2006 Mini Cooper S Red
How to articles Buyer Tips

Salvage Cars: Buy and Enjoy Your First Mini Cooper on Sale

By Mike Richards Updated: 03/08/2021 Posted: 10/29/2019

Mini Coopers are iconic cars with a large and growing following. Mini Cooper salvage cars are a great way of getting one of these vehicles affordably. Salvage Minis can be repaired or used for parts. But where can you get them?

Mini Cooper Salvage Auctions

The Mini Cooper is a favorite for many buyers looking for a small efficient car with great fuel economy. The resale value of the Mini Cooper is low. Even when bought new, the price of this car is much lower when compared to other cars that have similar specifications.

People on a shoestring budget buying their first salvage car at a used car auction tend to go for the Mini Cooper. Not only is this car cheap to buy, but it is also inexpensive to maintain. However, you need to be cautious when buying a Mini Cooper with a salvage title.

Since this is a small car that is available at a low price, the manufacturer only provides basic safety features. If the impact of a collision was too intense, chances are the mechanical parts of the car were affected. For example, the front radiator support protects the radiator, condenser, and fan. Considering how low this part of the car sits, even a moderate impact can cause extensive damage.

This, however, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get a Mini Cooper at a salvage auction. Not all cars with a salvage title have been involved in accidents. Some have minor damages, while others may have been stolen and were found long after the insurance company has settled the claim.

Tips for Buying Mini Coopers at a Salvage Auction

Find out About the Car’s Condition

Mini Cooper Salvage

If you have a tight budget and are not willing or can’t spend much on repairs, it is best to find out as much as you can about the car’s condition. Look at the photos carefully before bidding on the vehicle. Fortunately, parts for the Mini Cooper are readily available and are not expensive.

However, you will be able to save some money if you pick a car that requires minimal repairs. If possible, inspect the car with a mechanic. Alternatively, get someone good at spotting problems on vehicles to go over the photos with you before placing a bid.

What Features Are You Looking For?

You will find used Mini Coopers of all ages in the salvage auction. What model or features are you interested in? Note that some of the features that a car usually comes with may not be functional in a used or salvage vehicle. However, some obvious features, such as the body, lights, power steering, and engine capacity, can serve as a guide. The mileage and damage to the car can give you an idea of what you should expect. Either way, having an idea of the model you’d like to buy will help narrow your search.

Use a Proxy to Bid for You

If the vehicle you’d like to buy is at a dealer-only auction, or if the vehicles in the inventory available to the public do not satisfy you, consider using an authorized dealer as a proxy. Dealers have a more extensive list to choose from, and the vehicles available to them are cleaner and cheaper. You also get the benefit of the dealer’s experience in the selection of cars, especially if this is your first salvage car.

Check the Vehicle’s History

Before bidding on a Mini Cooper, make sure you get its VIN. This number will give you the history of the car. Since the Mini Cooper has a low resale value, most people don’t buy it so that they can flip it for a profit. Most people buy the Mini not because it is their dream vehicle, but because it is what they can afford. Many hang onto this car until they can get another one. If the car has had many owners, there is a possibility that there is something wrong with the vehicle.

Here is a quick video guide from YouTube to choosing a reliable used Mini Cooper:

What are the Best Mini Coopers to Buy at Auction?

2002-2006 Models

The Mini was reintroduced into the market in 2002, after a long hiatus (the last car was produced in the 60s). The first generation was produced from 2002 to2006. The next generation was unveiled in 2007. The Mini is loved because of its size, which makes parking easy, especially for people living in cities.

When the new generation Mini was introduced, many people were captivated. Between 2002 and 2017, 725,000 units of minis were sold in the US. This gives used car buyers a more significant collection of cars to buy.

The standard Cooper and Cooper S are the trims available. Although a few buyers bought the regular Cooper, the 115 horsepower wasn’t attractive enough for some buyers. Those who wanted a more refined drive chose the 163-horsepower Cooper S. This can still serve as a guide for people buying the Mini Cooper at auctions. Mini Cooper S salvage vehicles are popular at auctions.

The Cooper S produced between 2002 and 2004 had a 6-speed manual transmission. The 6-speed automatic transmission only became an option after the 2005 model.

2007-2013 Models

This was the second generation of the Mini . The physical changes in this generation of the Mini were not substantial, but the size increased marginally. The mechanical functions were also improved significantly. The changes in the quality of the ride, gas mileage performance, and the quality of the car’s body has made this generation one of the most sought after at used car auctions.

The base Cooper Hatchback has a 1.6-liter inline four-cylinder engine that cranks out 118 horsepower. The base convertible Cooper has the same engine size but with a 115 horsepower.

2014 – Present

The third generation of the Mini is currently under production. Some buyers prefer the features in recent models, especially the technology. They’d rather pay a little more for the comfort and security features that are available in these models.

The base trim has a 1.5-liter turbocharged engine with 134 horsepower. This car’s mpg is 30 in the city, and 42 on the highway. The S version has a 2.0 turbocharged engine with an output of 189 horsepower. These are relatively powerful engines for a car this size.

The newer the model, the more powerful and faster the drive. However, many buyers seek a balance between what they can afford and the features of the car. Older models cost less, but you miss out on some of the features available in recent generations.

Worldwide Mini-brand cars have been consistently growing in popularity for years.

Graphic Via: Statista.

How Do You Repair Mini Cooper Salvage Title Cars?

The repairs that a salvage Mini requires depends on its condition. How much damage does it have? Since the Mini has a low clearance, you need to consider the possibility of some damage under the hood and the vehicle. If you are not familiar with the Mini Cooper, have a mechanic look at it before you drive it.

The Mini Cooper has low suspension travel. One of the things you need to consider is the car’s mileage. This car is susceptible to shock damage, so one of the first things you need to look at is the shocks. You also need to identify possible body damage as a result of damage from the shock tower.

If the car was involved in an accident, you need to look at the panel gaps. If some parts of the car are not aligned, you will need to have them aligned. The mechanic will check if other parts were displaced and lead to panel misalignment. You need to be confident the various parts of the car are well aligned.

You also need to look at the tires to confirm if you can still use them. If they are run down, you need to budget for replacements.

Can You Insure a Salvage Mini Cooper?

One of the worries people interested in salvage title Mini Coopers have is the question of insurance. Most insurance companies are hesitant about giving cover to cars with a salvage title. The primary reason is that salvage title vehicles carry a higher risk that vehicles with clean titles.

Insurance companies are wary of policies against cars with salvage titles because, in case of an accident, there will be questions raised about the damage. Can the damage be attributed to the current accident or the one that led to the car getting the salvage title? A vehicle that was in a crash before is likely to break down and cause an accident, especially if the repairs were not done sufficiently.

Although many insurers have no policy to cover salvage car, you may still get one for your Mini Cooper from a few companies that provide an exception for rebuilt vehicles. Many states require that after repairing your salvage title Mini Cooper, an inspector from the state will examine the car to confirm if it is roadworthy. If it is, you will get a rebuilt title. Only then will some insurance companies give some cover. Many companies that accept salvage titles, only provide a liability cover.

It Depends on the Value

The value of the car is critical for most insurers ready to provide coverage to your rebuilt Mini Cooper. The Mini has a low resale value. If the vehicle was involved in an accident, the value goes even lower. Some people assume that a car with a lower value can ease the payments you are expected to pay to the insurer. This isn’t true because the amount you pay is influenced by other factors, besides the value of the car. An older model whose parts are hard to come by may push your monthly payments higher.

Before buying a salvage title Mini Cooper, find out if you can get insurance. It is best to discuss with large companies that can afford the risk or a company you have been getting coverage from. It is sometimes easier to convince an insurer to cover your rebuilt Mini Cooper if you already have other policies running.

Are Auctions Good for Cheap Mini Cooper Salvage Parts?

Yes, salvage auctions are a great place to start if you are looking for parts for your mini cooper. Used car auctions are where many buyers and sellers converge. Some of the buyers are looking for cars they can drive, while others are looking for car parts. All types of cars and models are found in salvage auctions. Dealers who sell original Mini Cooper parts get most of them as Mini salvage cars for sale.

If you are repairing your Mini Cooper and want to save on the amount you spend on parts, the salvage auction is a great place to get quality, original parts at a low price. Sometimes it is difficult to find parts for older models of cars whose parts are no longer in production. Since most cars end up at the salvage auction, you are likely to find a Mini Cooper that is the same model as yours, irrespective of the age. Buying a damaged Mini to strip for parts is a very cost-effective way of finding all the Mini Cooper salvage parts for sale that you could need.

Should You Buy a Crashed Mini For Sale?

The answer to this question is highly dependent on why you are buying the car. Do you want to rebuild it, or are you interested in tearing it apart for parts? If you are purchasing a crashed Mini Cooper intending to drive it, it is best to consider how bad the crash was before investing in the car. Some of the crashed Mini’s are not repairable, or the cost of repairing them is too high that such purchase may not be worth your while. If you are interested in rebuilding a car for the challenge, you should probably look for a crashed mini you can repair even if the damage seems extensive.

If, on the other hand, you need parts of a Mini Cooper, you should look at the extent of the damage. Conversely, if the parts you are interested in are not intact, the wrecked Mini Cooper will be of no use to you. Look for a car that will give you value for money thanks to the quality and quantity of parts you can get from it.

This is one guy’s experience in buying a salvage Mini Cooper S at auction:

How to ‘Find a Mini Cooper Salvage Yard Near Me’?

If there are public used car auctions near you, you can find out if there is a section where cars with a salvage title are sold. If not, you can look at online auctions. Most online auctions have a salvage section where all the vehicles with a salvage title are sold. Unfortunately, most of these auctions are dealer-only, with a few open to the public.

Find out if you can find a Mini Cooper in the inventory of salvage cars. If there are none, consider using an authorized dealer as a representative. Some of the vehicles are only available to dealers. This means you miss out on a significant number of Mini Coopers to choose from, even those with a salvage title. Some dealers are only interested in car parts. By using a proxy, you get to see the same cars as the dealers, bid on them, and even get them at the rate the dealers get them at.

Try Cities

Minis are quite popular in cities because of its fuel efficiency and the parking space it uses. If you are in a suburban area where minis are few, you may need to look at the nearest city if you are to find a salvage yard for Minis quickly. Salvage yards in every locality are more likely to have cars mostly available in the area.

Compare prices from different sites so that you get the best deal possible. Remember to consider the extent of the damage on the mini against your budget. If you have a limited budget for the restoration of the car, buy a vehicle with damage that you can afford to repair. Likewise, if you are interested in a Mini for its parts, select a car that likely has the parts you need. If the damage is extensive in the section where the part you are most interested in is located, the part you want may also be of no use to you.

How To Get Started Buying a Salvage Mini Cooper

Take a look at some of our current auctions here:

Mini Cooper Salvage Auctions

Use the menu on the left to create an advanced search by filtering condition, model and location.

Example Mini Cooper Salvage Auctions