When a vehicle has been has been involved in an accident the owner will generally complete an accident report and forward it to the insurers. The vehicle will then be inspected by an assessor to assess the extent of damaged to the vehicle. He will then submit a report which indicates if the vehicle can be economically repaired or if it will be "written off".
If the vehicle is written off it will be placed in of the following categories:
* Category A: Scrap only (i.e. with few or no economically salvageable parts and which is of value only for scrap metal
* Category B: Break for spare parts if economically viable (excluding any residual scrap value)
* Category C: Repairable total loss vehicles where repair costs including VAT exceed the vehicle's pre-accident value
* Category D: Repairable total loss vehicle where repair costs including VAT do not exceed the vehicle's pre-accident value
If a vehicle is placed in any category other than D and it is re registered to be used on the road it would have to pass a vehicle identity check (VIC), carried out by VOSA (Vehicle and Operator Services Agency) to establish the vehicle identity. The category would also be noted on the registration document. This doesnt apply for vehicles assessed as category D.
Be careful buying cars on the insurance register especially in A, B and C categories. If they have not been repaired correctly they may not be safe in the advent of another accident. Before buying a used cars do a HPI or vehicle check to see if the car is on the insurance register.