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Publish Date - May 26, 2022

Author: Oscar Sanders

Categories:   Tips & Insights For Car Buying    Buying & Selling Cars    Useful Automotive Information   

What to Know About Buying a Salvage Car

Salvage cars can save you a lot of money, but they often require a lot of troubleshooting, repairs, and inspections before you can get a clear title and insurance. Therefore, you need to determine whether the deal will save you money after additional expenses.

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Salvage cars can save you a lot of money, but they often require a lot of troubleshooting, repairs, and inspections before you can get a clear title and insurance. Therefore, you need to determine whether the deal will save you money after additional expenses.

Depending on the condition of the salvage car, you can get a great automobile at a fraction of its actual value. Nevertheless, due diligence is necessary to avoid disappointments.

1. Consider the Extent of the Damage

Typically, cars are considered salvage after an accident, and the insurer concludes that repair costs are more than the vehicle's exact value. However, some cars that get damaged in a fire, flood, and theft or bank repossess may also be considered salvage in some states.

If the salvage car you intend to buy is damaged, it's vital to consider the extent of this damage. For instance, if the vehicle's interior is destroyed by fire, you can fix the issue with carpet and seats easily found in a salvage yard and restore it to a pristine condition.

There are good, not-so-bad, and bad crash damages. Minor body damage or replaceable parts are easily repairable, but when the frame is in bad shape, you may not be able to restore the car. If you aren’t sure how to dispose of certain parts or components, you should work with a trash collection professional to determine the safest method of disposal.

2. Determine the Purchase Terms and Expenses Outside of Repairs

When planning to buy a salvage car, it's essential to consider aspects like financing, registration, and warranty. While it's not common to find a salvage vehicle with a warranty, some dealers often offer a limited warranty on specific vehicles.

Most salvage dealers demand cash payment, and it's hard for a lending institution to underwrite a loan to purchase a salvage vehicle unless you are willing to provide collateral for a personal loan. In addition, getting insurance for a salvage car can be difficult unless you can prove the car is drivable. Still, you may only qualify for damage and public liability insurance. Most insurance providers will not pay more than 80% of the salvage vehicle value in case you get into an accident and file a compensation claim.

Ideally, your vehicle should pass appropriate inspections to determine if it's as good as any roadworthy vehicle. In addition, authorities require all salvage cars to be inspected by licensed repair shops or police officers before registration.

3. Pre-Purchase and Post-Purchase Inspections

It's always prudent to have a salvage car inspected by an expert from a reliable repair shop with zero ties to the dealer. In fact, buying a salvage vehicle without prior inspection is the perfect recipe for trouble.

A thorough inspection gives you peace of mind and helps you estimate the amount you expect to spend on repairs, especially when the car has been rebuilt but needs additional work. Ideally, you should identify a repair shop that can handle the reconstruction work and have them perform the inspection to ensure you are on the same page. While inspections can be expensive, you can recoup the money back. All you need to do is identify additional faults that a dealer has left out and ask for a price reduction.

Damaged vehicles pose dangers to drivers, motorists, and the general public. Before you get a clear title for a salvage vehicle, it's necessary to complete the repairs and go through an inspection. In most states, it's mandatory to have additional paperwork that details the specific damages and repair work. Therefore, it's best to check with the DMV in your state to ensure compliance.

Conclusion

Salvage cars can offer great value for money, but you need to do your homework to ensure you're getting the real deal. Regardless of the physical condition, it's prudent to perform thorough inspections to determine if the price is fair and the potential costs of rebuilding the vehicle.