The Value of Salvage Cars
Sometimes when you're looking for a car to buy, you'll find something that has an incredible price, almost too good to be true. You keep reading, and notice the words, "salvage title." A salvage title indicates whether or not a car is considered salvage. This happens when a car has been damaged to the point where it can't be sold as a normal car. A common misconception is that salvage cars should be ignored by anyone who isn't into car restoration, since they would otherwise cost too much to get them back on the road. Sometimes this is true, but it certainly doesn't apply to all salvage cars.
Understanding the Term
Just because a car has been declared as salvaged doesn't mean that it has been completely destroyed. A car becomes salvaged once it has damage that exceeds a certain percentage of its value. This percentage varies from around 70 to 90 percent. This damage can occur from any number of factors. Sometimes, it's weather damage, such as from hail or being in a flood. Sometimes, it's collision damage from an accident. Other times it's a stolen vehicle that has been stripped of parts. In some cases, it can even be from the inside of the car being vandalized.
Are they safe?
A common concern with salvage cars is whether or not they're safe. A salvaged car needs to be repaired before it can go on the road. No matter what, you're going to have to put money into a salvage car; it's just a question of how much. This is generally what makes or breaks whether a salvage car is worth purchasing. Another common misconception about salvage cars is that they were salvaged together with subpar parts, and that's why they're so cheap. As long as you get the right repairs, you don't have to worry about your car being more at risk than anything else on the road.
If you want to buy a salvage car, the very first thing that you want to do is get the car inspected. If you're buying it from a mechanic or a dealership, it's advised to bring in a third party to review the car, and not one suggested by the seller. This way, you're getting an unbiased and accurate opinion about how much the car will cost to fix, and a rough estimate on how long the repairs will take. If it's within your price range, and you don't mind waiting for the repairs, a salvage car can be a great purchase.
Buying a salvage car leaves a lot of room for negotiating. Both you and the seller know going in that the car is going to require time and money to get it running. Because you're the one that has to invest so much into it, it puts you in a better position to negotiate. Not only that, but a lot of sellers are independent and not attached with a dealership. They aren't concerned with getting commission, just with making some money on the car. They clearly aren't interested in fixing it up themselves, so you know that they just want to get rid of it. This means they're less likely to decline a deal because they have no assurance that another buyer is going to come by anytime soon. That being said, this doesn't mean that you can just make any deal and they have to accept it. Treat them with respect, but still be firm when you're making suggestions.
If you do want to get a salvage car, you're going to want to get insurance as well. Getting insurance is the same process as with any car. One thing to note is that if you do get in an accident, the payout will be much lower because of the original value of the car.