A4 TQS - can I get a CAT B re-categorised


Registered User
Looking for some advice as I've just been told my TQS must be scrapped.

Long story short, the car was involved in a rear end shunt in 2014. My insurers at the time said that it was beyond economical repair and therefore it was to be scrapped. I never received any other paperwork stating a category, just 2 letters from them as we debated the buy back value of the car. As stated, they were happy for me to buy the car back and I got the work done myself.

I've spent a good whack on it in this time inc whole new B12 suspension, reconditioned wheels, upgraded brakes, custom exhaust amongst other things.

It's had 3 MOT since then and I've had the 4 wheel alignment done twice now and it's straight and true.

After getting stopped by plod a few weeks ago, they said it was registered on their system as scrapped, I took pods advise and wrote to the DVLA. They've just replied saying the car is a CATB and therefore requires immediate scrapping and that my original insurance company should not have sold it back to me.

In discussions with my original insurers (SABRE) today, I asked whether they'd consider re-categorising the car...to which they replied 'no'. They did however say that if I was able to produce paperwork to the effect that it's still roadworthy and not scrap material then they 'may' reconsider it.

According to the DVLA, the original insurer is the only one who can re-categorise it...my current insurer can't.

I'm totally gutted and just can't bring myself to scrap it...or am I being daft.

Option 1: Just cut my loses and go find a new car whilst scraping this one...I'm presuming there's some reasonable value in some of the upgrades I've done.
Option 2: Find somewhere local who inspect the car and produce whatever documentation I require.

If I go for option 1, I'l be sticking with the B5 but either go for a TQS avant or S4 avant.

Any advise would be most welcome.


"Stick a V8 in it!"
Staff member
VCDS Map User
CatB is "for parts only". Your perfectly entitled to buy it back and dismantle it for parts yourself, but the shell cant be put back on the road. Theres nothing you can do to re-register it. Strip off your nice parts and find a new shell.

While yes, the insurer could, in theory, change it, they arent going to take the risk that some car they wrote off 4 years ago is now somehow roadworthy. If it had been noticed at the time, you might have had a chance.

You're lucky you havent had another incident in it, as the insurers would have washed their hands of it.


Registered User
I thought only certain registered breakers were even allowed to deal with Cat B cars. So how the insurance company could have even sold it back to you is a mystery.

Is it at all possible the old insurance company made a clerical error, and reported the car to the DVLA as the wrong category? Unlikely, but maybe worth asking them how you were allowed to buy it from them if it had been made Cat B.


"Stick a V8 in it!"
Staff member
VCDS Map User
MOT is a basic roadworthyness test. You could happily MOT a cut and shut. Doesnt imply its safe.

As a business, with the associated liability, it seems extremely unlikely that they're going to recategorise a car 3 years later. They have literally no idea whats happened in the intervening years, perhaps its a ringer or has been poorly repaired from a serious accident. Unless the original case notes or some other documented internal evidence happened to say it was supposed to be written off as C or D, and its been put thru as B by mistake, then i dont think you'll ever get them to change it.

No matter how much proof you have.


B5 1.9TDi AFN
I'd like to think a decent MOT tester would pick up on an unsafe cut and shut.

Agreed the insurance company will want to wash their hands of it, so if there is any chance of getting it re-catogorised then it will need to be examined, but by whom I'm not sure. Maybe one of their own people, if as said they don't just wash their hands of it. Odd that (presumably) that when the OP has insured it in the last couple of years that it hasn't flagged up.