How to Buy a Salvage Car at an Auction House

Buying a new car is out of reach for many, especially given the exorbitant rates at which the vehicles are priced. Taking a loan to source the required funds is not advisable either, as this results in years of loan repayments. For this reason, you should look for more viable options that won’t burn a hole in your pocket.

Buying a salvage car is one such option. Online auction houses that specialize in wrecked cars have popped up all over in the past decade, owing mainly to the popularity of these vehicles. The unique selling point of these wrecked cars for sale is their price, which is usually a fraction of the total cost of a new car.

This write-up includes vital and comprehensive information regarding salvage vehicles, so go ahead and read on for the latest information.

Salvage Cars: The Concept Defined

Salvage cars are damaged vehicles that have been declared “totaled” by an insurance company. This means that the provider has written-off the value of the vehicle. This is done when the cost of repair exceeds a certain percentage of the car’s value (generally 75-90 percent). Such cars are declared as a total loss and are subsequently branded as salvage vehicles. It’s important to know that such vehicles cannot be driven, sold or registered in their present state. You, as the owner, are required to refurbish the car, make any necessary repairs and fulfill certain legalities before you are able to get the salvage title removed.

Different Types of Damage

A car incurs damage for many reasons, and being involved in a collision is just one of them. Many other factors that can turn your efficiently running car into a salvage vehicle are:

• Flood damage: This is one of the most common reasons that a vehicle earns itself a salvage title. After the hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, lots of vehicles received salvage titles. This is because the water that pervades the car’s body can cause serious damage to various mechanisms and parts. You should therefore exercise the utmost caution when buying such a car and check its interior for any signs of moisture or salt deposit.

• Hail damage: Hailstorms can cause extreme damage to vehicles. Some states provide specific hail damage designations to cars, while others simply assign a salvage title. When buying wrecked cars for sale, it is advisable that you conduct a detailed inspection regarding the fitness of the body, as hail can cause permanent dents to the frame. Also, make it a point to ensure that any spare parts that will be needed are available before bidding on the vehicle.

• Recovered vehicles: Insurance companies generally pay-off the owner of a stolen vehicle after it remains unrecovered for a long period of time. In the case that it’s recovered on a future date, the insurance company will sell it to a buyer who will repair any damages that have been done to the vehicle. Some states like Arizona, New York, New Mexico, etc. brand these vehicles as salvage ones.

• Vandalism: A car may be awarded a salvage title if it gets damaged by anti-social elements. You need to be extra cautious when buying such cars, as no states specify vandalism in the title documents.

The above are just some of the types of damage that may result in a car receiving a salvage title. Whatever the case may be, it is advisable that you evaluate the model of your choice in-person, so that you can check the condition that the car is in.