Is it Worth Buying a Salvage Title Vehicle?

Very frequently, car buyers are willing to obtain a used car and look through different advertisements. Sometimes, you can come across advertisements that offer very alluring deals. It is hard to believe that this deal is a reality, as the price of the vehicle is extremely low.  However, in most cases, the reality may fall short of your expectations, when you notice 2 words, ‘’salvage title’’.  What does salvage title mean? Is it worth buying salvage title vehicle? Here you will find out the answers to these questions.

What is a salvage title?

It is worth to mention that sometimes a vehicle experiences an accident, is stolen or weather-damaged.  At this point, in order to repair the vehicle, a great amount of financial means are necessary. In other words, the costs of repairs are more that the vehicle itself. For this reason, the car insurance company mainly chooses to total it and take possession.  Later, the insurer usually sells the car at auction to either rebuilders or salvage yards. This vehicle gets a salvage title to inform car buyers that the car in question is declared a total loss.

In fact, the majority of the US states have their laws, which aim to set a threshold on the exact amount of damage that is necessary for declaring a vehicle totaled. Typically, it is between fifty-one and eighty percent of the vehicle’s real value. To put simply, a salvage title vehicle serves as a warning sign that the car was once deemed beyond repair. You should also know that sometimes the salvage title also refers to stolen cars. However, when thinking about salvage title vehicle, the first thing that comes to consumers’ mind is a damaged car.

Should I buy a salvage title vehicle?

It is true that nowadays a salvage title vehicle is an inexpensive option. This means that you can obtain the latest model of your preferred vehicle at surprisingly low price. Isn’t this an affordable variant for those car buyers who have limited financial means? Well, not exactly. The reason is that purchasing a vehicle with ‘’a dark past’’ means taking a serious risk. Most probably you will have to spend a considerable sum of money to fix the vehicle’s issues. It may have faced water damage or accidents. These vehicles can cause a lot of headaches later. So, before agreeing to a too-good-to-be-true deal, you should have a clear idea of the risks associated with these cars.

 Different types of damage

As a matter of fact, one uses the term ‘’salvage title’’ to refer to cars that have experienced various damages.

  • Hail damage. When the state lacks ‘’hail damage’’ designation, vehicles that are damaged because of the hail just get a salvage title.
  • When the car faces wrongdoers’ actions and this causes a grave damage, it becomes a salvage title vehicle.  The reality is that there is no specification in the title related to vandalism in any states.
  • Flood damage. If a car has experienced flood damage, then it gets a salvage title. Certain American states particularly call out flood damage on a vehicle’s title. Others prefer simply using ‘’salvage title’’ with no specification.
  • Theft recovery. When thieves steal the car and it disappears for some time frame, the insurance company pays off the car.  In case the vehicle finally appears, the insurance company has the right to sell it to salvagers. So, what they do is replacing certain missing parts. Later, the vehicle gets a salvage title in some US states.

Non-Repairable versus salvage title

There is a certain difference between these terms:  non-reparable and the salvage title.  A vehicle that is extremely damaged and is no longer operable gets ‘’a non-reparable’’ designation. In some US states, it is a ‘’junk title’’.

Minimizing the risks of purchasing a vehicle that may let you down

Generally speaking, there are certain salvage title cars that may have more issues than others. Here are a few effective steps that car shopper can take to avoid obtaining a vehicle that may cause headaches.

Asking a reliable mechanic to inspect the vehicle

It is a must-to-take step if you are considering the option of obtaining a salvage title vehicle. A car professional will notice many details related to the vehicle’s repairs that you may probably fail to do. A good mechanic will obviously spot any grave issues that the dealer may try to conceal, like, frame damage.

 Buying the car from a repairer that has a good reputation  

The best and useful tool for seeking a reputable repairer is exploring review websites. Here a lot of car shoppers share their experiences to help others. Don’t forget that buying a salvage title car from someone who lacks a track record is very dangerous.

Requesting the original repair estimate

Thanks to the original repair estimate, you will have a clear idea about the level of the vehicle’s damage. It will clarify exactly which parts of the vehicle the repairer replaced and show how the damage took place.

Checking the VIN of the vehicle

There was a certain period of time when it wasn’t so easy to check the history of the vehicle. But things have changed for the better thanks to improved record collection and the Internet. With the help of the vehicle’s VIN, which serves as the DNA of the automobile, obtaining this information became very simple. Consider using the services of AutoCheck and Carfax that can provide you with detailed reports.  Furthermore,  it contains a description of the car, as well as the number of former owners, information concerning accidents, etc.  If you are eager to know about the recalls for any used vehicle, use the free tool of NHTSA.

Are you about to obtain a salvage title vehicle? In this case, you should take into account all the dangers before making the final decision. Although the affordable cost of salvage vehicles attracts a lot of consumers, purchasing these vehicles is very risky. The reason is that you may end up spending more money on repairs than the actual price of the car.