Is your motorcycle written off? Here’s everything you need to know


Have you recently had a motorcycle accident? Has your motorcycle been written off as a result?

Here at SorryMate, we know that having your motorcycle written off following an accident is bound to cause some stress and worry.

It is easy to feel the financial burden as well as feeling disheartened over losing the bike and to top it off, understanding the type of write-off you’ve been awarded isn’t easy. It’s a fine line between whether you can keep your pride and joy and repair it, or whether it has to be destroyed.

The majority of people will assume that if their motorcycle is written off they will never be able to ride it again and that they will lose the bike altogether. However, with there being four writes off categories within the UK, it is dependent on the severity of the damage and in the cases where it is only light cosmetic riders will be able to salvage the bike and ride it again once all repairs have been dealt with.  So here at SorryMate we’ve written a simple and easy to understand guide for you. Here are a few things to take into consideration.

Motorcycle and Car Crash

There are four categories of write-offs; A, B, S and N

Category A

In order of severity, this category is the worst your motorcycle could be placed in. As a result of a category A you will not be able to recover the vehicle, and it will consequently be destroyed. This also means that you will not be able to salvage any parts for resale or recycle.

Category B

This category is not too dissimilar to category A. The difference, however, is that unlike category A, it is possible to reuse and recycle certain parts of the vehicle. These parts must be checked as they need to be of a certain standard and deemed safe before you will be allowed to take them.

Category S

Motorcycles that have been assessed and are repairable are placed in category S. Although deemed repairable, the cost of this will be more than the value of the motorcycle. More often than not, it is worthwhile going ahead with repairing the bike. Some people decide to claim on their insurance, especially if they have a sentimental attachment to their bike or if it is a model that isn’t readily available to purchase another quickly. It is important to note that some insurers may refuse to pay for the repairs in these circumstances resulting in you have to pay yourself for repairing the bike or buying a new one to replace the damaged bike.

Category N

When a motorcycle has a small amount of damage, usually more cosmetic than mechanical, it is placed in this category. This type of damage is generally cheaper and easier to repair than a category B write off.

motorcycle deaths 2018 uk


Can you insure a motorcycle that has previously been written off?

Motorcycles that have previously been written off in an accident are not excluded as a matter of course. There are insurers that will happily insure your bike, given that it is safe to be on the road. This being said, if your bike has been allocated in one of the more severe categories such as category S, it may prove difficult to find an insurer that is willing to grant you the policy that you need. Furthermore, you may find that you won’t be able to place your motorcycle back on the road.

All motorcycles will need an MOT pass and dependent on the damage caused, have an engineers report in advance of it being deemed safe to ride and before an insurer will grant you a policy.

It is imperative that you declare to your insurer if your motorcycle has been previously written off.

Contact the DVLA immediately

It is essential that you inform the DVLA if your motorcycle has been written off and scrapped by your insurance provider. This is because it is the same as selling your bike to your insurance company.

The following information is what you’ll be required to give:

  • Your insurance company’s name and postcode. These must be placed in the ‘provide trader details’ section
  • Your vehicle registration number
  • The 11 digit reference number from section 9 of the logbook (V5C/3)

If you do not inform the DVLA of your vehicle’s write off, you could be fined £1000.

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