Write off: What does it mean?

Also known as total loss in insurance terms, a car is ‘written off’ after an accident when it would cost more to repair than it would to replace.

Write off: The long answer

A "write off" in the context of car-related terms refers to a vehicle that has been damaged to such an extent that it is deemed uneconomical or unsafe to repair. In the UK, when a car is involved in a significant accident or sustains severe damage, insurance companies assess its condition to determine if it should be written off.

If a car is declared a write off, it means that the cost of repairing it exceeds its market value or that the damage is irreparable. In such cases, the insurance company will offer a settlement based on the car's pre-accident value, taking into account factors such as age, mileage, and condition.

Once a car is written off, it is typically classified into different categories based on the extent of the damage. The categories range from A to D, with Category A being the most severe, indicating that the vehicle is only fit for scrap and should not be returned to the road. On the other hand, Category D suggests that the car can be repaired and made roadworthy, although it may require significant work.

It is important for UK drivers to be aware of the term "write off" as it has implications for their insurance claims and the future use of their vehicle. If your car is declared a write-off, you may need to surrender it to the insurance company and seek alternative transportation options.