If you’ve been involved in a car crash then you might be informed by your car insurance company that your vehicle is what’s known as a ‘write-off’. But what exactly does the term ‘write-off’ mean? Can you legally drive it afterwards? And should you ever buy a ‘write-off’ car?

A certain Freddie Saliba is implying that some of the cars being imported in Malta are ones involved in accidents, with massive dents and damages. He even implies in the comments, that some of the cars are marked Category B, which according to him means ‘Breaking for parts’ and thus are cars which shouldn’t be sold.

Actually, Category B write-offs means that the body shell should be crushed. This signifies extensive damage, although some parts are salvageable. Such a vehicle should never re-appear on road, although reclaimed parts can be used in other road-going vehicles.

Now this is a serious implication, right?

Image: Freddie Saliba / Facebook

A vehicle is deemed a repairable write-off if it has been damaged such that its salvage value plus the cost to repair it exceeds its market value. An older car could be considered a write-off even with relatively minor damage, simply because the cost to repair it is greater than what it’s worth on the used car market.

According to this person, the majority of the occasions the cars are BMWs, Mercedes, Nissan Juke, Kuga, Aygo, VW GTi, Polo, Citroen and 4x4s. One wonders, because let’s be frank… damage to the body, usually means that there is also damage to the frame. 

I ask, is there a way to know whether a car you plan to import is a car that has been written-off and repaired?