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Salvage car - top 8 things to know when buying and fixing

Looking for a salvage car?

Buying a salvage car in these hard economic times could save you a lot of money, not everyone can buy a brand-new or even a second-hand car. So, what you should do if you badly need a vehicle? We suggest you dig a little deeper and opt for a salvage title car. Salvage or totalled vehicles are the ones that are declared a total loss by an insurer before they write them off. They are very cheap and you could get lucky to find one with slight damage. In fact, these cars can be worth a lot more than your expectations. How to get one?

Just visit an auction site or check an online salvage vehicle dealer, buy the one that isn’t in a very bad condition, and salvage it to get a ‘rebuilt’ title for it. That being said, salvaged cars have a major stigma attached to them and are a risky proposition. Therefore, you need to consider certain things if you really want to drive away with a decent ride. In our today’s topic, we will explain all the factors that you must know while buying a salvage vehicle. 

Things To Remember When Looking to Buy a Salvage vehicle:

Carry out an In-depth Evaluation of the Damage

Besides an accident, a car gets a salvage title for a variety of reasons such as hail damage, flooding, theft vandalism, and so on. Whatever the case may be, the insurance firm gives a vehicle salvage title only when they are sure that the repair cost would exceed the total value of the car. Therefore, as a buyer, it is your duty to assess the damage to the car before buying. Of course, you should not purchase a salvage vehicle that is very hard to repair. For instance, a car that has received significant damage to the engine and transmission would require costly repairs or replacements. Similarly, a vehicle that got the salvage status due to fire destruction might require a change of seats, carpeting or worse the complete interior. Flood-damaged cars are even harder to evaluate. Therefore, we advise you to bring your trusted mechanic with you for an accurate assessment of the beating the car has undergone.

On the other hand, if you are purchasing the salvage-title car for parts, you should make sure its main mechanical components are untouched.

Know the Insurer’s Psyche

The insurance firms do their math very well. You should do the same as well. Undeniably, the salvage title car would need repairs that are more than its overall value. But you should actually know the cost of the repairs. A new model salvage car means the damage is so significant that the repair charges are far higher than its value. On the other hand, an old model salvage vehicle signifies the damage is not that great. The older vehicle with less breakage is a much better option here than the new car with greater damage.

Factor in Other Repair Expenses

Besides normal repair expenses, you also have to spend money on other things. The car registration and insurance are two main costs you have to bear. Both of these aren’t easy to handle; for the first, you have to take care of all the repairs and replacements before you apply for registration. For insurance, you have to bear a high premium because an already written off salvage vehicle by an insurer is very hard to insure.

Give the Vehicle a Thorough Inspection

We can’t emphasize enough on a close examination of the salvage-title car. Why? Because it is not a normal car, you find at dealerships. Most private buyers aren’t auto experts, so the best idea is to hire a trusted mechanic with no relationship with the dealer and ask him to assess the damage. If you are buying the vehicle for parts, the mechanic will come in handy here too. He will be able to tell you the parts you can sell and their market price.

Should You Buy A Rebuilt Salvage Car or One that You Could Repair Yourself?

Salvage car in the garage being repaired

A salvage auto is a treasure trove for someone who is into selling car parts or refurbishing vehicles completely to earn their living. There is no denying the fact that most people who purchase these vehicles are into fixing salvage vehicles for profit. If you are also into this business, buy a salvage title car and repair it yourself. On the other hand, if you desire an inexpensive, run-to-the-store type of ride for yourself, buying a rebuilt salvage car is a better idea. However, make sure it has a clean title along with a registration number.

Is Theft Recovered Salvage Vehicle a Good Option?

An insurance company usually writes off a stolen car if they fail to recover it within a month. But what happens if such a car gets recovered after it has been written off. It gets a salvage title and this could come as a huge opportunity for you. If the vehicle has not been stripped of parts and looks undamaged, you should probably go for it with caution. Inspect the vehicle in detail and evaluate the repair expenses before you make your decision.

Run a Car History Check

Never buy a salvage title car without running a vehicle history check! This inspection report tells you if the car has been reported stolen, scrapped, the number of previous owners, plate changes and so on. Moreover, you get all the information about its specification (make, model, transmission, etc) as well as vehicle data (engine number, year of manufacture, date first registered, environmental report, etc).

From Where Should I Buy a Salvage Car?

Find an honest dealer or hit car salvage auctions or adverts on motorbreaker.co.uk. Be wary of the cars sold by independent vehicle dealers that work from their homes because they don’t come with warranties. When you buy from a dealer, make sure you ask them the history report for the vehicle you intend to buy. The vehicle should be registered and licensed, and the dealer must help you out in getting an insurance policy. Believe me, it is easier said than done because most insurers will not be willing to even talk about a salvage car policy.

Either you want to buy a salvage title car for profits or you like to use it for your daily commutes, you need to be extra vigilant and well-informed in your purchase. We hope the above-mentioned tips would help you in making an informed decision.