Written Off Vehicles

RSA guidance on written off vehicles.

Advice on Written Off Vehicles

There are two categories of written off vehicles

  1. Those which have been damaged to such an extent that they must not be used on the road again which are generally defined as Category A and Category B write-offs and
  2. Those which have sustained significant damage and are identified by insurance companies as being uneconomical to repair which are known as financial write offs.  Financial write offs may be used provided they are repaired correctly to a high standard.  Anybody purchasing a financial write off should have it thoroughly inspected to ensure that the physical integrity of the vehicle has not been compromised as a result of its reconstruction. The vehicle should be mechanically inspected to ensure it with complies fully with the requirements set out in Road Traffic legislation for use of vehicles on public roads. 

Anyone who owns a vehicle that was imported from another jurisdiction and has been identified as a Category B write off, should be aware that this vehicle has been deemed structurally unsafe and is not fit for use on the public roads in Ireland under any circumstances. The RSA advises you no longer drive this vehicle as it is unsafe for you and other road users to do so.  

We are advising motorists that feel they may be affected to contact their insurance company for clarification.  You should also contact the Competition & Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) to establish what your rights and options are under consumer protection legislation. The CCPC have a Consumer Helpline that can be contacted at 1890 432 432/353 1 402 5555 if you have concerns in this area.

If you have purchased a car, that you know has been imported, please check the history of your car through official vehicle record holders that can provide online history check. Some services provide for a full UK vehicle history on a vehicle. If you have doubts as to the history of your car, please bring the car to a reputable motor engineer and seek advice as to whether the car is in a satisfactory condition and is safe to drive.

The RSA wishes to emphasise the importance to car buyers of getting a used vehicle independently checked before purchasing. Always do a comprehensive background check to uncover any details which the seller is deliberately trying to hide.