Can a Scrap Car Go Back on the Road?

When you think of scrapping a car, it seems very much like a finite decision – the images that are conjured up are that of piles and piles of rusting old cars waiting for their turn in the compactor. While this is largely true, you’d be surprised at just how many cars can actually be returned to the road, even after being dubbed a write off. Of course, there are significant caveats to that, and some cars should absolutely not be returned to the road in any way, shape or form. Today, BMS Salvage talks you through everything you need to know about returning cars to the road.

What defines a scrap car?

Let’s get the big one answered straight away then: a car that has been scrapped can never return to the road. Where the lines sometimes get blurred are when discussing an insurance write-off. It’s a common misconception that a written-off car can only end up on a scrap pile, whereas the reality is that when a car is written off by an insurer, it will be filed into one of four categories depending on the damage it has sustained. 

Titled A, B, S and N, these categories are defined by how significant the damage is, and whether or not it has impacted the overall safety of the car in question, with parameters such as structural rigidity taken into account.

  • Cat A (Scrap): Vehicles designated Category A are so damaged that the car must be scrapped in its entirety. None of the car may be salvaged.
  • Cat B (Break): Vehicles listed as Category B must see their body shell and chassis scrapped, but parts may be removed from it if they are still in working order. 
  • Cat S (Structural): A Category S write off is any vehicle that has structural damage where the cost of repairs outweighs the value of the vehicle itself. If the owner is willing to repair it, it may return to the road.
  • Cat N (Non-structural): Category N is largely identical to Category S, except the damages do not refer to any structural elements of the vehicle. This means the issues are often mechanical or electrical, which can be particularly expensive to repair.

So, as you can see from above, a car that has sustained significant enough damage to be deemed as scrap (Categories A or B) can not return to the road, at all. Cars that can be repaired – or salvaged – can return to the the road, providing they have had adequate repairs carried out and, in some cases, have been re-registered for road use.

Scrapping Made Simple with BMS Salvage

Here at BMS Salvage, we are the #1 buyer of damaged cars in the country, meaning we can guarantee you a simple way to get the very best price for your car, no matter its condition. Dealing with both scrap and salvage vehicles, we’ll offer you a competitive quote no matter where you are in the country. With free collection thrown in, there’s no better way to get the best price for your scrap or salvage car. Get started today and see just how much your broken and unwanted car could be worth.