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  • FIRST POST
    • swindon87
    • By swindon87 7th Apr 18, 4:59 PM
    • 158Posts
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    swindon87
    Is it worth buying a CAT S Car? (formerly known as CAT C)
    • #1
    • 7th Apr 18, 4:59 PM
    Is it worth buying a CAT S Car? (formerly known as CAT C) 7th Apr 18 at 4:59 PM
    It's a March 2016 car. The price is 38% less than the original valuation price. I haven't noticed an increase in insurance, compared to non-write offs I have enquired about. I have done an Experian HPI check, there is no finance outstanding and everything has come back clear but the CAT S which, he did mention in the advert.

    The seller stated that the damage was to: the rear bumper area, one light, and a dent to the lower boot lid. He doesn't have full details of the incident or repairs, but can provide an invoice (I am questioning this) But I have asked the seller to bring the car to my mechanic to do a full vehicle check before committing to anything.

    I've read in this forum that buying a newer car that had been written off, means that the damage was high, which makes sense. I planned to keep the car for two years and sell it it on. I want to save money, but I don't want to put my life at risk. Any advice would be much appreciated please?

    Thanks!
Page 1
    • arcon5
    • By arcon5 7th Apr 18, 5:38 PM
    • 13,626 Posts
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    arcon5
    • #2
    • 7th Apr 18, 5:38 PM
    • #2
    • 7th Apr 18, 5:38 PM
    If it was properly repaired then there's no reason at all that it should be unsafe. A lot of people's fear of ex write offs comes down to their lack of knowledge more than anything. They fear them because they don't understand them
    • s b
    • By s b 7th Apr 18, 6:40 PM
    • 4,323 Posts
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    s b
    • #3
    • 7th Apr 18, 6:40 PM
    • #3
    • 7th Apr 18, 6:40 PM
    cat s means the bodyshell itself has been damaged
    lights rear bumper boot lid damage would be a cat n
    the seller is lying so i would advise on this occasion you steer clear

    Category S: If a car has suffered structural damage it’s assigned to this category. As long as the car has been professionally repaired it can be put back on the road but crucially, cars that fall into this group can’t (or at least shouldn’t) be repaired on a DIY basis. So much like the old category C then.
    • Svein Forkbeard
    • By Svein Forkbeard 7th Apr 18, 6:47 PM
    • 488 Posts
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    Svein Forkbeard
    • #4
    • 7th Apr 18, 6:47 PM
    • #4
    • 7th Apr 18, 6:47 PM
    I planned to keep the car for two years and sell it it on. I want to save money, but I don't want to put my life at risk. Any advice would be much appreciated please?
    Originally posted by swindon87
    Here is where you are failing to understand the economics of buying salvage repaired or salvage.

    1, Plan to sell it on in two years.............naw. If you are going to do this you buy to keep otherwise the economics don't work.

    2. I don't want to put my life at risk.........then you shouldn't be buying salvage repair, because you are going in blind..

    All I buy these days is salvage and the repair (part from current car which is salvage repair, I was in a hurry) but to get it to work for me is the cars arrive and are never sold.
    Hi, we’ve had to remove your signature. If you’re not sure why please read the forum rules or email the forum team if you’re still unsure - MSE ForumTeam
    • Herzlos
    • By Herzlos 7th Apr 18, 6:53 PM
    • 7,854 Posts
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    Herzlos
    • #5
    • 7th Apr 18, 6:53 PM
    • #5
    • 7th Apr 18, 6:53 PM
    Is the seller the previous owner or a salvage yard?

    You'll have a much harder time selling a written off car, so if you're buying it keep it for as long as you can.

    At 2 years old now, it was probably nearer 18 months old when written off; as in it cost more to write off than repair. That either means it's a cheap car, that there was a lot of damage or there are supply chain problems (courtesy car coats writing it off).

    I'd want to see details of the damage and repair before even getting it inspected.
    • swindon87
    • By swindon87 8th Apr 18, 11:59 AM
    • 158 Posts
    • 4,671 Thanks
    swindon87
    • #6
    • 8th Apr 18, 11:59 AM
    • #6
    • 8th Apr 18, 11:59 AM
    If it was properly repaired then there's no reason at all that it should be unsafe. A lot of people's fear of ex write offs comes down to their lack of knowledge more than anything. They fear them because they don't understand them
    Originally posted by arcon5
    I agree, I don't know very much about cars but I understand that an insurance company will only write off a car, if the cost to repair it is too high or worth more than the car, which and happens a lot in older cars. There isn't any reason why a a write off shouldn't be returned back to the road, if it has been repaired properly. The main reason I am weary of this car is because it is only 2 years old. The seller doesn't have documentation of the accident, and said he bought the car damaged, had it repaired and is now selling it on. So he could have very well played down the details of the damage.
    • swindon87
    • By swindon87 8th Apr 18, 12:01 PM
    • 158 Posts
    • 4,671 Thanks
    swindon87
    • #7
    • 8th Apr 18, 12:01 PM
    • #7
    • 8th Apr 18, 12:01 PM
    cat s means the bodyshell itself has been damaged
    lights rear bumper boot lid damage would be a cat n
    the seller is lying so i would advise on this occasion you steer clear
    Originally posted by s b


    Thanks, the seller isn't being very clear on what happened to the car. He said he received it damaged , had it repaired and now he is selling it.

    Is there any way to find out what had happened to the car?
    Last edited by swindon87; 08-04-2018 at 12:16 PM.
    • swindon87
    • By swindon87 8th Apr 18, 12:06 PM
    • 158 Posts
    • 4,671 Thanks
    swindon87
    • #8
    • 8th Apr 18, 12:06 PM
    • #8
    • 8th Apr 18, 12:06 PM
    Here is where you are failing to understand the economics of buying salvage repaired or salvage.

    1, Plan to sell it on in two years.............naw. If you are going to do this you buy to keep otherwise the economics don't work.

    2. I don't want to put my life at risk.........then you shouldn't be buying salvage repair, because you are going in blind..

    All I buy these days is salvage and the repair (part from current car which is salvage repair, I was in a hurry) but to get it to work for me is the cars arrive and are never sold.
    Originally posted by Svein Forkbeard
    1. Ok, thanks. I have heard this also. I think I'll be better off when an older car than will hold it value in a couple years time then.

    2. To be honest, I guess any car would be a salvage repair or write off as many drivers choose to have their car repaired privately to avoid an insurance claim. I always ask for full service history but even that doesn't give you the cars full history.

    So you're saying if you buy a write off, you keep it till the end of it's life?
    • swindon87
    • By swindon87 8th Apr 18, 12:15 PM
    • 158 Posts
    • 4,671 Thanks
    swindon87
    • #9
    • 8th Apr 18, 12:15 PM
    • #9
    • 8th Apr 18, 12:15 PM
    Is the seller the previous owner or a salvage yard?

    You'll have a much harder time selling a written off car, so if you're buying it keep it for as long as you can.

    At 2 years old now, it was probably nearer 18 months old when written off; as in it cost more to write off than repair. That either means it's a cheap car, that there was a lot of damage or there are supply chain problems (courtesy car coats writing it off).

    I'd want to see details of the damage and repair before even getting it inspected.
    Originally posted by Herzlos
    The seller said he bought the car already damaged and doesn't have documentation for what caused the damage but has details of the repair which seemed odd to me.

    He said he bought it for his brother, but the engine in too small for him. The insurance company had written it off in November 2017 and he bought it the following December.

    It's a Volkswagen Polo Match Bluemotion. So, yes it is a relatively cheap car, it seems that VW no longer sell this specific model. Ideally I wanted a Golf but would settle for a Polo if the price was right.
    • Svein Forkbeard
    • By Svein Forkbeard 8th Apr 18, 12:35 PM
    • 488 Posts
    • 1,118 Thanks
    Svein Forkbeard
    So you're saying if you buy a write off, you keep it till the end of it's life?
    Originally posted by swindon87
    Yes, went through a spell of leasing for 3-4 years and now buy car to see me through.

    We are not the kindest on cars rough track to the house, dogs and horses and associated feed stuffs so they lead a a hard life with us.

    I am looking for the youngest car I can get at the best price, to do the job I want it too.

    Selling cars in my view are a pain and if i do sell them they normally go overseas. Old Merc to Nigeria and a Jeep Cherokee to Poland.

    Recently bought a salvage repaired Nissan Note 2014 in a hurry for £3,500 which i would have hoped to have got on the road for £2,500- £3,000 if I had bought it and done it myself.

    Salvage and salvage repaired are great value if you don't have to sell them until near the end.

    Have a look at the Nissan Note 1.2 DiG-S , I was very pleasantly surprised at how nippy it is and not a car that was on my short list at all. We also run a Jeep Commander for the heavy work but MPG is a killer!
    Hi, we’ve had to remove your signature. If you’re not sure why please read the forum rules or email the forum team if you’re still unsure - MSE ForumTeam
    • facade
    • By facade 8th Apr 18, 1:33 PM
    • 3,451 Posts
    • 1,809 Thanks
    facade
    The e12 Note has a very bad reputation (with the Note Owners Forum) due to problems with the CVT, the VVT system (switches from Otto to Miller cycle at higher speeds) and the stop-start.

    Also there are build problems, which to be fair affect all manufacturers trying to produce cheap cars nowadays.

    Nee-San have stopped them as they practically had to give them away, which is why second hand values are so low.
    I want to go back to The Olden Days, when every single thing that I can think of was better.....

    (except air quality and Medical Science )
    • arcon5
    • By arcon5 8th Apr 18, 1:57 PM
    • 13,626 Posts
    • 8,641 Thanks
    arcon5
    The dealer won't be inclined to disclose full facts. Because they know it will scare people off. It's no surprise they are not very forthcoming tbh. Damage probably was more severe than he's letting on - but still... there is no reason a proper repair shouldn't render the vehicle safe and roadworthy again.

    Take it to a professional body shop for inspection. Not a garage. Mechanics aren't bodywork experts. In fact I've done work for bodyshopa whose mechanical knowledge is poor, and likewise mechanics who wouldn't know where to start with fixing a chassis.

    If it drives fine. A professional can deem it repaired properly and there's no other indication of existing issues such as unusual tyre wear then there is no reason you should be put off.

    However I agree with another poster... If you buy it then do so with a view of keeping it a while as selling it on again will negate the savings as you'll then come across more cautious people like yourself looking for a reason to say no
    • Herzlos
    • By Herzlos 8th Apr 18, 2:33 PM
    • 7,854 Posts
    • 7,218 Thanks
    Herzlos
    2 year old polo matches seem to be going for over £10k. So to write it off you're in that sort of region of damage. Not saying that's a deal breaker but it's worth bearing in mind.

    Bluemotions sit lower I think, do they have different suspension or body kits?

    Buying got a brother that didn't like it sounds a lot like the old driveway dealer spell if "bought it for the wife but she doesn't like the colour". It's likely been bought to repair and sell on.
    • motorguy
    • By motorguy 8th Apr 18, 4:23 PM
    • 17,309 Posts
    • 10,447 Thanks
    motorguy
    The seller said he bought the car already damaged and doesn't have documentation for what caused the damage but has details of the repair which seemed odd to me.

    He said he bought it for his brother, but the engine in too small for him. The insurance company had written it off in November 2017 and he bought it the following December.

    It's a Volkswagen Polo Match Bluemotion. So, yes it is a relatively cheap car, it seems that VW no longer sell this specific model. Ideally I wanted a Golf but would settle for a Polo if the price was right.
    Originally posted by swindon87
    I would almost without doubt say he has bought the car to repair and sell at a profit.

    A way he is going to do that is by cutting corners on repairs. He has already lied to you twice, so what makes you think hes going to have had the car repaired to the absolute highest standard :-
    • He says he doesnt know what all was repaired / replaced yet he bought the car damaged
    • He says there was not structural damage yet there must have been for it to be Cat S and not Cat N
    "We have normality. I repeat, we have normality. Anything you still can't cope with is therefore your own problem."
    • motorguy
    • By motorguy 8th Apr 18, 4:24 PM
    • 17,309 Posts
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    motorguy
    It's a March 2016 car. The price is 38% less than the original valuation price.
    Originally posted by swindon87
    What valuation price? Where did that come from? Comparable cars right now on Autotrader, or the insurance valuation done 6 months ago / last year?
    "We have normality. I repeat, we have normality. Anything you still can't cope with is therefore your own problem."
    • swindon87
    • By swindon87 8th Apr 18, 8:03 PM
    • 158 Posts
    • 4,671 Thanks
    swindon87
    Yes, went through a spell of leasing for 3-4 years and now buy car to see me through.

    We are not the kindest on cars rough track to the house, dogs and horses and associated feed stuffs so they lead a a hard life with us.

    I am looking for the youngest car I can get at the best price, to do the job I want it too.

    Selling cars in my view are a pain and if i do sell them they normally go overseas. Old Merc to Nigeria and a Jeep Cherokee to Poland.

    Recently bought a salvage repaired Nissan Note 2014 in a hurry for £3,500 which i would have hoped to have got on the road for £2,500- £3,000 if I had bought it and done it myself.

    Salvage and salvage repaired are great value if you don't have to sell them until near the end.

    Have a look at the Nissan Note 1.2 DiG-S , I was very pleasantly surprised at how nippy it is and not a car that was on my short list at all. We also run a Jeep Commander for the heavy work but MPG is a killer!
    Originally posted by Svein Forkbeard
    Thank you for all the information. Will definitely look into it for consideration.
    • swindon87
    • By swindon87 8th Apr 18, 8:16 PM
    • 158 Posts
    • 4,671 Thanks
    swindon87
    The dealer won't be inclined to disclose full facts. Because they know it will scare people off. It's no surprise they are not very forthcoming tbh. Damage probably was more severe than he's letting on - but still... there is no reason a proper repair shouldn't render the vehicle safe and roadworthy again.

    Take it to a professional body shop for inspection. Not a garage. Mechanics aren't bodywork experts. In fact I've done work for bodyshopa whose mechanical knowledge is poor, and likewise mechanics who wouldn't know where to start with fixing a chassis.

    If it drives fine. A professional can deem it repaired properly and there's no other indication of existing issues such as unusual tyre wear then there is no reason you should be put off.

    However I agree with another poster... If you buy it then do so with a view of keeping it a while as selling it on again will negate the savings as you'll then come across more cautious people like yourself looking for a reason to say no
    Originally posted by arcon5
    Thank you. Yes, if definitely a tough one when it comes to private sellers as legally they don't have to disclose if the car is a write off. It's made me realise how important a HPI check is but even that doesn't tell you everything.

    I didn't consider a profession body shop and now you have mentioned it, it would make perfect sense. Since the car was a structural write off, it would be best for it to be seen to by a professional who can identify any faults with the body work.

    Initially, I was looking for a car that was reliable and hold it's value, in order for me to save and upgrade later. So now I have to weight up my options, whether is best to buy an older car (non write off) and keep it for a couple of years or to buy this car and keep it tell the end.
    • swindon87
    • By swindon87 8th Apr 18, 8:41 PM
    • 158 Posts
    • 4,671 Thanks
    swindon87
    2 year old polo matches seem to be going for over £10k. So to write it off you're in that sort of region of damage. Not saying that's a deal breaker but it's worth bearing in mind.

    Bluemotions sit lower I think, do they have different suspension or body kits?

    Buying got a brother that didn't like it sounds a lot like the old driveway dealer spell if "bought it for the wife but she doesn't like the colour". It's likely been bought to repair and sell on.
    Originally posted by Herzlos
    That the part I don't understand. Cars are written off when the damage is higher than the value of the car? So then how to private sellers or dealership get the car repaired and sold on for less than the car was originally worth. What the reason why insurance companies repair costs are so high?

    The seller has told me he bought the car at auction, the insurance company was selling it and although he doesn't have documentation of the damage, he has pictures. Should that suffice?

    I have read that is more likely for older cars to be written off because of it's low value, which makes sense.

    I believe the bluemotion is to do a start-stop technology that VW has introduced. It helps to reduce fuel consumption and emissions, the tax is very low at £20 per a year.
    • swindon87
    • By swindon87 8th Apr 18, 8:44 PM
    • 158 Posts
    • 4,671 Thanks
    swindon87
    I would almost without doubt say he has bought the car to repair and sell at a profit.

    A way he is going to do that is by cutting corners on repairs. He has already lied to you twice, so what makes you think hes going to have had the car repaired to the absolute highest standard :-
    • He says he doesnt know what all was repaired / replaced yet he bought the car damaged
    • He says there was not structural damage yet there must have been for it to be Cat S and not Cat N
    Originally posted by motorguy
    I think he very much did too. He says he bought it at auction in December, the insurance company was selling and the evidence of the damage is in pictures that the insurance company provided.

    Is there any way to tell that the car has been repaired to the highest standard?
    • swindon87
    • By swindon87 8th Apr 18, 8:50 PM
    • 158 Posts
    • 4,671 Thanks
    swindon87
    What valuation price? Where did that come from? Comparable cars right now on Autotrader, or the insurance valuation done 6 months ago / last year?
    Originally posted by motorguy
    I did a price valuation on Autotrader (and a few other online valuation websites) of cars of the same model and year with similar milage. I also compared it to cars I saw being sold online by private sellers (that haven't been written off).

    They seem to sell for around £10k, and seller is selling for £5.9k. I'm still not sure whether this is a good deal of worth the money being saved in the long run.
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