Rebuildable Car Dealers

Many online rebuildable car auctions will categorize their wrecked-car inventory something like this:

  • Lot Drives - a vehicle that can be driven around the parking lot, but isn't legal to be driven on highways until all repairs are completed
  • Good Airbags - a car that was in a collision, but at a low enough speed that its airbags were not deployed.
  • Rollover - a vehicle that has been rolled over in a collision and has damage to the sides, posts, roof and glass
  • Light Rollover - a vehicle that was rolled over in glass or mud, and still retains some good glass and has light damage to the roof and posts
  • Recovered Theft - a vehicle that was declared a total by the insurance company due to missing parts or possibly damage
  • Drive Home/Ready to Go - a vehicle that may still be slightly damaged, but is still roadworthy
  • Recovered Theft - a vehicle that was recovered from a theft with parts missing or stripped
  • Fire Damage -a vehicle with damage due to fire under the hood, in the interior or anywhere else

In some states, the salvage title (or "rebuildable salvage title") is issued by the state after a Department of Motor Vehicles salvage inspection. Other states (like Illinois, Texas, Indiana, Missouri, Vermont and several others) don't issue salvage titles to vehicles.

Bigger dealers will buy cars from auctions and sales nationwide, then have them transported. Typically, cars are purchased by repair shops, brokers, dealers and individuals. Often after a flood, an insurance adjuster will look at a few cars from a lot and inspect the flood damage, then declare all the cars totaled. Flood damaged cars can be a good deal, but you'll need to inspect carefully under the dash and hood. Severe water damage can mean a lifetime of electrical problems and mildew/mold/odor.

Online brokers can give car enthusiasts buyer's accounts that enable them to bid on the best rebuildable cars available online. After auction, buyers at Auto Bid Master can also have their purchased shipped to them.

Many car auction sites that sell rebuildable salvage cars also sell clean-title used cars with no damage. Many also sell parts (new or from wrecked cars) to help with the rebuild job. A car that's been properly repaired by a mechanic or repair facility will usually be as safe and reliable as a car that's never been in a collision. Also, remember that a late-model car with low miles will usually be in above-average to excellent condition before the collision, reducing the potential number of headaches in the rebuild process.

Things that a car auction broker site cannot do:

  • Sellers will generally not provide repair estimates. They will usually be happy to cooperate with anyone who wants to inspect a car prior to buying and rebuilding it, or answering any questions about the vehicle's history.
  • Sellers will not provide a warranty. All rebuildable vehicles will be sold as-is.