How to buy a bargain crash-damaged car

The classifications for crash-damaged cars have changed. Here’s what you need to know

Cars that are involved in hefty accidents are often described as being ‘written off’ by car insurers. They are classified using four different categories, or levels, which have recently been updated: A, C, S or N.

The change has been introduced by the Association of British Insurers (ABI). It says the idea being the new scheme is to reflect how complex modern cars have become – this can make it harder for badly damaged cars to be safely repaired. Essentially, the new scheme looks at the condition of the car, rather than simply how much it would cost to repair it.

So what’s what in the new ABI salvage vehicle code? Here, we run through each level in turn.

Category A – Scrap
These are the most badly damaged cars – they’re not allowed to be repaired and must be crushed.

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