You have probably heard of salvaged cars before, but might not fully understand how they get that way. So then, how does a car become salvaged? Generally, the vehicle gets damaged in some way. This could mean it was in an accident, was stolen, or was in a flood. The vehicle receives a salvage title when the auto insurance company decides that the vehicle is not worth it to repair. The decision is based on the value of the vehicle before the damage. If the repairs will cost more than 75% of the value of the car then they will ‘junk’ it. But, believe it or not, often times these repairs are minimal and can easily be done, restoring the car to its original state (or even better). As soon as a car is “totaled” in the eyes of an insurance company, you should see the possibilities that are there.
So for example, if you’ve got a 2007 Volkswagen Passat with front-end damage, the repair bill is going to run somewhere around $5,000-6,000. If the car is only worth $19,000 according to Kelly Blue Book then the insurance company isn’t going to want to fix it, instead they will consider it ‘totaled.’ But what if you love your VW and want to keep it? or you’ve put some extra money into it recently? If you know how to fix cars or you have a great auto body mechanic you may be able to keep your car and fix it your self. Even though it will have a salvage title you will still save a lot of money.
Let’s say you’re an awesome mechanic but don’t have a wrecked car to rebuild but you want to get into the business of rebuilding these types of vehicles. So, where do you go to find them? The best place is at an online auction. Here you will have 100’s of cars and trucks to choose from. Some have a salvage title, some are just wrecked and need to be rebuilt. If you have the know-how and the skills to repair these cars then a salvage car auction, either locally or online is the place to shop. Be sure to know what you’re buying though. Some vehicles are not worth it, those that have flood damage are a good example. But, if you know what you’re doing then you can assess the situation and decide if it’s worth it to repair.
If you didn’t know it already, these cars and trucks are hot sellers. Many people know the benefits of buying a wrecked or salvaged car to rebuild. Many people buy them, fix them up and re-sell them. Or, they use the usable parts to rebuild another vehicle. Just because a car is deemed ‘salvaged’ doesn’t mean it’s worthless. Rebuilding a salvage vehicle is a wonderful thing to do. You will not only be helping the environment by reusing materials but you will also be saving money over the cost of buying a new one. If you rebuild the car to exact specifications then you can expect the car to pass the inspection to make it street legal again.
Important Note: Before you buy make sure you are familiar with the laws on putting a wrecked or salvage title car back on the road. Every state has different requirements so be sure to find out what they are to avoid a costly mistake.