Should I Buy A Car With A Salvage Title?

By Kimberlea Buczeke - April 21st 2017
1 comment

car accident salvage title

Buying a car with a salvage title can be risky business. The first thing to understand is what a salvage title is and how it affects you and your vehicle.

What does a salvage title mean?

A salvage title is applied to your vehicle when your car is involved in an accident that declares the damages to be more than the value of the vehicle. This could be due to something basic, like cosmetic damage, or something extreme, like flooding or fire. Your insurance company will label the car a “total loss,” which gets us the commonly used phrase, “my car is totaled!"

The insurance provider will take the vehicle and, occasionally, have the vehicle rebuilt or fixed. Once the car is rebuilt, it is given a “salvage title.”

Buying or selling with a salvage title.

It’s important to understand what was “totaled” when the vehicle was damaged. Cosmetic damages can be expensive and easily total a car. However, costly internal damages can have lasting effects on a vehicle and can make it expensive in the long run.

Salvage titles are usually not valued online and most likely won’t be accepted for trade-ins. If you’re looking to sell the car, a private sale is your best option. This, therefore, makes a salvage titled car difficult to sell, which could deter many from making the purchase in the first place.

It’s a very risky bet to purchase a vehicle with a salvage title because of the many unknown variables, many of which won’t be discovered until the vehicle is in your possession.

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Use caution when purchasing a car with a salvage title due to the many problems that could arise and the difficult resell associated. When dealing with a private sale, always be extremely cautious when purchasing and ensure the vehicle does not have a salvage title associated with it. Keywords to look for in the title include: rebuilt, totaled, salvage, reconditioned or warranty voided or returned.

RepairPal is working to fix an industry not known for trust and assurance and arm consumers with individual knowledge when it comes to getting their cars repaired.

We want to make the auto repair process less stressful and much more trustworthy. Our website features our Fair Price Estimator, eliminating that impending “am I being ripped-off?” feeling, while also providing matches to Certified shops, guaranteed to do the work at that fair price with quality parts and a trained, awesome staff.

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1 User Comment

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A used car w/ a salvage title can be a very good deal, especially if you plan to drive it until the wheels come off. Just try not to spend too much in case things go wrong.