Home Advice Thinking about buying a write-off car? Here are some of the things...

Thinking about buying a write-off car? Here are some of the things that you need to know first

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If you have ever checked out cars.co.uk then you are likely to have seen that we have plenty of crash damaged cars, those that require lots of work in order to have them back in a driveable state. We also have some cars that are deemed as being a write-off.

A car that is written-off is a car that is no longer suitable for driving on the road, it will have likely to been involved in a serious crash, or perhaps has become broken beyond repair. These cars often come up on an online car auction and most of the time you might just pass them by, however, what you may not realise is that you can actually buy a car that is deemed to be a write off.

The first thing that you need to remember is that there are different categories of write off cars and in order to make sure that you are getting a bargain, not that you have wasted your money completely, you are going to need to know a little about them.

The write off categories

The four main categories that write-off cars fall into are A,B,S and N. A category A car is one that has been completely damaged by a crash and that is now completely unusable on the road. The car must be crushed and if there are any salvageable parts within the car, these still must be destroyed.

A category B car is one that also needs to be crushed and is usually one that will have had extensive damage. Whilst this car should never appear back on the road, if there are any parts that are salvageable then these can be taken and placed into other road worthy cars.

It used to be known as category C, but is now category S, cars that are within this category will have suffered structural damage, this could be a twisted chassis, or perhaps a part of the car that has collapsed and crumpled during a crash. The damage that has occurred in a category S car is more extensive than just a cosmetic error and if it is ever to be driven again, then it will need to have a high level of work carried out on it.

Formerly Category D, Category N covers those cars that have not sustained any structural damage. The issues that have come up with these cars are often cosmetic, or could be a problem with the electrics. These may seem like minor faults, but they are often expensive to repair, more than the car may actually be worth. It is easy to assume that a car in this category is driveable, however, non-structural damage can often include steering and brakes.

What to buy and what not to buy

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You should never buy a category A car from an auction, after all, it is going to cost you money in the long run to dispose of it. A category B car might be worthwhile buying as there is a chance that you can salvage parts from it, however, if you do consider this then the car should be bought at a rock bottom price.

Those cars that fit into S and N categories might be more worthwhile buying. Not only could the car have some work carried out, then be driveable, but it could also be broken down, the parts removed and then sold on, making you some money.

No matter what category you buy your car within, one of the most important things is to make sure that it makes financial sense to buy the car. If you think that you can cover the cost of buying it (as well as any fees that need to be paid) and still have some cash left over to make yourself some money, then this means that it might be a great idea for you.