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Understanding written-off codes

Get help understanding what the written-off codes mean when you've done a PPSR car search.

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What is a write-off?

A vehicle is described as written-off when it has been so badly damaged that it's no longer safe or economical to repair. There are two types of written-off cars; statutory write-off and repairable write-off

Statutory write-off

Statutory write-offs are unable to be repaired and can only be used as spare parts. A car is generally classed as a statutory write-off because it would be unsafe to repair it. This might be due to structural damage (like a bent chassis) or extensive damage.

If you buy a car that's a statutory write-off, you won't be able to repair it or get it road registered.

Repairable write-off

Repairable write-offs are generally classed as a write-off because the repairs needed are likely to cost more than the market value of the car (like hail damage). In some states and territories, repairable write-offs can be repaired to a particular standard, assessed and re-registered.

Check with your local road transport authority on how they treat these cars before purchasing a repairable write-off.

Understand the codes on your PPSR car search

The written-off information can be broken down into three parts, with each part represented by a different code:

  • Incident type - described by letters D,F,H,I,M,W
  • Damage location - described by numbers 1-46 and
  • Damage severity - described by letters A-P.

The information about a car's written-off status comes from a database called the National Exchange of Vehicle and Driver Information System (NEVDIS). This database isn't managed by the PPSR, so we aren't able to change or give any more detail about the information that's provided under NEVDIS in your search result.

For more information about the details of the write-off, contact the seller of the vehicle or your state or territory's road transport authority.

Incident type

Code

Type of incident

D

Dismantled - Legitimate removal of components for use as parts.

F

Fire - Damage caused by combustion.

H

Hail - Damage caused by hail stones.

I

Malicious/Vandalism/Stripped - Intentional damage, for example broken door locks, glass window or windows, paint, scratched or stripped of all or a combination of interior and exterior body parts.

W

Water - Damage caused by water (fresh or salt) such as a storm, river or flood.

Damage location

Vehicle locations illustrated for damage location codes 1-13
Code Location Type of vehicle Code Location Type of vehicle Code Location Type of vehicle
1 Passenger front Motor vehicle 17 Chassis/structural rails (passenger) Motor vehicle 33 Axle housing Motor vehicle
2 Driver front Motor vehicle 18 Floor pan (driver rear) Motor vehicle 34 Suspension (passenger front) Motor vehicle
3 Driver side Motor vehicle 19 Floor pan (driver front) Motor vehicle 35 Suspension (driver front) Motor vehicle
4 Driver rear Motor vehicle 20 Floor pan (passenger rear) Motor vehicle 36 Suspension (passenger rear) Motor vehicle
5 Passenger rear Motor vehicle 21 Chassis/structural rails (driver) Motor vehicle 37 Suspension (driver rear) Motor vehicle
6 Passenger side Motor vehicle 22 A pillar passenger Motor vehicle 38 Airbag front Motor vehicle
7 Engine Motor vehicle 23 A pillar driver Motor vehicle 39 Airbag side Motor vehicle
8 Roof Motor vehicle 24 B pillar passenger Motor vehicle 40 Airbag curtain Motor vehicle
9 Interior Motor vehicle 25 B pillar driver Motor vehicle 41 Seat belt pre-tensioner Motor vehicle
10 Front Caravan / trailer / motorbike 26 C pillar passenger Motor vehicle 42 Battery Pack NSW heavy vehicles only
11 Rear Caravan / trailer 27 C pillar driver Motor vehicle 43 Tow Point NSW heavy vehicles only
12 Left rear Motor bike 28 D pillar passenger Motor vehicle 44 Auxiliary Equipment NSW heavy vehicles only
13 Right rear Motor bike 29 D pillar driver Motor vehicle 45 Hydraulic or other Lifting Equipment NSW heavy vehicles only
14 Whole vehicle Motor vehicle 30 Engine block (cracked, fractured) Motor vehicle 46 Rollover Protective Structure NSW heavy vehicles only
15 Floor pan (passenger front) Motor vehicle 31 Transmission case Motor vehicle      
16 Fire wall Motor vehicle 32 Differential case Motor vehicle      

Damage severity

Code Severity of damage Code Severity of damage Code Severity of damage
A Heavy panel G Minor mechanical damage M Water (fresh)
B Light panel H Major stripping N Burnt/blistered
C Heavy structural I Minor stripping O Smoke and heat
D Light structural J Major vandalism P Minor smoke
E Unrepairable K Minor vandalism    
F Major mechanical damage L Water (salt)    

 

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