Carole Nash
Content Writer
Published: 21st August 2019

If your motorbike has been written off following an accident, it’s only natural to have a number of worries. From financial concerns to disappointment over the loss of your beloved bike, there are plenty of reasons why you may be feeling anxious. 

If you’re wondering what steps to take next, here are some things to take into account.

The different types of write off

Many people assume that if their motorbike is written off, they’ll never be able to ride it again and the whole bike will have to be destroyed. However, there are several categories of write-offs in the UK. These categories are based on the severity of the damage and in some cases, if the damage can be repaired, it’s possible to make some changes and get your motorbike back on the road. 

The Categories are:

Category A

Of all the categories, a Category A write-off is the worst your motorbike could be placed in. If your bike it placed in this group, it cannot be recovered and the whole vehicle needs to be destroyed. It’s not possible to sell, reuse or recycle any of its parts. 

Category B

Category B vehicles usually go down a similar route to those in Category A. The key difference is that although the bike in its entirety cannot be ridden or sold, certain parts can be removed and sold on. These parts need to be of a certain standard and deemed safe before they can be reused.

Category S

A motorbike is placed in Category S when it is deemed repairable, but the cost of necessary repairs will exceed the value of the bike. 

It’s often not worth going ahead with the repairs, but some bikers decide to go ahead and claim on their insurance, particularly if they have an emotional attachment to that particular bike or it’s a model that cannot easily be found. 

However, some insurers will refuse to fund the repair of the bike in these circumstances, meaning you may have to pay for it yourself or buy a new bike. 

Category N

A Category N write-off is applicable when a motorcycle has a small amount of damage and can easily and cheaply be repaired. Motorbikes are usually placed in this category when they suffer cosmetic issues as opposed to more mechanical problems. 

Is it possible to insure a written off motorbike?

Motorcycles that have been written off aren’t automatically exempt from insurance. Some insurers will be happy to insure your motorbike, providing it’s safe to be on the road. However, if your motorbike has been placed in one of the more severe categories, it might be incredibly difficult to find an insurer who will give you the policy you need and you may not even be able to put your motorbike back on the road.

Your motorbike will also need to pass an MOT and in some cases have an engineers report before it’s deemed safe to ride and before an insurer will offer you a policy. 

You must always declare to your insurer if your motorbike has been previously written off.

Contacting the DVLA

If your vehicle has been written off and scrapped by your motorbike insurance provider, you must tell the DVLA. This is because in this instance, it’s the same as selling your motorbike to your insurance company. 

You’ll need to enter the following information:

  • 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 log book (V5C/3) 

Failure to inform the DVLA of your vehicle’s write off could see you being fined £1,000.