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Insurance salvage vehicles

The Association of British Insurers' Salvage Category Guidelines

When an insurance company disposes of a vehicle instead of returning it to the policy holder, it is assigned a salvage category. This may either be 'A', 'B', 'C' or 'D'. In some instances, a vehicle may not be given a category, designated as 'not recorded' or 'Category X'. The different categories are explained below.


Category 'A'

SCRAP only e.g. total burn outs. These vehicles must be crushed and no parts can be salvaged.


Category 'B'

BREAK only. Parts can be salvaged from these vehicles but the body shell, or frame in the case of motorbikes, must be destroyed
NB. We will only sell category 'B' vehicles to customers possessing the relevant ELV license


Category 'C'

Repairable, but the insurance company-estimated repair costs exceed the vehicle's pre-accident value. This is likely because the insurer is obliged to use new manufacturer-supplied parts and high-cost labour.

Before a log book (V5) will be issued for one of these vehicles, a vehicle identity check (VIC) must be carried out. Currently, approximately 1 in 3 Cat 'C' vehicles requires a VIC. The remaining 2/3 will have log books issued upon application. You can learn more about VICs by taking a look at the 'VIC Checks Explained' section of this site.


Category 'D'

All other repairable vehicles. The estimated repair costs do not exceed the pre-accident value of the vehicle, but it remains more cost-effective for the insurance company to dispose of it. For example, the cost of providing a hire car to the policy holder for a long period would, when added to the repair costs, total more than the pre-accident value of the vehicle. Alternatively, a vehicle may be recorded as category 'D' because it was stolen and only recovered after the policy holder had been paid out.

The log book (V5) for Cat 'D' vehicles will be issued upon application. They do not require a VIC check