Transport & Car Blog

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What is Cat D?

  Friday, 9 October 2020

Cat D vehicle recently at auction

As you may have seen in some of our previous blog posts, there are many different types of vehicle categories when it comes to car insurance write-offs. Some vehicles are placed into categories that deem they are capable of being restored to roadworthy condition, while others are placed into categories that insist they should be scrapped and recycled for parts.

Fortunately, the Cat D category falls into the former group of vehicles. This article is designed to uncover all you need to know about Category D vehicles, a category that has recently been consigned to the history books.

Is Cat D the same as Cat N?

As of October 2017, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) introduced new car insurance write-off categories in a bid to simplify the process. The new categories were endorsed by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) and the Department for Transport (DfT). Cat D was one of those to fall by the wayside, to be replaced with Cat N. The ‘N’ stands for ‘non-structural damage’, compared with the new Cat S classification, which stands for ‘structural damage’.

What is the difference between Cat C and Cat D?

Cat C is another of the car insurance write-off categories to fall foul of the industry’s recent alterations of the classification system. Cat C used to denote vehicles that insurers had deemed to have structural damage that would cost more than the value of the car to repair.

While existing Cat C classifications remain for older cars, more recent insurance write-offs with the same symptoms as a Cat C vehicle will now be classified as a Cat S. It’s the same as older Cat D vehicles with light, cosmetic damage and newer vehicles with the same damage now being classified as Cat N.

Although Cat C or S vehicles are deemed too expensive for an insurer to repair, these vehicles tend to be resold at auction to motor traders and bodyshop garages that have the expertise to buy them at cut-price fees and restore them to roadworthy condition.

Can you insure a Cat D car?

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) says that many car insurers will agree to insure a Cat D vehicle, providing proof of repair is given. Nevertheless, there will be some insurers that simply don’t want the risk of insuring accident-damaged vehicles on their portfolio.

It’s important to note that even if your car insurer does agree to insure your Cat D (or Cat N) vehicle, the premium is almost certain to be more expensive than a non-damaged model. It’s not worth trying to hide the vehicle’s classification either; if your insurer finds out that you concealed its Cat D status at a later date your insurance policy will be voided immediately.

Does Cat D show on V5?

If you are looking at buying a used vehicle, it’s important to note that you won’t find out whether a car has been classified a Cat D vehicle by looking at its V5 log book.

That’s because Cat D vehicles do not require a Vehicle Identity Check (VIC) test, which are normally logged in the V5 as a rule. Only Cat C (or Cat S) vehicles are legally required to have their new classification marked on the V5.

How does Cat D affect car value?

There’s no doubt that if you want to buy a Cat D vehicle, you can expect to pay significantly less for it than a non-damaged vehicle. Even Cat D cars that have been restored to roadworthy condition are often marketed as much as 30% cheaper than comparable non-damaged models.

Vice versa, if you currently own a Cat D vehicle, you can expect to achieve a much lower sale price if you want to get rid of it, due to the Cat D write-off label.

Can you part exchange a Cat D?

If the time has come to sell your Cat D vehicle, you’ll be pleased to know that it is possible to part exchange it for a newer model with a garage. However, it is up to their discretion whether they will accept it or not. It’s important that you make them aware of the vehicle’s classification at the earliest opportunity to be transparent about the damage. This will give you the best possible chance of getting it included in a deal for a newer vehicle.

Can you get a Cat D vehicle removed?

Unfortunately, once a vehicle has been deemed a Cat D by an insurer, the classification will remain part of its history for the remainder of its usable life. Don’t think you can hide your vehicle’s past as it will always show up if a garage or independent buyer pays for a history check.

If you find that you are struggling to sell your Cat D vehicle and you reach the point where you just want to get rid of it, ASM Auto Recycling can help.

You can scrap your car at one of our Authorised Treatment Facilities (ATFs) located throughout Central England. We’ve been scrapping end-of-life vehicles for more than 35 years and are best placed to offer a fair, competitive price for your Cat D vehicle.

Is your Cat D vehicle unroadworthy? Perhaps it failed its latest MOT? No problem. At ASM Auto Recycling, we have a fleet of multi-vehicle car transporters that can retrieve your Cat D vehicle from its location at a time and date to suit you.

For more information on recycling or arranging the collection of your scrap Cat D car, call our friendly, experienced team today on 01844 268 940 (Option 3).

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