Nothing I've said contradicts what you are saying.
I am commenting that if the defition of Cat C is 'repairable damage, cost of repair (including other costs such as cat hire for example) is more than value' (this seems to me to be a good summary of the www definitions i can see on my phone) then IMO a nearly new car would need more damage than a ten year old car to get into Cat C.
Ergo.... a newer car is more likely to get a Cat D or no category than an older car, where even slight damage will get a CAT C e.g. your spider with a broken key
The DVLA use the CAT A, B & C markers to set a VIC flag in their systems as you say.
When the VIC has passed, the markers are removed and a note added that appears on the V5
I'll post the actual V5 wording later
The Spider with a broken key was Cat D, I didn't buy it.
Cat A & B are never allowed back on the road.
Taken from: Car Insurance Loss categories. Write-off cat A, cat B, cat C, cat D
Insurance Loss Categories - Quick reference
* Category A - Must be crushed. All of it.
* Category B - Vehicle may not be returned to road but parts may be sold.
* Category C - Repairable. Significant damage. Cost of the repair is more than book value of vehicle at dealer rates.
* Category D - Repairable. Probably non-structural damage. May have been economic to repair, but insurer doesn't want to.
* Category X - Repairable. Minor Damage
Insurance Loss Categories - In detail
Category AThe vehicle may not be resold it must be crushed. Severely damaged, total burnout or flood damage with no serviceable parts, or already a stripped out shell. DVLA will require a Notification of Destruction.
Category B The vehicle may not be resold. It will have been damaged beyond economical repair, usually with major structural damage. The DVLA will require Notification of Destruction but parts can be removed and sold on.
Category C Repairable salvage. Usually applies to vehicles with significant damage and where the cost of repairs exceeds the book value. It can be sold for repair but must have VIC(Vehicle Identity Check) inspection before returning to the road. V5 documents are returned to DVLA and recorded as category C vehicles. You can re-apply for registration on the original identity once the VIC inspection has been done. VIC inspection and re-registration removes the Category C classification, but evidence it was at one time Category C remains on the vehicle's record at the DVLA and so will appear on a vehicle data check.
What is a Vehicle Identity Check and how does it work?(taken from the VOSA's site) The Vehicle Identity Check (VIC) has been introduced to help reduce car crime. It is intended to deter criminals from disguising stolen cars with the identity of written off ones. When an insurance company ‘writes off’ a car, (Category A, B or C) they notify DVLA and a VIC marker is placed on the DVLA record. DVLA will not issue a Registration Certificate (V5C) or a Vehicle Licence Reminder (V11) to a car with a VIC marker against it. In order to remove the VIC marker the car needs to be inspected by VOSA to confirm its identity. When the car passes the VIC, the marker is removed. The VIC will be carried out by VOSA. It will involve comparing the car against information held by DVLA, such as the vehicle identification number, make, model, colour and engine number. The VIC will also compare the record of previous accident damage with evidence of damage repair as well as checking other components to confirm the age and identity of the car.
Will the VIC confirm that the vehicle is roadworthy? No. The VIC is designed to confirm the identity of the car and does not assess the quality of the repair. You should seek independent expert opinion as to whether the car is roadworthy. If whilst carrying out the check the inspector notices a serious defect which would make the car dangerous to drive, then they will issue a notice which prohibits the car being used. Once it has been made roadworthy the prohibition can be removed.
Note: I understand motorbikes falling into this category do not have to undergo a VIC inspection so will warrant close investigation and clarification of identity.
Category D Repairable salvage. Minimal damage, probably not structural, but insurer does not want to repair, even though it might be economic to do so. Often stolen and recovered after claim has been paid. Or it maybe a vehicle where parts are difficult to obtain so a quick repair is unlikely. Does not need VIC inspection to return to road. Notification will appear in your vehicle history check
Category X has been the subject of a claim but minor or very lightly damaged and required minimal repair work. It would not be recorded with the DVLA so would not appear in any Vehicle Data Check
not recorded - Not an official category, it simply means that there has not been an insurance claim, possibly only had third party insurance and damaged the vehicle themselves or don't know who caused the damaged so can not make a claim or may not even been insured, either way the DVLA will not know in these cases so will not be recorded and will not show on any Vehicle History Check
Taken from: Car Insurance 'Write Off' Categories
Category A: Scrap only - this vehicle should have been crushed. It should never reappear on the road and there are no economically salvageable parts. It is of value only for scrap metal - e.g. a totally burnt-out vehicle.
Category B: The bodyshell should have been crushed. The vehicle should never reappear on the road, but it can be broken for spare parts plus any residual scrap metal.
Category C: Vehicle extensively damaged and insurer has decided not to repair. The vehicle should have an independent inspection before being allowed back onto the road.
Category D: Vehicle damaged and insurer has decided not to repair.
Category F: Vehicle damaged by fire and insurer has decided not to repair.
Even these don't totally agree, I'd not heard of Cat F.
Also the writers have generalised & sensationalised in their full articles which I've supplied the links for.
As an example I'll use the Cup which only needed a respray due to vandal key scratches all over, no body damage apart from a minute dent near a lock(a complete new lock set was asked for to 'help' get the car written off as the owner was trying to sell & just wanted shot of the car) & a set of tyres as the vandal also darted each tyre.
I have another red V6 GTV which has faded paint so requires a respray, that too has a small
car park dent on the back wing behind the passenger door, & I'll fit a set of tyres.
Both very nice cars but the Cup had an insurance claim & was Cat C'd, whereas the other one is just being prepared for sale. Where's the difference?
I've seen some Cat D salvage cars for sale that have suffered severe accident damage whereas some Cat C's are only cosmetic. Check them out yourselves on Copart's & Bluecycle's salvage websites. There really isn't any consistency & there should be, IMO.