Scrapping the Car - What Happens Next?
Part 1 Part 2
If scrapping the car is best solution, you will find yourself in
a negotiating position once again. Scrap dealers, or salvage agents
as they more commonly called, aren't the only option for disposing
of your car.
Local body shops and mechanics may offer a better price because
they can typically extract more value from the car and quicker.
If your car has low mileage, a full service history or is a
particularly prestigious make, the car may attract a higher salvage
price at a garage than from a scrap dealer.
Get at least three quotes for salvage but don't expect to get
exactly the same as the value quoted by the insurer. The value the
insurer applies to your car as scrap assumes you have a queue of
willing buyers. When you're ringing around for quotes, the value
automatically drops because you're the one doing the selling.
Once scrapped, notify your insurance company that the car is off
the road and cancel your policy with immediate effect. There's no
point paying for cover on a car that you can't drive and it's
highly likely that the car isn't covered any way, due to its
Your insurer should refund you for any cover you've paid for
after the date of cancellation. Contest any and all cancellation
fees, stating that it is your belief that the insurer should seek
costs from the third party for the closure of the policy. They may
also try to deduct the fee from the refund due. Resist this trick
Insurers apply a cancellation fee as a matter of course, even
when you have no choice but to cancel. They do this because it's
easier and quicker to get the cancellation fee from you, rather
than the other insurer. Don't stand for it.
Once you've cancelled, complete a SORN declaration and send it
the DVLA. Then it's time to start looking for a new car.
A Guide To Write Offs
An insurance write off doesn't just mean your car is destroyed.
Seemingly well maintained, roadworthy vehicles are frequently
written off for economical reasons. Here's a quick guide.
The car is unrepairable and has no salvageable parts. It will be
crushed into a cube and recycled. Category A write offs must never
return to the road.
The car is unrepairable, but does have salvageable parts. The
car must never return to the road.
The car is significantly damaged, but is repairable. The insurer
deems it uneconomical to carry out the repairs. Category C
write offs must have a new MOT and VIC.
The car has only minor damage - such as bumper scratches - but
the insurer doesn't want to repair it. This is common for older
cars or those with a high mileage and cars that are found after
being reported stolen. You can repair a Category D write off
privately without needing a new MOT or VIC.
This is not strictly a write off, but an insurance loss
category. It means the car has been subject to a claim, but the
damage has not been recorded with the DVLA. Category X typically
refers to incidents where a claim is lodged, but the two parties
agree a private settlement.