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Old Apr 22nd, 2014, 11:47 AM
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Would you buy a Cat C Mini?

Hey all

Need some advice... Would you buy a Cat C Mini?

We are looking to get a second car and have decided to get a Cooper S (after having sold our last one in Aug 2013 and missed it soooo much!).

I have found the perfect one, all the kit we want, right colour, right wheels, great mileage etc etc.... It ticks all the boxes, but just realised it's a Cat C

I am really two sided about this. One side of me is saying NO and the other is thinking, well we're planning to hold on to it and not sell it, its got everything we want and I'm presuming it would have been checked before being allowed back on the road? It's got a full MOT and service history...

If we look for the same spec, age and mileage then it gets completely out our price range. We're basically looking for a 2003ish Cooper S, gunmetal grey or black, tinted, decent wheels, sun roof, harmon kardon and with less than 100k mileage for around £3500... The one I've found has 55k mileage!!!

Help! x
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Old Apr 22nd, 2014, 01:58 PM
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My Mini R50 is what you would call in the UK a Cat C vehicle, I did some research on the vehicle prior to purchase and found that it had suffered hail damage in 2010 and was an economic write off for Insurance reasons. The roof was repaired and repainted with only a couple of small hail dints that can only be seen when the car is clean and polished and in the correct light. Aside from that, the car is fine with a recent replacement of the PSU cooling fan which was a 10 min job in the driveway.

Any second hand car can have issues and Cat C isn't a reason to not purchase if it has since been re registered with the appropriate authority as it would have had to have been inspected to allow it back on the road. It may have been a Cat C for the sake off a couple of hundred quid which is not a lot when you consider a lot of cost involved is labour.

My father had a car written off last year for the sake of A$400 over the deemed market value by the Insurance company, due to his age, we decided to accept the write off as he isn't capable of driving safely now however, if his age and capability wasn't an issue, the car would have been worth spending the extra A$400 to have it repaired.

As long as the car is structurally sound and the engine and gearbox etc are sound, I would consider it but negotiate the price hard as our version of Cat C in Australia can affect the resale value and a lot of car yards wont touch them as a trade in.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Car_check on Wikipedia gives you an insight to Cat C and the reasons for its write off which is mostly economic from the perspective of the Insurance company.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2014, 02:17 PM
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You need to find out why its a Cat C write off and what the actual damage was that caused it to be.
If its only minor/cosmetic and it was mainly the labour cost that wrote it off, or whether it was a serious body damage accident that the cost of parts and labour well exceeded its value, and that might be well avoided if it was repaired on a budget rather than using genuine new parts and realignment jigged?
It will still put quite a lot of people off when you come to sell it on next time though if its recorded as a C.
Not sure I would want one unless it was repaired to a very high standard and the car is a high value one or particularly rare, which the vast majority of MINIs arent.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2014, 03:25 PM
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Thanks for the info!

I have asked the garage for more info. He said it was hit from behind and there's no evidence that it ever happened. I asked for paperwork to find out exactly what had to be fixed but he doesn't have anything or any other information than that.

Is there anywhere you can find out exactly what the damage was and the extent of the repair? If it's just a case of having a new bumper and a new paint job, I'm quite keen!
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Old Apr 23rd, 2014, 01:27 AM
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The only thing you can really do is to have it inspected by an authorised vehicle inspector/engineer as to its roadworthiness. There should be somewhere you could find out the damage the vehicle sustained and if it is still registered, then one would think that it has already been inspected and deemed safe for road use.

Try Vehicle Inspectorate Enquiries: 0870 6060 440 or DVLA Customer Enquiries: 0870 607 6688, they may be able to help

Consider that a vehicle can be damaged and deemed an economic write off by the insurance company and the vehicle goes onto a register as a Cat C write off and the associated stigma of Cat C.

Then consider an identical car with identical damage that was repaired in a different location with the repair bill being equal to or under the vehicle valuation, said vehicle is repaired to the same standard and put back on the road with no Cat C listing, not on any register and no stigma attached and unless you are told it was in an accident, you would never know.
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