If your car has been badly damaged in an accident or some other circumstances and your auto insurance company decides that its repairs are worth more than its current value, the car will be given a salvage title.
So is salvage title a bad thing? Can you still drive a salvage car?
In some cases, it is entirely possible to restore a salvage car and get much better performance than what their reduced value suggests. A restored salvage car is a great way to save thousands of dollars on a car that has a value diminished by the insurance company but still performs well or offers other benefits.
This is where RideSafely comes in. We are an online auto auction that allows you to bid on used and salvage cars in the USA. We can help you make a smart purchase of a salvage car as well.
What is a Salvage Title?
A car title is an official document that states who owns the vehicle. If you own a car and all its debt has been paid, then the car title will be in your name. However, if you own a salvage title, it will not only indicate who the owner of the vehicle is but will also show that the car is no longer roadworthy after being declared a total loss by the insurance company.
What a “total loss”entails exactly depends on the insurance laws of the state.
Types of Damages Indicated by a Salvage Title
A car with a salvage title may have experienced different types of damages:
Collision Damage: Cars that have extensive damage from collisions, the cost of which exceeds their current value, can be given a salvage title.
Flood Damage: Cars that have extensive water damage can get a salvage title. Some states specifically mentioned flood damage on the car’s salvage title while others will just call it “salvage title.”
Fire Damage: Cars that have been damaged due to fire or smoke can be given a salvage title, particularly if the damage is severe and has damaged the major internal components of the vehicle.
Hail Damage: Like water-damaged cars, vehicles that have been damaged by hailstones may also simply get a salvage title if the title does not specify hail damage.
Vandalism:If someone intentionally damaged the car by spray painting it, overturning it, or damaging it extensively, it will get a salvage title. However, the vandalism will not be mentioned in the title.
Theft Recovery: If a car gets stolen and becomes missing for a period of time, the insurance company will write it off. If the vehicle is found, the insurers can then sell the vehicle to an auto auction or a salvage car dealership, which may replace its missing components. The car will then get a salvage title.
How Does a Salvage Title Work?
If you are an owner of a totaled car and choose to keep the vehicle or do not have insurance coverage, you will need to apply for a salvage title. However, if your insurance company repossesses the car after declaring it a loss, it will be the responsibility of an insurer to apply for the salvage title.
Salvage titles can be obtained by applying for them at the state department of motor vehicles. The process is simple and requires you to fill an application form, pay the fees, and submit your car for salvage vehicle examination, which will check the extent of the damage to the car.
During the process, the vehicle identification number of the car will be matched with the number written in the application. The odometer will also be checked to ensure the car’s mileage matches the application. The condition of the car will also be matched with what is written on the application and the state will verify whether the components of the cars have been destroyed, removed, defaced, or tampered with before the application.
While applying for a salvage title, you will also need to submit the receipt showing you paid the appropriate fees, the insurance company’s damage appraisal report, and an invoice for any parts you repaired or purchased.
Reconstruction procedures in USA state-by-state: https://www.ridesafely.com/en/reconstruction
Should You Buy a Salvage Car From an Auto Auction?
If you are looking to get a pre-owned car for a bargain price, you might consider one with a salvage title. However, keep in mind that because of the risky nature of salvage cars, you will need to perform due diligence and find out their pros and cons.
On the plus side, salvage cars are very cheap because of their title status. In some cases, cars that have extensive cosmetic damage but no significant damage on their internal mechanical parts are given a salvage title. If you don’t care about what your car looks like, it may still be road safe and perform well. However, it is important that you get the vehicle checked thoroughly by a professional mechanic to ensure it does not pose a safety hazard.
If you are a DIY car restorer or a professional mechanic or body shop worker, you may also get a salvage car for a bargain price. If you are qualified and skilled, you may be able to fix much of the damage to the car by yourself. However, you should be wary when it comes to buying salvage cars with major damage that you are not able to repair yourself and don’t want to pay an experienced mechanic to fix.
In some cases, salvage cars may be hidden gems that can provide you with a lot of valuable components that you need to fix other cars and which may not be easily available in the market.
Things to Consider When Buying a Car with a Salvage Title
It is important to do some research before you buy a used car to identify whether or not it has a salvage title. In some cases, shady car sellers may take the vehicle to a state that has lax salvage car title regulations. This is an unethical practice called title washing and enables sellers to hide significant damages on these cars, which means some buyers are defrauded into buying a lemon, which can lead to a lot of expensive repairs down the road — or may turn out not to be road safe at all.
Hence, it is a good idea to ask for a vehicle history report that details all the damages the car has suffered and list any salvage titles linked to the car.
If you are serious about buying a salvage car, it is a smart idea to get the vehicle checked by an experienced and honest auto mechanic who knows where to look for damage, will recognize where the repair has been made and will be able to identify if any parts that have been installed later that could indicate serious vehicle damage.
If you are not certain where to buy a salvage car, RideSafely is a reliable and safe option for you. We offer full details on every salvage vehicle and help you find a diamond in the rough since we source a lot of vehicles from insurance auto auctions and Copart auto auctions as well.
We have a vast inventory of vehicles from which you can select the car of your choice. Start bidding on salvage cars online with us today by visiting https://www.ridesafely.com/.