Salvage Titles Explained

You’re perusing a used-car site online when a car catches your eye. The vehicle has a price that seems too good to be true. You start to get excited but then see two words in small print: salvage title. This special title indicates that an automobile has sustained serious damage from a collision, weather conditions, theft or other incident.

A salvage car can look fine on the outside but may have significant damage under the hood. When a vehicle is damaged beyond repair, insurance companies deem it a total loss. Read on to learn about the pros and cons of this special title and what you should do with a savage title vehicle.

A salvage title means that the car cannot be driven or registered in its current condition. Typically, the owner or insurance company takes ownership of the automobile. In some cases, it’s possible to rebuild these cars and make them roadworthy once more, but it’s often expensive and the cost can be more than the car is worth.

Fortunately, there are some pros of salvage title automobiles. For instance, they are sold at a reduced cost compared to their clear-titled counterparts. If you’re looking for a bargain, you’ll likely get a significant discount when buying a salvage title car. They can also be a treasure trove of spare parts that you could sell on the market for a profit or use for personal repairs to other vehicles. Moreover, there are many salvage title cars that have minimal damage. These vehicles may have suffered minor cosmetic issues that could be easily fixed.

What are the cons of salvage title cars? This type of title is a red flag since it alerts potential buyers that a vehicle sustained damage. Moreover, once an insurance company puts a salvage title on a car, it’s there forever — unless the car is rebuilt. The vehicle must pass a state inspection to qualify for a rebuilt title. Even then, though, the automobile’s value will be much lower than a comparable car with a clean title. For these reasons, it may be difficult to sell.

Not sure what to do with your salvage title car? Here are some options. First, get an original repair estimate from the insurance company and get the vehicle inspected by a mechanic. This will tell you the cost of the damage should you choose to fix it. Then, if you want to get rid of the vehicle, consider selling it to an auto buyer or junk yard. You can even donate it or sell it to an individual buyer for parts. To learn more about salvage title cars, see the accompanying resource.