What is Salvage title?

Can You Buy a Salvage Car and Get It Back on the Road?

By Mike Richards Updated: 05/22/2019 Posted: 05/24/2017

Admit it, you read that title and for even just a second, the famous Willy Nelson song ran through your head. And you can buy a salvage car and get it back on the road again. The thing to remember, and as one expert wrote, the scenario is “a careful mix of research, scrutiny and understanding of title processes”. It is also something best done through the auspices of a licensed dealer.

Buying Salvage and Buying Salvage Through a Dealer

There are several ways you can buy a salvage car. Heading to the nearest junk yard and looking through the inventory or going to a public auction is the “consumer” way to buy a salvage car. The other approach is to work with a licensed dealer to gain access to the very best inventory imaginable through a dealer auction. It is the latter way we are going to focus on because it is the only way that you can be almost guaranteed to get that car on the road again.

Why is that the case? Let’s first look at the right way to buy a salvage car. You would need to be able to know just why that car was labeled with the salvage title. Was it a stolen vehicle? Was it damaged in a flood or hurricane? Was it the result of a serious accident? Perhaps it was the victim of cosmetic damages that made it too costly for an insurance provider to repair, and so it was totaled and given a salvage title. Whatever the reason, you need to know if you are going to make a wise choice about whether to buy thesalvage car or keep looking.

And it is here that we can explain how you are most likely going to succeed in restoring a car when purchased through a licensed dealer’s site. The last few words of the paragraph above indicated you might need to “keep looking”. How would you do that with such a limited array of choices as found in public auctions or junk yards? The reality is that you might end up looking for years to find something reparable and appealing to you.

The reality with online dealer auctions is that you will find thousands upon thousands of salvage vehicles each time you conduct a search. The best sites will also give you the reasons for the salvage and/or supply you with the VIN and title status to allow you to do a bit of research and find out for yourself. They also supply detailed images that let you get a good look at the vehicle to gauge the conditions yourself.

Back on the Road Again

If you determine that a salvage car is a good candidate to be repaired and put back on the road, the dealer salvage auction also promises an amazingly low price. You can then sink your savings into repairs and enjoy a like new ride for a great price.