Pros and Cons of Buying Luxury Salvage Cars

January 27, 2012

Buying luxury salvage cars can save you money on your next vehicle purchase. Although a salvaged car can be a good value, there are some important things to consider before signing the contact on a salvage vehicle transaction. Even if a vehicle is a completely restored car, there can still be difficulties in financing and insuring a salvage vehicle. This guide highlights the pros and cons of buying a luxury car with a salvage title. If you have any specific questions about salvage title rules in your state, be sure to contact your local department of motor vehicles.

Pros of Buying a Luxury Salvage Car

  1. Low Price: Salvage vehicles command much lower prices than those with clean titles. You can save thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars by purchasing a luxury car with a salvage title. Remember that it can be difficult to put a value on a salvage luxury vehicle, as there is no book guide used to calculate values. Therefore, it is important to make sure that the vehicle is perfect for you and that the price is competitive before you complete the transaction.
  2. More for Your Money: Buying a salvage title car can get you more for your money. Assuming that a salvage vehicle has been properly restored, you can purchase a salvage luxury vehicle for a price comparable to an economy car with a clean title. Granted, it is difficult to calculate the exact value of a salvage vehicle, but if you are not concerned with trade in value and plan to keep your vehicle for years, a salvage vehicle can offer an excellent value.

Cons of Buying a Luxury Salvage Car

  1. Difficult to Finance: Most lenders will not offer an auto loan for a salvage vehicle. You may be able to take a personal, unsecured loan for the vehicle, but a traditional auto loan will be difficult to secure. Therefore, it is recommended that you pay for a salvage vehicle in cash.
  2. Difficult to Insure: It can be tough to determine the quality of repairs made on a restored car. As a result, some insurance companies do not offer full coverage on vehicles with salvage titles. It should be easy to find liability-only insurance, but remember that this will not cover any damage to your luxury salvage car in the event you are in a collision. 
  3. Value is Hard to Calculate: Unlike used cars with clean titles, which have values calculated by services like Kelley Blue Book, there is no comparable guide for salvage vehicles. It can be difficult to determine what price to pay for a luxury salvage car. Whatever you pay, make sure it is much lower than the clean retail value listed on Kelley Blue Book. Even if a vehicle has been repaired masterfully, it will not retain its value as well as a car with a clean title.
  4. Tough to Sell or Trade: As salvage vehicles have previous damage, they can be difficult to trade to a dealership or sell to a private party. Many buyers simply do not understand that salvage vehicles are drivable, and others will not want to take a financial risk by purchasing a salvage car.
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