Pros & Cons of Buying Salvaged Vehicles

July 15, 2014

When searching for used cars, salvaged vehicles offer a way for you to save thousands of dollars off regular used cars. Salvage vehicles are used cars or trucks that have been totaled by the insurance company because either the insurance company felt that the repair costs were more than the value of the car or the insurance company totaled the vehicle in order to avoid liability on other types of claims. Whatever the case, there are advantages and disadvantages to purchasing a salvaged vehicle.

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The Pros of Buying Salvaged Vehicles

Of course, the most obvious benefit to purchasing a salvaged title vehicle is the reduced cost. Salvage title vehicles are often sold for a fraction of the cost of the same type of vehicle that has not been involved in a major accident. Often, you may be able to find salvage vehicles at car auctions or salvage yards that are offered for as little as 20 or 30 cents on the dollar--sometimes even less. Therefore, some of these vehicles can be repaired to good running order and still be had for a cost much less than an identical make and model used car.

Furthermore, some salvage vehicles may not actually be in that bad of shape. While many salvage vehicles are damaged beyond reasonable repair, some vehicles have been totaled by the insurance company for other reasons. There are times when the owner of the car may negotiate with the insurance company to actually total the vehicle. Insurance companies will sometimes do this to avoid paying out large claims that may be associated with medical costs or other damage claims that the customer may be considering.

The insurance company may offer totaling the vehicle as a quick option to settle. Therefore, if you can find one of these vehicles, you can get a really great deal on a car that doesn't need a whole lot of repair.

The Cons of Buying Salvaged Vehicles

While there are definitely some good values to be had with salvage title vehicles, there are also some that you should stay away regardless of how low the price is. Some vehicles may have suffered frame damage which will make the car very difficult to repair; also, the vehicle may not be able to pass a safety inspection and be registered in your name.

Also, you should consider that once the car has been totaled by an insurance company that the vehicle will be branded as a salvage vehicle forever. Even if you restore the vehicle to 100% running operation, the title of the vehicle will always reflect that it is a totally rebuilt or salvaged vehicle.

In addition, a salvaged title vehicle will always make the vehicle worth much less than if it had a clear title. Also, there are many insurance companies that simply will not insure rebuilt vehicles. While there are a few insurance companies that insure salvage vehicles, most will never offer full coverage for the vehicle and will limit the amount of coverage that is available for the vehicle.

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Related Questions and Answers

What's the Most Important thing to Pay Attention to When Buying a Salvage Car?

A lot of information exists on buying a salvage car, but there is information that should be at the top of your list. You should insure that the salvaged vehicle is safe. It should be considered above the number on the price tag. There are a number of reasons why a vehicle may end up classified as salvaged. The vehicle could have had water, or fire damage, recovered, or had been in an accident. Take note of what damage the vehicle sustained and what effect it had on the frame or other safety equipment. With a damaged frame, there exists a myriad of problems ahead.

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