News Post

Buying a cat D car or a cat C car

Car crash

Buying a car on the second-hand market can be a challenge, but if you’re careful, do your research and trust your gut there are some great bargains to be had – especially when buying a cat D car or a cat C car. Let’s have a go at demystifying these terms and proving to you that these vehicles deserve a second look.

What does Cat D and Cat C mean?

Cat D – Essentially, a Category D car is one that’s been light to moderately damaged, requiring repairs that will cost less than the market value of the vehicle. The insurer, however, has still written off the car because of other expenses, such as a courtesy car and admin costs.

Cat C – A Category C car is one that can be repaired safely, but has been written off because the repair costs are greater than the market value of the vehicle.

How to buy safely

Because the key determinant when writing a car off is the repair cost versus value of the vehicle, it makes sense to consider buying a Cat D car when you’re shopping with a limited budget. Why? Well, these cars often have quite minimal or superficial damage, but the value of the car makes it uneconomical to repair it, which makes for some spectacular bargains for the savvy punter.

It can be difficult to trace exactly what happened to the vehicle to lead to it being written off, so it’s absolutely crucial that you take someone with you who really knows cars when you view – as with every other used car purchase, if you have even the slightest doubt walk away.

If you’re tempted to buy a newer Cat C or D car, the economics point to the vehicle having had some serious damage to have been written off. Again, it’s important to have one of these cars checked thoroughly, and it’s probably a good idea to hire an independent motor engineer to check that there are no major structural issues like a warped chassis.

Insuring a Cat C or Cat D car

When it comes to insurance, you’ll find that most insurers are willing to offer cover for these cars, but it’s well worth checking with your broker before buying because that’s not always the case. Some insurance providers charge a premium to cover Cat C/D cars, but others simply pay out less in the event of another write-off.

Buying a Cat D car is definitely the safer of the two options, but don’t discount a Cat C bargain outright. We’re sure that we see many of these vehicles coming through the gates at Trafalgar Street car park, and nobody would ever know the difference, so get out there and hunt down a great car at a great price.