not eligible for either course of action"!

Having decided that it wasn't worth the aggravation and journey to recover my �25 holding deposit, I phoned the seller. I established that he had had the car long enough to know about the "Cat B" write-off. When I told him that I knew, he said, "oh, didn't I tell you?"! He then tried to convince me that "only the front bumper was damaged in the accident", but by that time I had decided to walk away!

So what has this taught me? The Cartext serivce is your firend! :o) It cost me �4.50 to save myself a lot of money and a lot of hassle!

Actually OLDHAMFAN is now incorrect about Category B's not returning to the road.

This was correct BEFORE the VIC was introduced, but as a claims handler, I'm coming across more and more being put back on the road after going through the VIC.

The Thatcham Guideline for the Categorisation and Disposal of Motor Vehicle Salvage does state that Cat A and Cat B cars should never go back on the road.

In the past, any re-licensing activity on these vehicles would be notified to the relevant police authority by the DVLA, they would inspect, and normally confiscate the vehicle.

However, VOSA are taking an incredibly lacksidasical view of this previous rule. When I spoke to them a few months ago, they basically replied that it wasn't their concern - so long as the identity hadn't been changed, the car would pass the VIC (so long as it looked roadworthy). They would notify the DVLA it had passed, and that was that!!!
Question Author
Thanks gouldc.

I based my "oldhamfan is correct" ststement on the fact that the DVLA (who should know) had confirmed what he'd said.

Anyway, someone else can now have the aggros of "that car"! :o)
His info is technically still correct - it's just that VOSA and the DVLA have a complete inability to communicate!!

It's a bit of a minefield buying a car - for your info, a Category B means that the vehicle has suffered severe structural damage, and it SHOULD not be repaired as the damage is deemed to severe to safely repair it.

It's very possible to repair it, but it normally means re-shelling the car
I said they SHOULD not be returned to the road, did I not?!
excactly what i said in the first and second answers.
Norman, are many Category A cars returned to the road then? These should be completely crushed and not even used for spares, IE burnt out cars..
Sorry if it sounded like I was arguing with you guys - not the case!

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