Salvage Categories Explained

In the intricate realm of automotive salvage, a nuanced understanding of salvage categories is crucial for informed decision-making. Whether you are a seasoned automotive professional or an individual delving into the intricacies of salvaged vehicles, comprehending the significance behind designations like Category A, B, S, and N is paramount.

This guide seeks to unravel the intricacies of car salvage categories in a clear and professional manner. From vehicles deemed irreparable and destined for complete dismantling to those with salvageable components, we aim to provide a detailed examination of each category.

Category A: Beyond Repair

When a vehicle falls into Category A, it means it’s considered beyond repair. Essentially, it’s a write-off. The decision has been made that the car is not salvageable and should be crushed entirely. No parts can be salvaged, and the vehicle is deemed as waste, subject to waste controls.

Category B: Unsalvageable, but Parts Can Be Recycled

In Category B, the vehicle is also deemed unsuitable for repair, but there’s a silver lining. Usable parts from the car can be recycled. Similar to Category A, the vehicle is considered waste, and waste controls apply.

Category S: Suitable for Repair, but Structural Damage

Moving into repairable territory, Category S indicates that the vehicle is deemed suitable for repair. However, it has sustained damage to the structural frame or chassis. Despite this, the insurer or owner has chosen not to go through with the repairs.

Category N: Suitable for Repair, Non-Structural Damage

Category N is another repairable category, but with a different twist. The vehicle hasn’t sustained damage to the structural frame or chassis. Despite being suitable for repair, the insurer or owner decides against fixing it. It’s worth noting that although the damage is noted as non-structural, there might still be some safety-critical parts that need replacement, such as steering and suspension components.

Understanding these categories can be helpful when considering the condition of a salvaged vehicle and whether it’s worth pursuing for repair or salvaging usable parts.  We would always recommend having a qualified engineer check over any potential vehicle as not all total losses are categories or registered.  We strongly recommend an inspection of a repaired total loss.

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