Buying a Salvage Car: Everything You Need to Know to Get the Right Decision

If you’re looking for a cheap used car to fix up and make your own, it’s time to visit your local auto salvage yard.

Salvage cars come in all shapes and sizes and may have very little or no damage. As long as you know how to find the right one, salvage car shopping can be a very successful, and even profitable experience.

Want to know more? Keep reading for some insider tips on how to buy a salvage car.

Let’s get started!

What Is a Salvage Car?

A salvage car is a vehicle that’s labeled a total loss by an insurance company after they’ve paid a claim on it. The insurance company may consider a vehicle a total loss because of extensive damage, or because someone stole it and they needed to pay off the owner.

Salvage vehicles may be junk cars, or they may be in excellent condition. You can find salvage vehicles at salvage yards, auction sites, and insurance auctions.

Bring a Mechanic or Knowledgeable Friend

When you’re ready to buy your first salvage car, you’ll want to bring a mechanic or knowledgeable friend with you. They’ll be able to correctly assess the damage of each vehicle and determine whether they’re worth buying.

Factor in Insurance Costs

If you find a salvage car you like, think about possible insurance costs before you agree to buy it. Even if the vehicle is inexpensive, it may cost you more in the long run because of a high insurance premium after it’s repaired and inspected.

Insurance companies consider a few different factors when determining your premium costs. The kind of car you drive is very high on this list of factors.

Can You Remove a Salvage Title?

The short answer here is: no, you can’t remove a salvage title. In fact, altering the history of a vehicle is a crime known as title washing. Even if you find a perfectly intact salvage vehicle, never lie about its title.

But that’s not the end of the story. Much like a business would rebrand after filing for bankruptcy, you can rebrand salvage cars, too.

After you buy, repair, and inspect the vehicle, you can apply for a rebranded car title at the DMV. This title will declare that the car has been rebuilt.

Remember, each state has different laws about inspections and registrations. Check your local DMV. It’s also a good idea to check the laws for the state where you bought the car.

Wrapping Up

Buying a salvage car is a quick and inexpensive way to get a vehicle. But before you visit your local auto salvage yard or auction, review the information above.

Remember to bring a mechanic or knowledgeable friend with you to look at the cars for sale so that you can properly assess the damage. And before you buy a salvage car, factor in possible insurance costs.

Are you interested in selling your car for cash? Check out our Ottawa location for an easy and environmentally-friendly way to dispose of your junk car.