Is it okay to keep a Category N write-off?

A reader's car has been written off as an uneconomic repair, but he'd like to keep it. Is there anything he should be worried about if he does?...

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Claire Evans
03 April 2019

Mercedes C-Class (00 - 07)

My 2002 Mercedes-Benz C180 was recently damaged in an incident in a car park. The other party has admitted liability and their insurer, Quote Me Happy, has contacted me to say that I have two options: either the car can be written off or it can be classed as ‘salvage retention’.

The insurer says the car would be classed as a Category N write-off, which wouldn’t affect my insurance, but I have looked into it and am now concerned this might make the car uninsurable. Is this correct?

The car is only scratched and I’m keen to keep it, but I don’t want to be left with a car that I can’t insure.

Steve Robinson

What Car? says…

Cars are classed as Category N write-offs if they don’t have any structural damage but will cost more to repair than they are worth. This means they’re still safe to drive, and quite often the owners or car repairers will decide to repair them rather than scrap them. If you’re keen to keep your car, you can opt for it to be classed as salvage retention, which will enable you to repair it and continue driving it. 

Getting insurance for a Category N write-off shouldn’t be difficult or overly expensive. Some insurers offer specific cover for Category N cars and others will simply insure them as non-written-off cars, so it’s worth getting some quotes to compare prices.

Find out more about the different categories of insurance write-offs

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