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Category D salvage

Discussion in 'Motoring' started by Solomon Grundy, Aug 17, 2005.

  1. Solomon Grundy

    Solomon Grundy
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    I have recently been asked about the various categories of car salvage. Here is some brief info on what Category D cars look like pre-repair. These pictures are probably as bad as Category D will get. I will also post a category C thread so that you can see the difference.

    Salvage is categorised from A to D

    Category D

    The least damage suffered of the four categories e.g. vehicles replaced under 'new for old' schemes, vehicles written-off to minimise hire charges.

    The vehicle can be safely and economically repaired either by the insurer / motor trade or by an enthusiast using cheaper parts and reduced labour costs. The PAV (Pre Accident Value) does not exceed £2,000 (£1,000 for motorcycles), or for more expensive vehicles, where the engineer's assessed repair costs do not exceed the PAV.

    Hope you find it useful, if you have any questions feel free to post.
     

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  2. rhoamish

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    How on earth is that Mazda 6 category D? It should be scrapped: you can see from the picture that neither door fits, and the roof line has lifted away from the rear door window frame.

    This is very much a 'totalled' car, and I for one wouldn't want to drive in anything that had been that badly damaged. I would think that its safety would be seriously compromised in a second accident, particularly if it's been fixed on the cheap, with pattern parts.

    Why bother repairing any of these cars? The second-hand market is pretty weak at the moment: there really isn't much point in buying a wreck, when you can ust as easily buy a car that hasn't been bent.
     
  3. Solomon Grundy

    Solomon Grundy
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    The Mazda is classed as medium damage. There will be very little chassis damage, even the shell can be replaced but it wouldn't need to be to get it fixed (professionally, not by some dodgy geezer), it will be on the road again vastly cheaper than the exact same second-hand car on a forecourt. Personally the Mazda is too badly damaged for me but only because it would take too long to fix, I wouldn't have any reservations about the safety of it once mended.
     
  4. rhoamish

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    But modern cars don't have a separate chassis and shell: they use 'unitary' construction! The whole shell is welded together from sheet steel.

    It would be very difficult to replace the entire shell, and not very desirable (you'll never match the build quality of the original factory). However, if the shell isn't replaced, and the roof, rear quarters and sills are merely bashed back into shape, then I doubt it would crumple correctly in another accident.

    It's like a sheet of paper: screw it up, and it's very hard to get flat again.
     
  5. Solomon Grundy

    Solomon Grundy
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    Agreed, it would be very difficult to replace the shell...the mazda would be relatively simple to repair though, it wold just take time...it would need realigning on a jig first so that the near side doors went back into place, then all the crumpled panels would be cut out and new ones welded in in their place, no bashing required...the genuine panels would all be available from Mazda themselves.
     
  6. lynx

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    That last one looks suspiciously like a car my mates repairing at the moment.
     
  7. a.slaughter

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    i would rather repair the mazda than the second car. the mazda just needs pulling at the back then a new backend putting on. if done correctly this is just as safe as when the car was first built.

    the second car however is usually by experience harder to repair you never seem to get the lights etc to line up correctly and then the cost involved of all the little bits like radiator etc.

    from experience once you have repaired one of these there all the same and can be easy or a real pain
     
  8. Kebabhead

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    Don't understand why anyone would want to buy repairable insurance write-offs just for the sake of saving a few bob. Is your life really that cheap

    As pointed out above, if the chassis has been damaged and repaired the car is still structurally weak and may not perform well in a second crash

    Even if it is professionally repaired you still have to inform the prospective buyer that was insurance write off. Simply not worth the hassle

    It's should be outlawed along with the sale of part-worn tyres another false economy :suicide:

    You'd probably get more money if they were sold for spare parts
     
  9. maxf

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    Surely it depends on the reason the car wasn't repaired. If it was because of massive structural damage, I'd be inclined to agree but in some cases cars are written off for economic reasons of a different kind - a full respray could write off a perfectly reliable and roadworthy 'older' car, as would a front bumper, an airbag and some airbag sensors on something even relatively modern. Labour costs can be the killer and cause the car to be written off, someone doing the work (properly) themselves doesn't have to worry about that aspect so even with genuine parts the project becomes viable.

    I worked in the motor trade many moons ago and do agree that in many circumstances it is not worth buying a 'scrapper', but in a few it can be. These days I wouldnt touch one with a bargepole though - if for nothing more than not knowing the quality of the work and the hassle in selling it on.
     
  10. Solomon Grundy

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    Sometimes it is worth more to sell for spares but you need a different license to do so. I would disagree strongly that buying a salvage repaired car puts your life at risk any more than a normal car.

    People often don't realise that cars start out in little pieces and are assembled. With category C and D salvage all you do is remove the damaged parts and replace them with new ones, good as new...

    When an F1 car is crashed they don't bin it and build a brand new car, they replace the pieces that have been damaged with new ones...
     
  11. rhoamish

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    When a manufacturer builds a car, the parts are carefully formed in presses, to a design that has been vigorously analysed and crash-tested. If a crashed car is straightened, there is no guarantee that it will crush in the same way again: in fact, it is highly unlikely. You can't hope to replicate the assembly process that originally formed the car by adding some new parts to others that have simply been straightened.

    It is a pointless thing to take a risk on: just buy a straight car instead, as there are normally plenty out there.

    And I'm pretty sure F1 teams do replace cars if they're crashed: they certainly don't make repairs to the carbon-fibre parts, preferring to replace them with new ones, including the main tub.

    I have a feeling you can't insure a repaired write-off fully comp, too...
     
  12. dan653

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    Cheers for the info decadence, kebabhead you should realise that...
    ...and most probably wont see the open road again for that reason, but AFAIK Category D write-offs can be for something a minor as lock damage. In which case if you have the correct skills and access to the right tools/facilities can be repaired at very minimal costs. I'd have to agree with maxf about the viability in doing it for resale in the trade is questionable but for an enthusiast or a specialist [in the affected area] it can be a very attractive proposition in some cases; these cars can be very cheap [from their perspective]

    decadence i have a question for you, once said repair work is carried out what is needed to get the vehicle back on the road; a standard MOT or something more stringant ie something similar to that required by kit cars?
     
  13. Solomon Grundy

    Solomon Grundy
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    Some Category D Salvage requires an MOT if it has run out. However if the MOT is still current and the certificate available, all you need to do is get it taxed and insured. Category C salvage requires a more stringent examination at a specialist testing centre; the same places that test second hand imported cars from Japan etc.

    I recently bought a Category D salvage Vauxhall Vectra SRi 150 on an S Plate with 80,000 miles for £180...the only thing wrong with it was that someone had thrown brake fluid over it....

    The simple fact is that you can't convince some people that when panels have been replaced on a car that it is as good as all the other cars on the road. The fact that a car is classed as salvage is not just down to how badly damaged but also how valuable the car is in the first place. Insurance companies would not write a Ferrari off if it had exactly the same impact damage as a written off Fiat Punto.
     
  14. Solomon Grundy

    Solomon Grundy
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    Another example of of Category D salvage from this morning's auction. 51 plate Honda Civic Type-R. Low miles...mine for £3,700...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  15. RMCF

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    Interesting post, and thanks for the pics.

    I have recently seen a couple of Cat D cars that I was interested in, and they looked immaculate. But having seen these pics and what they might have looked like at one stage in their lives, I don't think I'll ever buy a Cat D car now.

    I know that I am a lay-man re: repairs, but the level of damage seems to vary highly in those photos - I suppose if you did car bodywork repairs you might probably think, 'yeah thats not too bad'. To Joe Public they just look like write-offs!!
     
  16. Solomon Grundy

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    The thing about looking at the cars before they are stripped is that they look bad. That is because the crumple zones in the body panels have done their job and absorbed the impact. They are meant to look crumpled. What you usually find when you take away the panels is that it doesn't look nearly as bad and once you fit and paint the replacements, if you are a good body technician, it would be almost impossible for most people to tell the difference.
     
  17. Alun

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    Make sure you remember to post some pics of the civic after youve sorted it:thumbsup:

    And some inbetweeny ones if you can be bothered..

    I'd like to see its progress.



    (and we can then tell if your a cowboy:D :D ;) ;) :D )
     
  18. Joe90sDad

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    Did you actually buy the Type-R or were you just saying it could have been yours for that much?

    I'd be happy to buy a Cat D car but I always assumed getting insurance for it would be expensive.
     
  19. Solomon Grundy

    Solomon Grundy
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    Yeah, I didn't buy the Civic but 'll get some photo's of one of the other cars and post them up here soon...
     
  20. Solomon Grundy

    Solomon Grundy
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    thread bump...
     
  21. andyr300

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    so,would these be a good buy do you reckon,or is it stay well clear?
     
  22. NGD Boy

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    I thought it went from A to E
     
  23. Solomon Grundy

    Solomon Grundy
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    Yes, I believe category "E" is for stolen and recovered cars but they tend not to have any damage. I don't see many of these come up at all as they usually fall into Category "X" which basically means that the car has been written off with no, or very slight damage.
     
  24. Solomon Grundy

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    Depending upon age and price these cars could be a bargain. I would always find out what damage has been done and get an AA inspection carried out. I don't mind buying salvage repairs as I see what they look like before being mended and my brother carries out all the work and saves me a fortune.
     
  25. steevo25

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    What you have to remember is that some cars have had an accident and do look like the pictures but have been repaired and never declared as a Cat D or Cat C write-off. The Cat C or D only occurss when the damamge costs more than the car is really worth. If you take a newer car, it could quite easily have been in a bad accident but repaired due to the cost only being a proportion of the car's value and there will be no record on any official register.

    So buying a Cat C or Cat D that has been repaired properly is no different to buying another car that has sustained the same amount of damage but you are simply not aware of it. Except of course that once it has been declared it is substantially de-valued.

    The whole process is rubbish really as all the declaration is showing is that in the opinion of the insurance company it is not worth repairing. My dad had a 1998 Mondeo ( market value around £1200 ). It was broken into and the only damage sustained was that the ignition lock had been completely destroyed and a scratch around the drivers door lock where the thieves had got in. The car was not stolen as they were disturbed. The cost of replacing all the locks and fixing the damaged paintwork was a few hundred pounds but the insurance decided it was not worth repairing the car. It was classed as a Cat D write-off. It was sold off and within a few weeks it was back on the road again after being easily repaired. Now if that car had been a couple of years younger and the same thing happened, it would have been repaired and back on the road and any potential buyer would have never known.

    My view is that any write-off that goes back on the road should be forced to have a major inspection done by an authorised garage. If the repair has been done to a specified standard then it should be taken off the record as written off. Alternatively, if a newer car sustains a certain amount of damamge it should also show on the register so that any future owener will be aware of it.
     
  26. Solomon Grundy

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    Just bought this as a category D salvage, it's a 54 plate 9-3 Vector TDi with 30,000 miles. Apart from the damage you see it is extremely clean. I will try to post regular reports and pic's of the repair process to show what is involved. When it is back on the road it will have cost me around £5,200 in total, a massive saving against what they go for at the moment.
     

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  27. CharGrilled

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    Well I found this forum for all the wrong reasons, but I'll get involved in the AV side later!! (I love my gadgets anyway).

    I've learnt a lot from this thread. My car unfortunately caught fire yesterday, being a '91 Supra, it's not worth all that much so it will be a write-off - but the damage is quite localised and the fire brigade was nice and prompt (in rush hour, too!) I'm thinking a Cat D.

    I reckon I could do the repair work myself with a few hundred quid, so my options are:
    1. Ask the insurance company if they would be so kind as to give me the maximum amount they would spend on repair, and not write it off.
    2. Let them write it off and buy from the salvage company.

    Is option '1' even possible? It would save them money so I can't see why not. Also, is there absolutely any way to get rid of that Cat D 'status' once repaired?

    Oh well, I'd better get my mind off it all now by taking a look at your AV threads! Thanks for your time!

    G
     
  28. nismo_lfc

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    £5,200 including the repairs?
    how much was the car?
    what was quoted for the repairs?

    looks over £3,000 in repairs to me, but im no expert :suicide:
     
  29. Solomon Grundy

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    It is possible that the insurance company will pay out and then let you keep the car. They might also deem the car repairable in an economical fashion depending upon the estimate, in which case they will send you a cheque and tell you to repair it.

    The most likely scenario is that they write it off and give you a cheque, then have the car collected. It will be very difficult for you to buy it back in this instance unless you ask them...nay, beg them. It's not usually what they do these days, they used to, but not so much now.
     
  30. Solomon Grundy

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    Yes, including the repairs. I own a bodyshop so don't have to pay anyone for the hours it will take to repair. The car itself cost me just over £4,000 and I can use 2nd hand parts to replace the broken bits (I found a same model Saab with rear end damage so can recycle it's front end for the parts I need).
     

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