Are Salvaged Title Cars Worth It?
Some insurance companies will only cover salvage vehicles for larger premiums (based on safety and other concerns), and others will pay out hardly anything on claims because they think the vehicle has no value. In the end, a salvage vehicle is only a deal if the buyer has done his or her homework and holds the insurer to a reasonable agreement.
Salvage title cars are almost never a good deal for resale. That’s because so many buyers are wary of purchases that can’t be normally valued. Online Blue Book sites won’t value salvage cars, because each one has a different history. Salvage title vehicles are also sometimes rebuilt with sub-par parts. All of this means buyers who want to get the most out of their salvage title cars will drive them until they are worn out.
Ways to Profit
Regardless of all of the above, there are some scenarios where a budget-minded individual can save on salvage title purchases. One way is to figure out insurance details up front, and get an insurer to cover the reduced value of the car in exchange for lower premiums. Another great way to save is to use a salvage vehicle for everyday commuting, while keeping those miles off of another new or highly valued vehicle. Keeping miles off of a vehicle is a significant investment in its future, as later on, the seller can get a great resale price based on low mileage for the model year.
Finding Gems in the Junkyard
If you’re trying your luck at buying with a salvage title, most experts will tell you it’s a risky business. You’re probably trying to find a vehicle that you can drive for several years, not an investment for resale. Here are some basic tips for a better chance at beating the risks of salvage title sales.
- Work the seller for information. Be aggressive about gathering information on how the car was wrecked, whether it was in a flood or collision, etc. This information is critical for evaluating possible damage to the electrical system and other car systems.
- Do a test drive. While you are driving the vehicle, get into all gears and speeds. Listen for any sounds that may indicate extreme wear on systems.
- Park and test. Park the vehicle in a clean area and make sure nothing is leaking. You’ll be able to spot oil leaks, radiator fluid leaks, and more.
- Talk to insurers. One of your biggest challenges will be getting the car or truck insured. Be looking at deals for getting coverage while thinking about buying.
- Dig around. Visually observe all areas of the car including the trunk, under the hood, and under mats or upholstery. You may be able to see if there is any flood or fire damage that has been covered up.
These are only some of the most basic things you can do as a car shopper. Buying a salvage title is always a risk, but sometimes, bargains can be found. Always be mindful of the challenge of getting insurance and doing the most thorough inspection possible.
What to Watch for in a Salvaged Title Car Sale
Generally speaking, you should never pay more than 50% of an identical used car’s value for the same type of salvage title vehicle this includes any repair costs.
What to Watch for at the Auction
Most salvage titles vehicles are offered for sale at auctions. Insurance companies take these types of vehicles to auction to be sold to the highest bidder. Bidders at these auctions usually include mechanics, car dealers and car enthusiasts. Most salvage title auction shoppers are rather experienced, and know what to look for. Therefore, you should be knowledgeable as well.
One of the first things you should consider is the type of damage that the vehicle has suffered. Always look for collision damage only. Never consider vehicles that have been in a fire or have experienced water or significant electrical damage. These types of vehicles will be very expensive to repair and restore, and are almost never worth the investment.
Also, you should have a good idea of what it’s going to cost to repair the vehicle if you’re the highest and successful bidder. Therefore, if you’re not experienced in estimating the price of body repairs and possible engine replacements, consider taking along someone that is. Even if you have to pay a modest fee as compensation for someone accompanying you, it may be money well spent.
Know When to Walk Away
When you are at the salvage title auction, never feel like you have to leave with something. It is always better to wait for the salvage title vehicle that makes the most sense for you. There will be other auctions and other salvage title vehicles available; therefore, be selective and choose the vehicle that will best fit your budget.
In addition, try to get as much information on the vehicles for sale as you can before the auction. Most auctions provide a listing of vehicles for sale. If they do, browse the listings early and note any vehicles that may be of particular interest to you. Then, use websites like CARFAX to get full history reports on the vehicle. Although you already know that it has a salvage title, these types of reports can give you more detailed information about how many owners the car has had and last actual known mileage. All of these facts can help you make a better informed decision when thinking of purchasing a salvage title vehicle.
Finding Salvage Title Cars for Sale
There are several sources for finding salvage title cars for sale. Salvage title vehicles can be found at local auctions, Internet websites as well as salvage yards or junkyards. A salvage title vehicle is a great way to save money, and finding one is not that difficult. Before you buy vehicle with a salvage title, you should know that you may need to do major repairs in order to get the vehicle to run properly. However, here’s a quick guide to help you find salvage title cars:
There are actually quite a few websites that help connect buyers to companies or brokers that sell salvage title vehicles. For example, websites like Salvage Direct offer vehicles with salvage titles for sale. You can search in your local area or search nationwide for salvage title cars that meet your search criteria.