What are the benefits of buying a car with a salvage title?

If you’re looking for a car to buy on the cheap, chances are you’ve run across vehicles with salvage titles. You can often find salvage cars for sale at online car auction websites alongside listings for other used cars. It’s OK to buy a car with a salvage title, but there are definitely some pros and cons for you to consider. Here’s what you should know when you’re looking at purchasing a salvaged car.

Why does a car get a salvage title?

One of the most common questions you may want answered when looking at cars with salvage titles is why cars get them in the first place. Simply put, an automobile with a salvage title has been deemed by the insurance company to need repairs more costly than the value of the vehicle itself. It’s a misrepresentation to think that this always means that the car has been totaled in an accident, though. In fact, many salvage titles are vehicles that have not been in major collisions. Some factors that may have affected the vehicle’s valuation are flood and hail damage, as well as vandalism or even theft recovery. Each of these could contribute to the car in question receiving a salvage title, which is different from a car with a “non-repairable” or “junk” title. It’s a common misconception that a salvage title and a junk title are synonymous; however, if the car is a salvage vehicle, you still may have reasons to consider purchasing it.

What are the benefits of buying a car with a salvage title?

First and foremost, the biggest benefit of purchasing a car with a salvage title is to save money. Often, their prices are considerably lower than other used vehicles on the market in the same class, and for budget-conscious buyers, salvage titles can offer major savings. Depending on why the car received a salvage designation, you could be looking at a car priced up to 40 percent less than similar vehicles with a clean title. Another benefit of buying a car with a salvage title is if you are keen with repair work or are looking for a car that offers you spare parts for other projects.

Whether or not you’re looking at the vehicle for parts or the road, it’s always a good idea to have it inspected, and to make sure that you’re purchasing it from a well-known seller. You may also want to obtain the repair estimate that was originally provided for the vehicle you’re buying, because it can provide greater detail about the car’s history. This is yet another benefit of buying a car with a salvage title. Their history of repairs is usually far more detailed than other cars, which gives you a better picture of the vehicle you’re buying.

Can you reverse a salvage title?

One of the biggest hurdles you’ll face with a salvage title vehicle is getting the car insured. Insurance laws vary from state to state, so it’s best to check with your local bureau of motor vehicles to find out how and when to insure salvage cars before you buy one. In most cases, you need to prove that the vehicle has been completely repaired and properly inspected before you can drive it on the road. It’s important to factor this into your purchasing cost, because you’ll want to make sure to budget for a towing service to bring your car from the lot to a mechanic. Once it’s at the mechanic to receive repairs, it’s important that you carefully document the work being done on your vehicle. Take photos and hold on to all repair documents so that you can reference them when your car gets inspected. Make sure that you account for inspection fees as well as re-titling fees for once you’ve passed the inspection, and be prepared to fill out a good deal of paperwork, too. Putting in this work is paramount to having your vehicle pass inspection and ultimately getting it on the road.

While not the most traditional approach to saving money on a car, you have several reasons to consider buying a car with a salvage title. Whether for personal driving or to use for parts, a salvage car auction can offer you some incredible deals. Go in with the right information, and you’ll be sure to make a great purchase.

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