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Tips and Guides

Frequently Asked Questions

Your insurer is responsible for determining whether your car will be repaired or written-off. Your insurer will take your vehicle away to be inspected by an independent engineer, who will create a report outlining the likely repair costs.

If those repair costs add up to more than 60% of the pre-accident value of your vehicle, then your car will be written off. Some insurers use a slightly higher percentage, some lower, but 60% is a good rule of thumb. For more information on what determines a write-off, click here.

There is an increasing trend of vehicles being written-off instead of repaired. If your vehicle has multiple panels damaged, any airbags deployed, or any mechanical damage as a result of the impact, then it’s highly likely your vehicle will be written off.

The amount paid to you if your car is written off, is a sum that covers a “like for like replacement of your vehicle, in the area in which you live”. So if your car is being written off, getting an accurate pre-accident valuation of your vehicle is very important.

Most insurers will use one of the 3 main algorithmic valuation systems: CAP, GLASS and Parkers. To get an idea of how much to expect from your write off, enter your registration above to use our free car insurance write off calculator uk. Or check out our article on write off valuations.

When a vehicle is determined to be a write off by your insurer. They will pay you an amount to cover ‘a like for like replacement of your vehicle’. Your vehicle is then either sent to scrap, or sold in auction to salvage vehicle traders, who may either fix your vehicle, or strip it for parts to sell.

Depending on your insurance policy, you may be given a courtesy car, until you receive settlement from your insurer.

Your vehicle’s write-off value (more commonly known as the ‘salvage value’) is the amount your vehicle is worth in it’s current damaged condition. This amount is different to your insurance payout amount, which is the pre-accident value of your vehicle, minus any policy excess you have.


The salvage value is typically calculated as a percentage of the pre-accident value of your vehicle. As a rule of thumb, CAT N vehicles usually have a salvage value around 30% to 40% of the pre-accident value. CAT S vehicles usually have a salvage value around 15% to 30% of the pre-accident value.

The payout value your insurance company set for your claim, can be negotiated on. Sometimes the systems they use do not factor rarity of optional extras that are specced onto your vehicle, or bubble pricing that may exist on certain vehicles, in certain areas of the country, that hasn’t been accounted for. 

For that reason, you may decide to negotiate your settlement offer. It is a good idea to do your research on pricing, as your insurer will only ever payout what is fair. Beyond that, you may just be wasting your time.

There is an easier way to boost your payout following a car insurance write off claim. Use our payout booster™ to earn up to £2000 extra. For more information on how it works, click here

If your car has been written off by your insurance company. Then you may have the option to buy back your vehicle at its salvage value.

This option is only available for CATEGORY S or CATEGORY N vehicles. To find out more about damage categories, click here.

If you choose to keep your vehicle, the salvage value will be deducted from your insurance payout settlement. Keep in mind that CAT S vehicles must be repaired and post-inspected by an approved mechanics before the car can be returned to the road.

Rather than go through the hassle, use our payout booster™ to quickly make extra profit using your buy back option.

Your car will be determined a write off by an independent accredited engineer. If they deem your vehicle to be written off, you may be able to appoint a second engineer to get another opinion, at your cost.

Whatever the verdict is from that, must be accepted by you and your insurer.

Here’s a little known secret… You can earn more money using your car insurance write off buy back option! We created a payout booster™ tool which gives you an instant estimation of how much extra you could earn on top of your insurance claim, by using your buy-back option with us.

We help guide you through the buy-back process, and give you profit for your write-off vehicle.

You have the peace of mind that your vehicle is already sold, for profit, before you finalise the buy back with your insurer. We collect the vehicle wherever it is, at no cost to you. All you need to do is send us the spare key and any documents to our postal address.

In order to begin the buy-back process, simply let your insurer know that you’re interested in retaining your write off car and they will give you a price to do so.

As a matter of course, an independent engineer, appointed by your insurer, should create a damage report. Once you have it all, upload it to your account with us, and you’ll receive a firm offer for your vehicle.

If you’re happy, it just takes a couple of signatures and you’ll have the money on the same day! Just let your insurer know that you’re buying back the car, and let us know where to collect it from.

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