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What is Salvage title? US States Rebuilt Title Rules

Are Salvage Totaled Car for Sale Worth Your Time?

By Mike Richards Updated: 07/26/2022 Posted: 10/09/2015

Buying a vehicle is a serious investment, particularly when it’s a brand new vehicle. The cost of the vehicles makes it prohibitive for many people. One option that you might want to consider when you are shopping for your next vehicle is a totaled car.

At first, most people bristle at the idea of buying totaled car for sale, believing that it is a waste of money and that there is no way they could possibly get it on the road again. That’s not actually the case, though. First, let’s look at what a totaled car is and some of the benefits of buying them through an auction. Then, we’ll discuss what you need to do to get the vehicle on the road again.

What Is a Totaled Car?

The term totaled does not necessarily mean that the car is a heap of twisted metal that will never work again, almost not repairable. It simply means that the insurance company considered that the damage to the vehicle was enough that replacing the car would be cheaper for them than repairing it. They may also total the car to avoid liability from other types of claims. This means that the vehicle may still have quite a bit of life in it, as long as you repair it.

Benefits of Buying Totaled Cars at Auction

Many of the vehicles that come to auction are salvage titles, which is essentially the same as being totaled. As many people know, when you buy through an auction, you have the chance to save quite a bit of money. Many buyers can pay about 30 cents or less on the dollar when they choose to buy totaled cars. Even when you factor the costs of repairs into the equation, you will often find that buying totaled cars is much cheaper. Its actual value is much lower than value of other types of cars.

Sometimes, the vehicles are not in bad shape at all. The owner may have negotiated with the insurance company to declare the vehicle totaled, or they could total it to avoid claims, as mentioned. This means that not all of the totaled cars out there need to have substantial repairs.

While there will be some competition with other bidders, and dealers, it is still a great way to buy a vehicle cheaply. In addition, buying through auction often provides buyers with vehicles they would not have otherwise found in their area.

Rebuilding and Getting on the Road

One of the things to remember when you have a totaled car is that even after you rebuild the vehicle it will always carry the title of being rebuilt in many states- even if the vehicle is in better condition than when the vehicle was damaged in the first place. This tends to lower the value of the vehicle if you were to resell it. However, many are buying these vehicles for their own use, so this will not matter.

Once you rebuild the vehicle, you will be able to work with the motor vehicle department in your area to get the salvaged title changed to a rebuilt title. The exact requirements vary by location, but you will generally need to have a safety inspection to make sure it is ready for the road. They will also inspect the vehicle to make sure that it does not contain any stolen parts. You also need to provide proof of insurance for the vehicle before you can register it.

When you have a totaled car with a rebuilt title, getting liability insurance is easy. Most insurance companies can provide you with liability insurance since it does not cover the vehicle, only damage you do to other property and people in the event of an accident. Getting comprehensive and collision coverage is another story entirely. This type of coverage is more difficult to get since the insurance companies have a hard time trying to determine the value of a rebuilt vehicle. Still, some companies out there will offer coverage.

Totaled Cars – A Good Idea

For many people who are willing to rebuild the vehicle and take time when searching the online auctions for the right car, totaled cars really can be worth the added effort. Just think of how much you could potentially save.

Find information on Rebuilt Title Laws for Each US State. Find your ideal vehicle in Car Auctions and Vehicle Auctions, and info on Buying With Us.