Should I Buy a Car with a Salvage Title?

You have located the perfect used car, and the price is also within your budget. It seems like a fantastic deal until you notice the “salvage” notation written on the car.

The salvage title does not necessarily denote the death of your car deal. However, it should certainly raise a few red flags in your mind. The salvage notation can quickly complicate your buying and owning process. You can get to know more about this at

What do you mean by the term “salvage”?


By definition, the term “salvage” translates to branded, and the title varies from one state to another. However, it generally refers to a vehicle being damaged to such an extent where repairs would cost more than purchasing a new car.

Say, an insurance company takes over the possession of this vehicle and sells it to someone who will rebuild it eventually, then the term “Salvage” is applicable.

Vehicles that can be wrecked are called salvage vehicles. They have suffered a significant kind of damage and which cannot be corrected through any means.

It does not apply to vehicles that have suffered damages due to collision. A car that has suffered damages due to hail, fire, floods, landslides, or has been stolen and then found as termed as salvage.

A vehicle is assumed to be salvage when it is damaged beyond repair. Also, it is not safe to repair or reuse these types of vehicles. In such a scenario, the registration of such a vehicle is canceled and this process is called the death of the vehicle.

How to Identify a Car with a Salvage Title


Generally, in most cases, you will come across notations written on the title, which will help you identify whether or not the vehicle is a salvage one or a repaired salvage one.

You will come across numerous title branding in some places, which will help you identify whether the vehicle was a taxi formerly, a police van, or a remanufactured vehicle. However, much to our dismay, many cars do not come with such branded titles, and then it becomes difficult to identify whether or not it is a salvage one.

You might end up buying a salvage car in such a situation, thinking it to be a normal used old one. Numerous sellers move such vehicles from one state to another in search of a place with less restrictive procedures. Such a process is known as “Title Washing.”

It is how sellers try to remove the title of “Salvage” from the notation of the car and sell it at a much higher price than its normal valuation.

Why Do I Need to Be Careful Buying a Car with a Salvage Title?


Most of the vehicles have been in such a condition, which is impossible to repair.

If you are not aware of the conditions under which the car you are looking forward to buying was fixed, or the mechanic who fixed it, you cannot say that the cars were fixed.

One such way a seller can earn lots of money is by repairing a car as cheaply as possible. So that when they sell the car further, they can earn a good profit.

The latest cars equipped with fine structures and technologies ensure and guarantee your safety and security if you face an accident.

In case you try to fix such a car effectively, it will safeguard you from any mishaps in the future. Make sure an expert mechanic has fixed the used car you are looking forward to buying. Other than that, it would help if you did not rely on others because it is the question of your safety.

If your current mechanic does not have any scruples handy, you cannot assure that the airbags installed in the used car would be safe.

It would help if you cared about the mileage as it is displayed in the odometer. In case the car possesses a higher mileage, the whole instrument panel can be exchanged for lower mileage.

One of the worst scenarios occurs when the stolen parts are bought by an unethical rebuilder and installed in another car.
In that case, if the cops recognize such a case, the whole vehicle or a few of its parts can be taken under the cops’ discretion and would be marked as ineligible for a registration case. Therefore, make sure that the car is registered and is inspected wisely by legal laws.

Buying and Insuring a Salvage Titled Vehicle


Although it is possible to insure and finance your vehicle with few branded titles, it can be costly.

Usually, the vehicles equipped with salvage titles do not own any blue book value, hence when the sellers explain the worth of this vehicle to you, you can easily get fooled.

Just because they are not aware of the vehicle’s maintenance and working, most of the institutions dealing in finance would charge extremely higher rates of interest in case of a short loan. This is because of the risky collateral.

Same way, more than half of the companies dealing in insurance would take a step back from granting insurance to any salvage titled vehicles.

It is legit because they hardly know the vehicle’s actual value and how it would perform on-road and look after its owner’s safety.

Therefore, looking into these points, you can conclude that you will have to take all the efforts when you decide to sell it further because most of the dealers would not accept the vehicle.

Final Words:

Salvage cars are a big NO if you are looking forward to buying a used car. Kindly deter from buying such a vehicle. Not only will your safety be compromised, but also you will lose a lot of money repairing this vehicle. Also, when you will want to sell it further, you will hardly get to make up for the losses which you have incurred while spending on the maintenance of this vehicle.

Leave a Reply

6  +  3  =