A car is essential for transportation, whether it be for work, your commute, or to run the kids to school. If you are looking for a quality car without an expensive price tag, you may want to buy a vehicle with a salvage title. By following a few pointers, you can get a great car at a fraction of the price you pay for a new or even second hand vehicle.
What is a salvage car?
A salvage car, or salvage-title car, is one that has suffered some sort of significant damage in the past. If the cost of repairing the car exceeds a certain percentage of the car’s value, an insurance company may decide that it is not worth the cost of repair.
In this case, a certificate is issued by the Motor Vehicle agency to indicate that the vehicle may not be driven without repair. Insurance companies will often sell a vehicle like this for parts, but they may also decide to sell it to a rebuild company.
If the car is repaired, the seller they can apply for a new title, but in most states, this title will indicate that the vehicle has previously been salvaged. Salvage cars often sell at 50 percent of their original price, which is why many individuals who want to go this route opt to purchase their vehicle from a salvage car auction.
Decide the type you want
There are two ways of buying a salvage vehicle. You can buy a vehicle in its original salvage state and repair the damage yourself, or you can have someone else repair it for you. Of course, you can also buy a ready-refurbished salvage vehicle.
If you’re buying a vehicle that has already been refurbished, you’ll need to make sure that it has passed the necessary inspections to gain it a clean title. Unrepaired vehicles are cheaper than refurbished ones, but it can sometimes work out more expensive overall to repair the car yourself.
Inspect the car
Before you buy a car, you need to know its exact state. Unless you’ve a lot of experience fixing up cars, it can help a lot to have a mechanic friend with you when you do this. Keep in mind that salvage cars haven’t always been in collisions or other road accidents. Damage from floods, hail, and vandalism can all result in a salvage title being issued.
Salvage titles do not always state what kind of damage has been done to the vehicle. The type of damage the car has suffered will make a difference to the amount of money you can expect to sink into your new vehicle, so it’s best to be cautious and do all you can to find out about its condition before you lay down your money.
Buy from a reputable organization
You can buy salvage cars from specialist dealers, from car salvage auctions, or even online. Many of these are well-established, reputable organizations, but you need to be sure to check online reviews or verify the business with the Better Business Bureau to see if there are any complaints lodged against dealers before you buy.
Check with your insurer
A car that has previously been salvaged can be difficult to insure. It’s worth checking with your insurer to make sure that you’ll be able to drive your car once you’ve bought it. Some insurers will offer insurance for liability only and not cover collisions. You may be able to negotiate for full cover, but this is often left to the discretion of the individual underwriter.
Buying a salvage car can require a bit more research and work than buying a regular secondhand car, but if you’re willing to do the work, you’ll be well rewarded for your efforts. Salvage auctions can be a great way to get a quality car at an amazing price.