Salvage title cars are great if you find a good deal. Just like any other car purchase, it comes with risks. However, with caution, your efforts are bound to pay off, and you could get yourself a quality car. Generally, 50% of the value of salvage title cars is lost after repairs. Therefore, it pays to be vigilant to avoid getting into a bad deal. Some of the steps to take before purchasing a vehicle from salvage title car dealers include:
Locating Honest Salvage Title Car Dealers
There are numerous salvage title cars on sale online from independent car dealers operating from small body shops or their homes. Since they transact in cash, they do not have a warranty. Therefore, tread with caution before you engage them. It’s critical to get a legit salvage title car dealer that sticks to the agreed-upon terms, even when it costs them some of their profits. Seek a dealer out to make an honest sale, esteems the clients, is friendly, and looks forward to repeat business rather than a one-hit-wonder. Instead, choose a salvage title car dealer who has partnerships with auto repair shop businesses, auto parts dealers, or positive testimonials.
One way to ensure that the salvage title car dealer is reputable is by visiting the Better Business Bureau website to see if there are client grievances. Scrutinize the salvage title car and the salvage title car dealers before committing to a purchase. Even if you are bidding for a salvage title car at an online clearinghouse, be diligent in evaluation. Don’t skimp just because you are off-site.
Know the Exact Car Damage
Get pre-repair pictures of the damaged car from your salvage title car dealers to help you make informed decisions. Avoid purchasing vehicles with front-end damage because of critical car components around the engine, which means you run a high risk of costly repairs compared to other cosmetic body damage. A consultation with a body repair garage can ascertain the potential repair cost so you can avoid making an uninformed decision.
Be cautious about pictures, since they can sometimes be deceptive. For instance, a car may not appear wrecked, but a closer inspection reveals it has flood damage.
Fire and flood damage are critical problems you should strive to avoid when considering salvage title vehicles because the risk of things appearing like they are working when they aren’t is very high. They have high failure rates and the repairs are difficult to predict, specifically what to repair to keep them in a reasonably reliable state. Watch out for trucks and cars salvaged from water or fire damage.
Bent frames are considered “bad” crash damage. No matter how an accident vehicle looks, avoid it if it has bent frames as they represent compromised car safety. On the other hand, body damage is considered “good” crash damage. As a general rule, stick to this category of vehicles and you won’t regret it.
Conduct a Vehicle History Check
Check to ensure that your potential salvage title car dealers readily run honest history checks
that include auto reports on the vehicles they sell and are ready to take back vehicles should there be a discrepancy between the operations of the vehicle and the listed car report.
Don’t leave it to chance, personally verify the vehicle identification number (VIN), and do not rely on the salvage title car dealers to do due diligence on your behalf. An auto collision center can offer a pre-diagnostic report that points towards necessary auto parts to restore the vehicle to its pre-collision state.
Know the Vehicle Purchase Details
When purchasing a vehicle from salvage title car dealers, consider the warranty, insurance, registration, financing, resale, and claims. Although it’s not a standard on salvage vehicles, it’s an advantage for your salvage title car dealer if they offer some form of warranty.
Most companies or states offer liability insurance for salvage cars. Ensure your salvage title car dealers do. Be ready to pay cash because most salvage title car dealers expect it.
Get car insurance, preferably one that offers comprehensive cover for your salvage car in case it gets wrecked. However, don’t expect to be paid claims of above 80% of the vehicle’s listed value. It’s prudent not to pay insurance above the state’s required minimum. Always check your salvage car registration with the state’s department of vehicles since it varies from state to state.
In some states, a repair shop certificate from an automotive services provider is needed before licensing, while in others, a police officer inspects the salvaged vehicle before it’s registered or driven.
On matters of resale, keep in mind that a salvage title will never change, even after the restoration of the auto to 100% working condition. Therefore, spend wisely if you intend to resell.
Get the Vehicle Inspected
Take your car for inspection and valuation. Title salvage on a motor vehicle is not idle talk. That means that the cost of repair is higher than the actual value of the motor vehicle. So, when dealing with salvage title car dealers, your spidey senses should be up. Tentatively imagine the kind of damage that could cause a new $ 60,000 car not worth repairing. That must have been extensive damage and most probably this isn’t a car you should buy, even if the salvage title car dealers claim minimal damage on the new car. Ideally, a reliable older car is a better salvage.
Trust your instincts and do your math if you feel the salvage title car is overpriced, it probably is.
Salvage title car dealers with well-labeled parking lot lines make it easy to physically inspect motor vehicles in their custody for visible body damage.
Where applicable, get diesel mechanics to run diagnostic tests on the targeted salvage title diesel-powered vehicle. They can effectively advise on the required repairs and maintenance since it is within their expertise. Don’t leave anything to chance. Issues such as the cost of car ac repair and other auto parts should be considered when establishing the cost of the salvage title car from the get-go.
Car Key Replacements
Inquire if the salvage car dealers have the keys for the vehicle you want to purchase. This is because replacement car keys are cheaper when you have the original keys; otherwise, making copies or new keys is more pricey depending on the vehicle’s ignition. The dealership or locksmith should advise you accordingly concerning car key replacement because it depends on a myriad of factors, such as;
The type of car:
luxury car brands tend to attract pricey car key replacements compared to regular domestic vehicles.
The age of your car:
older models use basic key types, while modern vehicles have potential transponder keys with chips that need programming and laser-cut shanks. There might also be smart keys for modern cars with remote keyless entry. Whichever the case, car key replacements are easier where a spare car key is available.
Consider a car insurance policy with roadside assistance should you purchase a salvage title car to cover you from unfortunate incidents such as locking your car keys in the car, which is as annoying as losing them.
Verify That the Price Is Right for the Salvage Title Car
Always do the math. A fully reconstructed salvage title car is worth approximately 60% of the value of a clean title car of a similar model, make, and year. To determine if the price of a salvage title car is a good or bad deal, use the Kelly Blue Book or NADA (National Automobile Dealers Association) value formula and multiply it by 0.6. The asking price should be lower, otherwise, it is a bad deal.
When considering a salvage title car that has been partly repaired or not repaired at all, deduct the projected repair costs from 0.6 and then multiply it by the NADA or the Kelly Blue Book value.
Have a Pre-Purchase Inspection
It is necessary to have a pre-purchase inspection for the salvage title car, which is best done by a reputable repair shop with no ties to the salvage title car dealers or dealership. This also works for salvage title cars that have been reconstructed and put on sale. An inspection will determine how much more you will need to put into rebuilding it to your satisfaction. Where possible, let the inspection be done in conjunction with the body shop you intend to use for repairs and spares, just to be on the same page.
A pre-purchase inspection has the knack of paying for itself. Ideally, a dealer cannot comprehensively list every wear and tear, dent, leak, ding, or question mark, which gives you leeway to ask for further price reduction after the inspection.
Have a Post-Purchase Inspection
Different states have different requirements. Check the requirements that apply to you. Buying a salvage title car does not give one the right to drive off simply because there was a pre-purchase inspection. Typically, unsanctioned salvage title cars are considered a danger to road users until certified as licensed salvage autos.
A post-purchase inspection is state-specific. It can be conducted by either a police officer or a licensed body shop specifically authorized to inspect rebuilt salvage title cars. Some states have an office that specifically handles licensing for rebuilt salvage title cars. Some of these states require additional paperwork detailing the damage and repairs as part of the salvage title car registration.
Theft Recovery Salvage Title Car
A theft recovery salvage title car is considered a jackpot for salvage title car dealers. A vehicle is considered a salvage title car if it is recovered after the insurance company has compensated the original owner. This salvage status is acquired after 30 days or three weeks of lost and found. While the vehicle may not have any damage upon recovery, it’s still considered a salvage.
It’s your lucky day if the car you’re about to purchase from the salvage title dealers is a theft recovery salvage auto, which means it may not be damaged at all. The drawback is that the salvage title car dealers won’t let it go easily. They will sell it at a higher price than an accident salvage title car. Just like any other car purchase, before the purchase, get the car inspected by a reputable car repair shop to rule out invisible damage.
Ensure the Salvage Title Car Is Insurable
Salvage title cars are a little more expensive and challenging to insure. To insure or not depends on the damage incurred and the willingness of the insurer to offer insurance coverage for it. Get all the facts on the salvage title car you intend to purchase since, apart from the inspection by a qualified repair shop, it pays to dig into a car’s history.
A salvage title vehicle can only be insured after repairs are done to get it to street-legal status. It can then be upgraded to the rebuilt title for one to register and drive it. However, spare no efforts in shopping for the best car insurance deal before you settle.
Verify the Salvage Title Car History Before You Buy
Go to the National Insurance Crime Bureau and get a free VIN inspection done to establish the true status of a car, whether it’s a salvage title car by damage, or by theft and recovery. Be on the lookout in case your target purchase salvage auto has been misrepresented by unscrupulous salvage title car dealers. A VIN is usually indicated on the interior dash on the driver’s side and is visible through the windshield. It is also indicated on other car parts such as the engine bay or car door frames.
In a nutshell, here are several significant things to keep in mind before purchasing vehicles from salvage title dealers are; the integrity of the salvage title car dealer, physically inspecting the car rather than relying on the pictorial representation of the salvage title car, acquainting yourself with the vehicle’s history report through its VIN, and ensuring you get reasonable car insurance for your salvage auto. Observing these basic guidelines will help you locate an appropriate salvage auto.