Firstly, what does Cat D mean – It means the car has been written off in an accident.
Category D write off infers that the insurance company consider it uneconomical to repair but one that could be repaired and returned to the road given cost, time and technical ability.
Category A and B should never be returned to the road. Category B write off is one that is so badly damaged it can only be used for the salvaging of spare parts. Category A is one that is sent to the crusher.
It is worth noting that a Cat D write off isn’t always a big issue. I would be more inclined to walk away if the Cat D was recorded while the car was relatively new e.g. a £50k car new that is a few months old and has been declared as written off by the insurance company will most likely have hefty repair work.
If, however the £50k car is now only worth £5k 10 years on and is a BMW (for example) then labour at £150+ per hour, a new front bumper, paint and some lights could nearly equal the value of the car. It’s then written off as not economical for the insurance company. Cat D can also apply to stolen recovered cars that have not been damaged.
Example of a worthy review given today’s Porsche 993 prices is a 78k miler 993 C2 in silver for just under £13k on Pistonheads. No paperwork but worth some digging.
Start with an HPI check. Investigate further by phoning dealerships and head office to get some history. Try calling MOT stations if you can find some clues of previous owners addresses on the V5. Have a specialist inspect the car.