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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Bucks
    Posts
    22

    Buying back Cat S write-off implications

    I have a GD Mk3 that I absolutely love but which I bent a few weeks ago when caught in a totally unexpected cloudburst and ending up in a ditch. Initially I thought it was just bodywork, some front end kit and wheels that were damaged and was confident of getting it back on the road quickly. After proper review it has got some damage to the offside front chassis and is now likely to be categorised as a Cat S "beyond economic recovery".

    Has anyone been through this process as I do not want to lose the car and am considering doing the work myself if the insurance company will play ball with a value......it doesn't seem to make financial sense to pay for it to be repaired professionally with all the mark-ups involved?

    If it is categorised as Cat S:
    • does that give implications for value going forward......seeing I would probably replace the whole frame (and maybe body) with a completely new one.
    • will it have negative insurance premium calculations going forward
    • Will insurance companies sell it back to you at the write-off level (60% of insured value) or are the contracted to sell all cars to the trade?
    • Is there anything else I need to consider?


    Many thanks......all very upsetting but I need to explore all options before making any decision.

    Martin

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Bournemouth
    Posts
    185
    Can the insurance process be stopped and cancelled therefore not registered? Obviously the insurance company are aware but at the end of the day they will not want to fork out any money although they are obliged to do so.
    I am sure when it comes to insuring the car again, if you provided documentation to prove the chassis has been replaced if that’s your route, there should not be a problem.
    If you replace the chassis and body then essentially your existing car will become merely a donor. So your ‘new’ car may be subject to IVA and reregistering?
    Without knowing the legalities, this would be the way I would be looking at it.

    David.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Bucks
    Posts
    22
    Thanks David, I had not really focussed on the IVA implications. It is probable that Andy at GD could actually repair the chassis so that should be an option I consider. Regarding the body, I would need to replace the front end body back to the door pillars. I have never worked with fibreglass so have no idea how difficult this might be and then would have to completely re-do the gelcoat all over as would never get a match.
    If I stopped the insurance process I would not have enough funds to even consider doing the repairs myself.......I am not an experienced engineer so you can see this is in any case a last ditch option to afford to keep my car / get it back on the road.

    It doesn't help that the car is insured for what I paid for it not what it is worth nor what it will cost to replace.......a real lesson learned here that I hope others can learn from.

    Best. Martin

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Birmingham
    Age
    42
    Posts
    718
    Hi Martin,

    Be very careful here, once its categorized as a Cat S that's it, Now worth a lot less.

    Always best to negotiate the repair with your insurer, if you are willing to do the work or tell them you are appointing your own garage (do you know any, use Absolute Horsepower), supply an invoice and its a standard repair and NOT a write off, worth the full value and you can still retain an agreed value.

    Alan.
    AK Gen II delivery date Oct '15
    IVA pass Dec '18.
    On the road Jan '19
    GM LQ4 364ci, LS9 cam, Omex 710.
    Tremec T56 Terminator.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    NW England
    Posts
    416
    Ridiculous that it's a total write off, even if the chassis repair (which I belive GD are quite good at) cost the same as a new one and you had to replace the whole body it could not cost as much of the value of the cheapest viable Cobra I'd have thought. Maybe I'm looking at this wrong. Or maybe they are.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Hertfordshire
    Posts
    909
    Have you spoken to GD and got a quote to fix it. I had this many years ago with my Sumo which Pilgrim subsequently rebuilt at a cost that worked for the insurance company

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Chelmsford Essex
    Posts
    816
    If you are looking at keeping the car for a long time then the Cat S does not matter only when you come to sell the car you would be looking at 20-30% less possibly inline with normal tin top car. S being structured damaged would keep a lot of potential buyers away and you reduce your market.

    Do you buy the car back from the insurance company as a write off and use the money to carry out most of the repairs.

    I would look at the structure chassis repaired with GD the manufactures at they will be able to carry out the correct alignment. I would discuss with them also your options regarding the body, they might sell you a section for the repair rather tha a reshell if your feel brave to do some fibre glass work. If you need a complete re-spray your going to be looking at 4-5k. It all soon adds up and swallow your insurance money.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Bucks
    Posts
    22
    Thanks for the observations and suggestions. The situation is that I believe the economic write-off repair value will be in the region of £15-£16k and the quote I have had so far to repair everything is some £28k inc VAT. I believe that to replace with another similar Cobra will cost between £30 and £35k as it is a GD Mk3 and is +/- 20 years old albeit in great condition with low mileage and correctly registered. If I can repair it myself for £15k then that is what I should do, if the insurance company play ball. My concern is my non-engineering background and the fact that costs might escalate! (as if....).
    My thinking is that I need to try and do a deal with the insurance company before it is designated a Cat S vehicle even though I would be looking to keep it a long time.......I will maybe send a couple of PMs to ask some further questions.

    Best
    Martin

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hilperton,Wiltshire
    Posts
    2,562
    Cat S is not classed as being uneconomic to repair. Its classed as Structural damage. Cat C was the old designation for uneconomic repairs. Can you not buy the car back and use the good parts for a complete new build? Cat S will always devalue the sale price. I've repaired hundreds of Cat C, D, S, N over the years.

    Andy

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Essex, UK
    Posts
    3,883
    Can you replace the chassis and bodyshell on a car, or does that (in the eyes of the DVLA) make it an entirely new car?
    Surely, buy back the salvage, buy a new chassis/body and use the salvaged car parts to build a new car?
    Simon
    WARNING: Translation of author's random thoughts may have resulted in the unintended introduction of grammatical errors, typos, technical inaccuracies, lies, propaganda, rhetoric, blasphemy, rambling, and/or exhibition of shocking levels of ignorance.

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