Salvage Cars – A Guide To Buying Affordable Cars
If you’re looking for salvage cars for the first time, you’re bound to ask questions about how the process works. This short guide aims to explain what accident damaged vehicles are, what salvage categories you’ll find for sale in an auction, and most importantly, why you should consider buying one.
What are accident damaged vehicles?
Accident damaged cars, or also known as salvage cars in our industry, or non-runners or write-offs to the public, can be purchased easily and is a great way to save money if you can repair.
Where to buy damaged salvage cars?
There are a few salvage auction sites where you can bid on damaged accident cars. Salvage Market
is the leading salvage auction platform in the UK Salvage industry.
Let’s suppose a vehicle has received substantial damage, and the cost to repair will be close to or more than its value. In that case, the car will be written-off, and the insurance company will take possession and sell it to an Authorised Treatment Facility (ATF).
Understanding Damaged Categories
When an insurer writes off a car or vehicle, it will be assigned a salvage category to inform a potential buyer about the type and severity of the damage received to that vehicle. These damage categories are provided by the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and comprise of six types A, B, C, D, S and N. (Click here for in-depth guide)
CAT A – Scrap – A car or vehicle has been damaged beyond repair; the frame and any parts must not be returned to the road, and the car will be scrapped.
CAT B – Breaker vehicles – Category B vehicles should not reappear on the road, and some parts can be recycled and used in cars that can reappear on the road. The shell must be crushed after.
CAT C – Salvage – A Category C vehicle is repairable; however, the costs required to repair it exceed the vehicle’s pre-accident value.
CAT D – Salvage – A Category D vehicle is repairable, and the costs required to repair it are significant, although it does not exceed the vehicle’s pre-accident value.
CAT S – Salvage – Repairable Structural – A Category S vehicle will have sustained some damage to its structural frame or chassis. The self-insured owner/insurer has decided not to repair the car.
CAT N – Salvage – Repairable Non-Structural – A Category N vehicle has not sustained damage to its structural frame or chassis. The self-insured owner/insurer has decided not to repair the car.
CAT U/X – Used Unrecorded/Stolen Recovered – Minimal Damage and Category U – Used Unrecorded vehicles outside the Association of British Insurers (ABI) Code of Practice and denoted other vehicles not classified as a total loss under the code. While CAT U vehicles have not been classed as salvage, there is still a chance that the car could still be damaged.
From the 1st of October 2017, the Code of Practice for the Categorisation of Motor Vehicle Salvage changed, categories S and N were introduced to replace C and D. These new categories aim to give potential buyers a better indication of why the vehicle has been written-off, i.e. whether it was light, structural or cosmetic damage. Once all necessary repairs have been completed, Category C, D, S and N cars or vehicles can return to the road. Category C and D vehicles classified before the 1st of October 2017 will remain in circulation.
Why should I buy salvage cars or vehicles?
Value for money: If you have the skills and knowledge to repair a damaged vehicle, you can save a lot more money than buying the vehicle new (including costs to fix).
Vehicles that are heavily damaged, particularly CAT B, C and S, could provide you with great-value source of reclaimed green parts
. Vehicles may have have sustained too much damage to realistically return to the road (CAT B cannot legally return to the road). These vehicles will contain salvageable parts which you could buy for a low price, perfect if you are already repairing a similar make or model.
Enjoyment: A repair or restoration can be hugely fulfilling, especially if you are a big car or vehicle fanatic. There’s nothing like seeing a sad looking car returned to its former glory.
Who should purchase salvage cars or vehicles?
Accident damaged vehicles can vary from light cosmetic damage to deeper mechanical problems. As a result, no one-size fits all when considering taking on this repair challenge. Those who have limited experience in used vehicle repair would be more suited towards repairing cosmetic or lighter damage vehicles. In contrast, cars with heavier damage will be more suitable to experienced mechanics who have worked with repairable salvage cars in the past.
Where can I buy salvage cars or vehicles?
You can find damaged accident vehicles for sale in several places, including online retailers and car auction
websites in the UK like Salvage Market.
What type of salvage cars or vehicles does Salvage Market sell?
Accident damaged vehicles, used cars
, high mileage vehicles, classic cars, cars with mechanical issues/non-runners, mot failures, probate vehicles, uneconomical vehicles to repair, HGVs, vans, lorries, commercial vehicles, motorcycles, caravans/RVs, agricultural and plant machinery.