Know About Salvage Titled Cars

Knowing what you’re getting into before buying a salvage titled car is important, for a variety of reasons. The deals can seem attractive, getting the car you’ve always wanted for a fraction of the Blue Book value. A salvage title is defined as title given a vehicle that has incurred damage 75% or more of its value. It is generally not considered safe or able to be driven, but that may vary depending on the car, and the reason it was 'totaled'. Sometimes, something as small as hail damage can total a car.

States differ in their use of salvage titles, several utilizing them to identify stolen vehicles. States also give warnings about buying restoration salvage cars. Online search can explain the title laws of your state, and help you get the proper title. Parts may be used or restored along with the vehicle, making their safety and utility questionable. A thorough inspection can ensure that all parts are in good working order. After you buy a salvaged car, your mechanic will be able to assist you in making sure that it's entirely road worthy. Know too, that a salvaged title car may be hard to sell again, and most reputable dealers will not accept a salvaged car as a trade in. Don’t try to pass the car off as a regular resell…it’s against the law and fraudulent to resell a car without sharing the fact that it had a salvage title. Titles can be changed in some states, however, from salvage titles to normal titles after they've been proven to be rebuilt.

A good way to avoid getting burned is to insist that the dealer for the auction show you what work’s been done on a salvaged/restored vehicle. Most states mandate that receipts for parts and labor be submitted before a salvage title can be issued. Another good tip is to get a CarFax Report. They provide information on the frame and airbags, for instance, which you might not otherwise be privy to. Frame damage is a serious matter, and you need to know what you’re getting into, after the sale. Damage to a frame may even be irreparable, and it certainly shortens the life and value of an automobile. An inspection is vital if you are going to commit to a salvage title car sale. Take the car to at least two state-certified inspection facilities and have everything from the hood to the tires inspected. The car might not be perfect, but you don’t want to get into anything you can’t at least fix on your own, or with your own mechanic. A vehicle that has serious problems may only be good for parts, or as an off-road vehicle.

Decide what is worth it to you to buy a salvaged titled car. If the car itself is a great deal, but needs some work, factor the cost of that work into your purchase before making a decision. A car that you pick up for $1000 but requires $4000 worth of work might not be in your budget and might even end up costing you even more. And remember that its money you might not ever recoup from a dealer (as a trade-in) or upon resale, when potential buyers find out it’s a salvage. It’s a good idea to take a second look, and decide what’s right for you.