Flash Auctions
Try out our new feature. Be fast. Save Big!

Car Titles 101: Be Prepared for Your First Salvage Dealer Auction

Date: 05/23/2017 |Category: Salvage Cars

When you head to a salvage dealer auction, you’ll be looking at cars that have been declared unworthy by insurance companies, which results in the classification “salvage” being added to the title. This typically happens after some type of accident, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the car has been in some kind of highway pileup. There are different types of salvage titles that you need to know to gauge the value of a car at auction.

Flood Damage

In some states, cars with flood damage will be categorized differently than salvage cars, while others lump these two things together. In either case, the vehicle has been extensively damaged by flooding, and is now inoperable or not worth fixing due to major issues. This very likely includes electrical damage, which can be very pricey to fix if you aren’t sure where the problem lies.

Hail Damage

Hail is a common problem that used car buyers expect to see at a salvage dealer auction. There are some states and insurance companies that have very exacting definitions on what qualifies as significant hail damage, while others simply consider the price of restoration.

Theft Recovery

In some cases, a vehicle that has been stolen can be declared salvage. Here’s how that happens: After a certain waiting period, the insurance company will pay out to the owner for the stolen vehicle. If the vehicle then shows up again, it no longer belongs to the owner, but the insurance company. They need to recoup their money, and if they are operated in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, or Oregon, they’ll have to issue a salvage title to do so.

Repairable After Damage

The most common type of title you’ll see at a salvage dealer auction is “repairable after damage”. This means that the car was involved in a collision, had fire damage, or was damaged in some other way, to the point that it could no longer be driven. However, it was still able to be repaired – it just wasn’t economically sound for the insurance company to do so. Instead, they paid a smaller amount to reimburse the owner, and sold the car off as salvage. If the car had been totally unable to be repaired, it would have been “totaled” by the insurance company instead.

Knowledge Helps You Make Better Deals

Now that you know all the types of salvage titles you might see at a salvage dealer auction, you’ll be more prepared to make great deals. In general, stolen vehicles, minor hail damage, and even “repairable after damage” cars can make great deals. Be careful with flood or fire damage vehicles; those electrical problems can be tough to fix and maintain your profit margin. Finding great deals on salvage cars is easy when you’re able to shop at your own convenience online. Explore our vehicle Auctions, as well as finding more information about how these auctions work.

Auto Auction Specialist Used car expert The largest salvage & insurance vehicle auction marketplace online.
Bid on over 200,000 vehicles for sale right now.

Ready to get started?

Register a free user account and start bidding on your dream car right now!

Sign up for free

Unfortunately we are not in the office right now

Let us call you back during our business hours

Thank you!
We will contact you on:

{{cbTime}}am {{cbWeekday}}


Ok, got it!
We speak your language:
English, Spanish, Portugeese and Russian
< Back
  • User Registration
    • Do I need to register to bid?
    • Do I have to pay to register?
    • What information do I need to provide to register?
    • What are the rules regarding new customers and customers not in good standing?
    • I do not have a dealer license; can I bid or buy a car?
    • Can I just buy one car?
  • Auction Process
    • Do you offer live bidding?
    • What is the difference between, “auction” car, and a “buy now” car?
    • What is a Reserve Price?
    • What does the bid amount include?
    • How does the auction process work?
  • Deposits and Pre-Bidding
    • Is the security deposit refundable?
    • How do international customers make a deposit in their account?
    • How does the security deposit process work?
    • Can I cancel a bid?
    • Can I inspect vehicles prior to auction?
    • Is automatic bidding or pre-bidding available?
    • What is the total bidding amount?
    • What is a bid in active status?
    • What is a bid in pending status?
    • What is the best way to win an auction?
    • How do I search for a car available at auction?
    • How does the auction process work?
  • Post-Auction and Payments
    • What does a customer need to do to get the title to a vehicle?
    • How do I pick up the car I purchased?
    • Are there storage fees if I cannot pick up my vehicle immediately?
    • Do you Issue Temporary Plates?
    • Can I pay in cash?
    • Are there late payment penalties?
    • What are the payment terms?
    • How do I pay for an auction?
    • What if I fail to may a payment as required?
    • When is the balance due on a purchase?
    • When will I be notified of the results of the auction?
    • Bidding has ended. Is my bid the highest?
    • Why did I receive notice after bidding ended that my bid is no longer the highest?
  • Shipping and Delivery
    • How will it be mailed to me?
    • When will I receive the title?
    • Can I have the title mailed to an address/name different from the address/name on my account?
    • I have an agent working on my behalf can this person pick up my vehicle?
    • Do you offer delivery?
    • When can I pick up a car I have won at auction?
  • Understanding Salvage Titles
    • What is NMVTIS and how is it used?
    • Understanding the salvage title/rebuilt title distinction
    • What are the different types of titles a vehicle may have?
    • I received a different type of title than the one in the description. I received an equivalent title from a different state. Why?