While buying one of the many salvage vehicles for sale online can be a great way to obtain a cheap personal vehicle, it can also be a handy way to make some money. If you have access to cheap auto parts and also have extensive repair knowledge or know someone who does, you can easily purchase a salvage vehicle and rebuild it for resale.
Knowing which auto auctions to bid on takes no small amount of familiarity with the salvage market and the repair process. Everyone should perform thorough research on the vehicle model they are looking into, as well as common repairs for collision damage.
Here are some criteria to look out for when buying a salvage vehicle.
A Salvage Primer
Knowing about how vehicles become salvaged is crucial to entering into the decision-making process for buying one. A vehicle becomes salvage when an insurance company decides to total it rather than paying for repairs. The reason for this action is usually because they have calculated the cost of repairs to be higher than a set threshold of the insured value of the vehicle. This threshold varies from state to state and company to company, but the general range is 70-90%. Learn more about What is a Salvage Title?
Older Model vs Late Model
Since repairs must cost more than the vehicle’s value, less-valuable vehicles will generally be totaled for cheaper repairs. This means an older salvage car will require less damage to be designated as salvage than a newer car. You can take advantage of this fact by seeking out older or cheaper vehicles and trying to spot the amount of repairs it will need. You can often find easier fixes on these cars than you can new ones.
That being said, newer vehicles will have a higher resale value, even after being salvaged. They will also generate more interest because people want to be seen in a recent model car.
On top of that, many newer luxury cars will have components that are expensive-to-fix at retail prices. For instance, a BMW may have cosmetic damage to fenders and body kits that would be very cost-prohibitive if replaced with new OEM parts. If you were to find replacement used or wholesale auto parts, they could be painted to match the vehicle and it could be returned to a like-new appearance.
Salvage motorcycles can be a wise investment because they have lower overall values than a car. This fact means that the repairs will not have to cost much for the vehicle to be salvaged. Damage to fairings and body molding in particular will be enough to total a pricier bike, but this estimate was based upon retail repair values. The vehicle could be repaired with used parts or modified to be operable without the molding at all, allowing a cheap fix for a resale.
Salvage Auto Parts
Salvage vehicles are also a great source of parts. Whether you are buying a car, truck, motorcycle or watercraft, if you find a salvage auction for cheap then you can often recover many useful parts. These parts can be sold to local repair shops, or you could list them yourself online. With enough time and effort, you could eventually be the person people think to call when they need a replacement canvas for their boat or a motorcycle tire.
These are just some ideas to get you inspired and thinking about buying some of the many salvage vehicles for sale as an investment. The only real limiting factor is your imagination and the level of effort you are willing to put in.