If you’ve ever shopped for cars on a budget, then you would know that the term “Salvage Title” shows up more than once in your search results. You may be wondering what the difference is between salvage title and regular vehicle. Let’s look into what it is and its pros and cons.
People can get very excited about the affordable price of a car until they notice the car is salvaged. Buying a vehicle on a salvage title can be for the most part, a bad idea. However, for some people, this is an option, considering the affordability of the vehicle. A salvage title is referred to a vehicle that has been greatly damaged or in an accident in which the cost of repair exceeds 75-90% of its value. In that case, insurance companies decide the vehicle is a “total loss.” Depending on which state the vehicle is registered, the DMV will issue a “salvage certificate.” This certificate states that the vehicle cannot be driven, sold or registered until it has been repaired.
In order to be repaired, the insurance company will send the vehicle into a repair shop. They can also choose to send the vehicle to a dismantler if they believe it is not repairable. If the car is repaired, the DMV will issue a new title called “branded” which would inform the future buyer that the car had been in an accident and repaired. It is important to note that there are different kinds of damage. They may include flood and hail damage or theft recovery. So, what if I want to buy a vehicle that has a salvaged past? Is it worth it?
In most cases we would recommend that you don’t. However, if you are adamant about a certain vehicle due to its affordable price, you should take these very important steps prior: 1.) Have the vehicle inspected by a professional 2.) Make sure the seller is trustworthy 3.) Ask for the original repair estimate (this will help you understand the level of damage). You might also want to check if your insurance will be able to insure the vehicle. Generally there is coverage available. However, if you get in an accident the amount paid for by your policy be will much smaller than it would with a regular title.
A salvaged title denotes the status of a vehicle that has seen great body damage in the past and must be fixed to be sold or driven. If you wish to buy a branded (post-salvage) vehicle make sure you inspect it and you make sure that you do your research with your insurance company.
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