CAT D Cars

Sparky83

Active Member
Hi,

Does anyone gave any information about what to look out for when buying a cat D car?

If I was to have a hpi check and rac inspection would that be enough to satisfy you that it was ok?

I'm looking at cars and have for this...

http://www.autotrader.co.uk/classif...price-from/5000/price-to/6000/page/1/usedcars

It seems a good price for the car, not too low but low enough to make it good value.

This would suit me, but I'm put off by the cat d part.

Any thoughts or experiences greatly appreciated.
 

Bubblin

Well-known Member
My question for this is its a 13 plate, at most just a year old. Its being sold by a private buyer who states the previous owner vandalised it hence the cat d.

But that's two owners in a year, why have both sold it so quickly.

I'd walk away and if spending 6k look for a good, straight car, just think of trying to sell it a few years later, will people be put off by it as well.
 

Sparky83

Active Member
That's the concerns I have too, there is more than one if these on there under there requirements i set up and they all seem good.

Cat d isn't ment to be badly damaged so I guess it's not mechanical. I'm assuming the 2nd owner is a trader who repairs and sells on this type of car hence only one real owner.

I can't afford to **** this up so need to be sure.

I need a car that's...

5 door
£30 or less tax
50mpg or more (the more the better obviously)
£6500 or a little more if it's worth it
Less the 30k on the clock
And I'd obviously like it to be as new as possible.

So these cat d cars are ideal but it's the unknown risk that bothers me.
 

Bubblin

Well-known Member
If the second owner is a trader, why are they listing as a private seller, breaking the law and trying to hide something?

If new what about

Dacia logan MCV from £6995 - Hot UK Deals

Only £6995, ignore the image and haters, if you want a cheap, reliable no thrills car, three years with no repair bills and surprisingly good resale value 45% after 3 years in reality will cost you £3500 in depreciation over that time, an Audi will lose that just driving out the showroom (OK it doesn't quite have the same image, but horses for courses as they say)
 

Sparky83

Active Member
Thanks for the heads up, unfortunately the one at that price doesn't have the mpg that I want, to be honest it's one of the most important things to me and even 50 mpg is too low.

Having read the comments on that site, both good and bad, I actually quite like the look of it!
 

un1eash

Distinguished Member
For a car that's only a year old the price of repairs had to of been quite a bit to write it of as a cat d.
If the price was really good 30-40% less and I knew what the repairs were then I'd be tempted by a cat d if I planned to keep the car forever. Otherwise you just don't know what has been done.
 

PSM1

Distinguished Member
Why is fuel economy so important? How many miles a year do you intend on driving? Have you worked out how much 10 mpg saves you in terms of money? I would also take most of the very high figure cars with a pinch of salt as the higher a manufacturer tends to claim the less reliable it tends to be. Hence in the real world you will often get no where near the 60mpg they claim but cars claiming 45mpg etc often get much closer in real world. Also for most fuel costs per year are low compared to depreciation and insurance etc. which means the savings are quite small anyway.
 

Sparky83

Active Member
Fuel economy is important I guess as I currently spend £60 a week on petrol, and its too much. I know that these high figures are not always going to be accurate but my thoughts were that if it says 60mpg and I get 50 that's good, but if it says 50 and I get 40 its not so good.

Its pretty much my sole purpose to get a car that will cost as little as possible to run. I'm not overly worried about street cred etc, although a nicer looking car would be a bonus!

I do a 50 mile a day round trip, not a massive journey but in my current car it soon adds up.
 

FZR400RRSP

Banned
For a car that's only a year old the price of repairs had to of been quite a bit to write it of as a cat d.
I've done a fair bit of reading up on Cat D lately, and the cost of the repairs can actually be pretty low.
It's when the other stuff like towing, storage and assessor costs get added up that insurance companies get lazy and write cars off.
For example, let's say a car is worth £7000 in good, straight nick.
A relatively minor shunt can cost £2000, I've had this sort of damage to cars before in low speed shunt where the car was perfectly driveable afterwards.
Then another £1000 for towing/storage/assessor etc.
So that's £3000 easy enough.
But they typically get around 60% of the value from a salvage company.
60% of £7000 = £ 4200.00
So, there you go, it's only costing them £2800 to write it off, as opposed to £3000 for fixing it.
If the OP wants a CAT D, an RAC inspection should be perfectly fine to establish it's fine.:thumbsup:
 

Epicurus

Well-known Member
The way I see it, that's a really good price. If it turns out to be a lemon you'd have no trouble trading it at a Vauxhall dealer for something else at minimal or no loss.
 

Sparky83

Active Member
How does it being a CAT D affect the warranty? Is it still valid even though the car has been written off?
 

FZR400RRSP

Banned
How does it being a CAT D affect the warranty? Is it still valid even though the car has been written off?
I don't see how the dealer could possibly know it's a Cat D.
That's only recorded on the V5, I think, and they'd have no reason to check that for warranty work.
They'd have no reason to check the MID (motor insurance database) either.
In short, I really don't see how in the hell they would know :confused:, so I would expect warranty to be honoured.
 

KelvinS1965

Distinguished Member
In the past I've bought cat D and cat C cars to fix up myself when I had more time than money. The cat C cars were obviously a lot more work and I had to farm out some of the jigging work which put the costs up and made it hardly worthwhile doing, often ending up as a loss.

However the cat D cars varied from ones which just needed maybe a headlamp and grille (a number of Mk2 Cavaliers I bought in the mid 90s for example fitted this sort of damage), to much more than you'd think for a 'D'. The easy ones I had back on the road in a weekend (including getting the parts from a breakers year as it was before I was using the internet), but I got burned once or twice with cat D cars and ended up spending more than I could have bought a decent one undamaged privately or at auction, due to finding extra damage or just other mechanical issues that needed sorting to pass an MOT. The kind of things that a test drive might have found if it had been road legal when I bought it.

The stigma of reselling (and people will check on HPI or similar so don't try to bluff it) means that the price will have to be significantly lower when you sell on. It may mean that overall you're worse off in terms of ownership costs. I also wouldn't bank on a dealer honouring a warranty if they spot that it's been damaged (and it might be more obvious once up on a ramp) as they will use any excuse to wriggle out of it.

IMHO, not worth the bother.
 

rousetafarian

Moderator
This may be a really stupid question, but here goes, will a CAT C/D cost more to insure due to it's history?
 

FZR400RRSP

Banned
The stigma of reselling (and people will check on HPI or similar so don't try to bluff it) means that the price will have to be significantly lower when you sell on. It may mean that overall you're worse off in terms of ownership costs.
It's an obvious point, but I feel it needs made.
If you pay less for a Cat-D, you can afford to take less when selling it on.
In overall terms, I wouldn't expect to be any worse off, surely?
And if you are selling it on, the subsequent owner has the added 'peace of mind' that you have been running it for XX months.
You have been the 'guinea pig' for the repair, not them.

With regard to your warranty point, saying a dealer might spot damage when up on a ramp, surely this would also be spotted in the RAC inspection prior to buying?
 

Bubblin

Well-known Member
In the example you quoted, why 2 owners and only a year old, if the second owner is a dealer why are they selling it as a private seller, if their trying to hide behind that, what else are they hiding behind.

With the warranty some cat d, c cars are placed on a national register, Vauxhall in this instance insist on a post repair survey to ensure repairs are carried out to their standards, if so the warranty on the car is valid only for the original parts, repaired parts will be subjected to their own parts warranty with the repairer.

Cat d can be OK to buy, but really finding out what's wrong is hard, buy from a reputable dealer who can back up this car, or from a private seller who has the claims made in hand and can talk you through the repair work.

Otherwise walk away as another car will come along.
 

KelvinS1965

Distinguished Member
It's an obvious point, but I feel it needs made.
If you pay less for a Cat-D, you can afford to take less when selling it on.
In overall terms, I wouldn't expect to be any worse off, surely?
And if you are selling it on, the subsequent owner has the added 'peace of mind' that you have been running it for XX months.
You have been the 'guinea pig' for the repair, not them.

With regard to your warranty point, saying a dealer might spot damage when up on a ramp, surely this would also be spotted in the RAC inspection prior to buying?
I agree that you could afford to take less when selling on, which means that you really have to get a good deal on it when/if you do buy a CAT D. However, as I've found in the past you can end up with other faults afterwards which eat into your costs. Of course in my case I was buying them un-repaired, which increased the risk... but on more than a few occasions I was worse off overall compared to just buying an undamaged example, even more so if my time was factored in. I was always very thorough though, so I probably replaced more parts than someone just buying to sell straight on.

Then the last time I did one was after the rules came in where the CAT status shows on the log book and I had a very hard time trying to shift an otherwise really tidy, good spec Vectra...I had to really slash the price to get rid of it in the end so that I was well out of pocket after buying it, repairing it, getting it through an MOT. Bearing in mind that I'd done the work myself rather than just buying a repaired car you would have thought there would have been some profit in it, but no. (I hadn't intended to sell it on so quickly, but in the meantime I'd got another job with a company car). Don't underestimate buyer's reluctance to buy a repaired car, especially if it's a popular model that they could easily find another example of without the CAT D stigma to worry about.

An RAC inspection may well spot the repair but not 100% guaranteed; one car I sold back in the 90s was inspected and they didn't pick up on the repairs I'd done: It was stolen/recovered, so I'd refitted a second hand interior, bonnet, lights, locks and resprayed the entire off side of the car due to keying. I ran it for a year and it only cost me petrol as I made everything back on it. I was quite proud of myself for that job, though I couldn't say anything at the time...

My point being that it's not impossible that the inspection may miss something which a dealer later spots, so they could use that as a get out clause. You could argue that it would be a bit unfair to expect the dealer to cover something under warranty that might have been weakened by an accident (though most people don't really consider that the dealers deserve that sort of consideration ;) ).

Bottom line: For all those saying to go and buy a CAT D car; try it yourself, then come back and tell us how hard it was to shift the car on afterwards and still be as well off overall. ;) Having been there and done it, at least I've put my money where my mouth is. :)
 

Exemplar

Banned
Get the reg number and call your local Vauxhall main dealer. Ask them to check the national system for history and warranty status. At least you will know. Ask them for printouts.. (some dealers will, some won't).
 

wack

Well-known Member
There's a guy in the same yard as my mechanic who fixes cat D cars

What you have to bear in mind is a huge proportion of them will be repaired by people with no qualifications to do so and they'll cut corners because bending something nearly straight you can't see makes more profit

At the very least I'd want to see detailed before pictures
 

rousetafarian

Moderator

gangzoom

Well-known Member
I asked the same question a few years back. Some scary photos at the bottom of the first page.

Perils of CAT D | AVForums

I didn't go for one in the end.
+1

This is a nice looking 3 series M3 replica estate isn't it....



But this is what it looked like prior to been repaired...

...and its wasn't just 'cosmetic damage'..nice crack in the front subframe.


....for the sake of saving a few £££, I would avoid any insurance write offs unless you can see the before repair state, and happy to own the car knowing its history.

Would you pay good for a car like the above?? I'm sure some would, but I personally wouldn't touch it with a barge pole regardless of the repair quality.
 

avscouse

Well-known Member
That damage doesnt really put me off, if was buying it like that and repairing it myself, but like many have said, i'd like to see before and after pics if i were buying a repaired CAT D.

Out of interest OP, you are looking to spend 6.5k ut are concerned about MPG, your requirements suggest you want your cake and eat it, with cars if its too good to be true it normally is, its so difficult to shift CAT D cars now, its just not worth the headache unless you are planning to run it into the ground. I would personally look to get an older car thats not CAT D.
 

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