How to check if a car is CAT C or D

It turns out, the last 3 cars I have owned have been write offs, two of which I had no idea.

Posted by

Uzma Naz Rafique

Enter the registration number below to make a vehicle insurance write-off inquiry.

Why is it important to check for CAT C or CAT D Vehicles?

It is so you can make an informed decision to buy a car ahead of investing your hard-earned money on a vehicle. Vehicles depreciate, everyone knows that, but making sure that the vehicle is sound and in good condition is a crucial element in buying a car. Picture this: You find the car of your dreams on an online listing. You spend time talking to the seller, viewing the car, driving it, and striking a great deal. What you don't know is the HISTORY, is the mileage correct, what are the common issues in MOT reports, was the car stolen, is the car stolen? I learned the hard way and lost hundreds of pounds by not purchasing a car check!

The accident - CAT D

One of the cars I bought was a beautiful Scarlatti red 2008 Lexus IS 200. I loved that car. Lovely to drive, smooth, and with heated seats. It was a dream. However, on a busy, wet morning on the M25, I was shunted from the back in the fast lane resulting in me smashing into the car in front, yes... I was sandwiched. I was not injured, thank God, but the vehicle, the beautiful car I loved and cared for, was a mangled mess. The bonnet raised and the engine exposed, the back bumper smashed in.

Insurance Write Off

My insurance wrote off the car, meaning the repair exceeds the cost of the actual value of the vehicle. I was given a payout, and the vehicle has deemed a write-off, a CAT D. I had the car repaired and went to a VOSA center to get the car back on the road. The car was as good as new. That is the key - good as new. The vehicle was repaired but parts replaced were not original factory fitted parts (OEM), the car felt sad to drive, knowing it had been in an accident I knew it had its days. My brother bought the car from me in the end, so it's still in the family.

When someone says to me "oh it's a CAT D, don't buy it", you never know what type of damage it really took from an accident. My car, it seemed, cosmetically damaged as engine was totally fine.

The mistakes made - Should have bought a car check!

The next car I chose was an Audi A6. Yes, I went big, and I went German! I bought it from a trader, and I was ASSURED that the car was clean. The inside was gloriously luxurious. I purchased the car in somewhat hasted - no service history, but I was told I don't worry, it's a clean, great car. Two years later, the car broke down going up a hill in the northern part of Wales.

I part exchanged the car for a BMW X5 2006 model. It's my current car, and it's incredible, safe as a family car. I had haggled to the nth degree with the motor trader and got what I thought was a great deal. The car is in excellent condition and drives well.

Visit Car Bibles website, where you will find accurate and helpful automotive information, practical advice, product reviews, and guidance for your car.

Why am I writing a life story about these cars?

It turns out, and both had been written off as insurance write-offs. Zoom three years later, and by going to Check Car Details out of curiosity, I checked the reg for both the Audi and BMW. Audi was a CAT C and the BMW a CAT S! Needless to say. I was incredibly gutted. Knowing the history with the Lexus, I know there is nothing wrong with buying a write-off, but I needed to know more information before purchasing the darn car.

I should have paid less for the cars.

I don't know what kind of damage the vehicle had had.

It'll be tough to sell the vehicle at a reasonable price knowing there's bad history, and lastly, and most importantly, if I KNEW the BMW was a write-off, I wouldn't have bought the car in the first place.

Lesson learned should have bought a car check!

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