N/A - Cat D - what does it mean - CluelessNik

I am looking for my first car and often I see a yellow circle with "D" written. What does Category D mean? Damaged?

Would the car be less reliable than other cars?

Should I avoid a Cat D car if possible, or are they good value as other buyers wont buy them? And would I be able to sell it later on, to a garage as part exchange?

N/A - Cat D - what does it mean - RobJP

Cat D is an insurance damaged category which basically means the car was not economical to repair, and it rather than paying for hire cars, etc. whilst repairs were ongoing, the insurer paid out market value. Someone then purchased the car in a damaged state, and repaired it and put it back on the road.

NOTE : there is absolutely NO evidence as to how well those repairs were done. The car is not independently inspected, and some repairers will really cut corners. So if you don't REALLY know how to inspect a car, think again. Don't assume an MOT means a car has been properly inspected, it's really a rather cursory examination.

It might be just as reliable, it might be terrible. See above.

A Cat D should be roughly 25% cheaper than a 'normal' car. Because most private buyers won't consider them, and lots of garages won't buy them off you in part-ex either.

Basically, if you are competent in inspecting cars, and happy to run it until it dies (you have to assume you'll NEVER be able to sell it at any price), then consider it.

If, on the other hand, it's your first car, and you don't know a highly trusted and competent mechanic to inspect it for you, and you'll probably want to change it before it dies, then steer well clear.

N/A - Cat D - what does it mean - SLO76
Cat D means the car has been an insurance total loss but it is the lowest category with A and B meaning they're unfit to return to the road and C and D meaning they can be repaired but it was uneconomic for the insurer to do so.

I would tend to avoid them but It depends on the age and value of the car at the time it was written off. Some older low value cars can be written off for as little as a cracked bumper or a scuff down a door. It would cost the insurer (who has to repair it properly) more including hire cars, admin costs, collecting and returning said vehicle than it's worth after they recoup the salvage from it so they write it off. Something of low value that's been written off for something minor could make a good cheap buy. Few others will even look at a write off so you'll usually not have any competition and can bid accordingly.

Newer more valuable cars however will have seem much more extensive damage in order to have been written off and more often than not (I've yet to see one properly repaired) these are cheaply patched up and painted using cheap pattern parts then put back on the road. Most will rot quickly as they don't have the standard of corrosion protection they should have and the majority will have mechanical flaws and often structural weaknesses though not enough to fail an Mot it will reduce cash worthiness.

If you haven't the know how to really check over a Cat D motor I'd forget it to be honest. Aside from sub £1k budget buys (that've recently been written off) they're almost always bad news.
N/A - Cat D - what does it mean - CluelessNik

Thanks for your replies - very grateful for the explanations.

Its far too risky, so I will take your advice and avoid. I just need a first starter car, reliable and small (and hence my other posting this morning on C1, Aygo, 107.

Thank you!

N/A - Cat D - what does it mean - SLO76
We're happy to help but one thing I'd say at your budget you shouldn't fix your search on one particular model. There's loads of decent cars worthy of viewing. Nissan Micra, Kia Picanto, Hyundai i10/i20, Ford Fiesta 1.25, Toyota Yaris, Mazda 2, even the Fiat Panda can be a good budget buy. Don't walk past a good example of any of these to buy a tatty 107/C1/Aygo.

Edited by SLO76 on 04/06/2017 at 11:16


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