When you’re looking for repairable cars for sale through online auction, it’s important to know what you’re looking at. Often, you’re buying a vehicle that’s located far away from you, and you can’t look at it in person. While the majority of vehicles that are sold through insurance companies are listed in the condition they were received and have a pretty clear and visible indication of the damage they received, there are other companies that have repairable salvage cars for sale, and sometimes, there’s a little more than meets the eye. First and foremost:

Repairable Cars That Require Extra Attention

While most vehicles that have been in a front or rear end collision have recognizable and clear damage, there are a few damage types that have some caveats. Any vehicle that’s listed as “Water/Flood Damage,” for example, may have a lot of problems even though it looks like it’s in perfect physical condition. Electrical components can be corroded, interior metal panels can be rusted through, and so forth. Even if they’re marked as Run & Drive, that doesn’t mean that everything functions the way that it should. Don’t be fooled by the vehicle’s appearance.

Any vehicle marked with “Frame Damage”definitely needs an inspection. If you’re expecting a damage but repairable car for sale, minor frame issues can be worked around or even fixed. But if the frame is significantly compromised, the vehicle may be completely unsafe to drive under any circumstances. Again, this requires some pretty technical know-how to get an accurate assessment of the extent of the damage to the vehicle. If you aren’t car-savvy, hire somebody who is to look at the vehicle.

One of the trickiest, though, are cars or other damaged salvage vehicles marked with “Partial Repair.”

Typically, cars marked with “Partial Repair” have visibly poor attempts to repair damage. Without conducting an in-person inspection or having one done by a reliable third party, the photos alone cannot provide an accurate representation of the damage the vehicle has sustained. Body panels on a car may have been replaced, and mechanical or structural damage that remains is obscured from view. The only way to really gauge the damage of a vehicle that’s been partially repaired is with a thorough, in-person inspection.

Conduct an Inspection

AutoBidMaster members can visit yards to inspect vehicles in person. To enter a yard you need a valid, government issued photo ID, your AutoBidMaster bidder number, your AutoBidMaster account login and password, and a $25.00 entrance fee. Vehicles are available for inspection up until one hour before the live auction starts. If you can’t inspect the vehicle in person, there are lots of third-party services that will inspect the vehicle on your behalf and give you an accurate assessment of damage.Regardless of the damage type, you should inspect every vehicle either in person or by a third party before making a purchase. Always remember to get a vehicle history report through ClearVin.com so you can make the most informed buying decision possible.

Now that you know what to look for, start searching through our repairable cars for sale and start bidding!