Salvage Title Trucks for Sale

This is probably a good time to clear up what a salvage title actually means. As far as the insurer, it means that a vehicle would cost more to repair or restore than what it is actually worth. But that doesn't necessarily mean what first comes to mind (a vehicle badly mangled by collision damage).

Salvage title vehicles can fall into the following categories:

  • wrecked
  • rebuildable
  • project
  • flood damage
  • theft recovery

In most cases, these vehicles would still be repairable, for someone with the know-how and patience to take the job on.

Salvage Title Trucks
A salvage title truck can be a great deal for someone who needs a truck for construction, roofing, farm or ranch work and isn't especially concerned about the vehicle's looks. It's worth remembering that body work is very expensive, and that for an older truck with a low book value it may not take very much physical damage for the insurance company to declare it a total loss. Of course, things like frame damage or steering-gear damage can be a deal breaker; a truck with a badly bent frame will never drive or handle right, and frame-straightening work can become expensive very quickly. Also be mindful of safety issues in a vehicle with collision damage, such as brake systems, airbags, seatbelts, body sensors or warning indicators. Some of these issues might not be so pressing, though, depending on what you want to do with the truck; a truck that's going to take a beating as a farm or ranch truck (or a hunting-lease truck) may seldom even see the highway.

The same applies for flood- or storm-damaged vehicles, which may forever present electrical problems for the buyer. Look for water damage under the dash, under the hood, under the seats, interior rust or musty, and mildew odors. VIN numbers of storm-damaged cars can be found from the National Insurance Crime Bureau. "Storm damage" can also mean superficial hail dings on a late-model vehicle, which would still be enough for an insurer to declare the truck a total loss while the truck is still fine mechanically.

That being said, there are outstanding deals to be had in salvage vehicle auctions and those deals are available now. It's important, of course, to know what you'll be getting into -- if you're not sure about it, it'd be a good idea to have a mechanic friend look at the auction listing before bidding. Also remember that you'll be bidding tooth-and-nail with many others interested in the exact same thing. Don't get carried away and spend more than you can afford!

Tracking down parts can be a problem on an older truck, but with some work, patience and time you can have an excellent deal on a truck that can still give years of service. Just do your homework, be aware of what you're getting into and your rebuild project won't turn into a money pit of a vehicle that will continue to have problems for the rest of its life.