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What is Salvage title? US States Rebuilt Title Rules Buyer Tips

Five Tips for Getting US Salvage Cars Back on Road

By Mike Richards Updated: 05/22/2019 Posted: 10/15/2015

Buying salvage vehicles from online auctions can be a great option. However, you need to get as much information as you can on the vehicle you are interested in buying, so that you know what you need to do to get your salvage car back on road..

Here are five tips that can help you in the process of choosing and buying your salvage car.

Tip #1: Learn Why the Car Has a Salvage Title

The first and most important thing to remember when you are looking at salvage cars is to learn as much about the vehicle as possible. Why does it have a salvage title? In some cases, the car has suffered severe damage and it would not be worth the cost of repairing. Many times, however, the vehicle has very little damage, or it is only cosmetic.

Understanding the reason the vehicle has the salvage title will give you a much better idea of just how much work will need to go into it. Sometimes, a salvage vehicle is only worth it for the parts. Other times, you might just find the car you need.

Tip #2: Estimate the Costs

Once you know the types of repairs the vehicle will need, try to estimate the cost of repairing the vehicle.

You might find that it is better to talk with a mechanic or specialist about the potential costs first. If your state requires that you go through an approved repair facility, speak with someone at the facility to see if they are willing to provide an estimate based on what you know of the vehicle. Also, keep in mind that this is generally going to be a very rough estimate. There could always be additional costs.

Tip #3: Know the Rules in Your Location

Rules may vary in different states when it comes to taking a salvage title and rebuilding it. Before you buy your salvage car at auction, you should learn the regulations in your state.

Your best source will be the website of your local motor vehicle department, which will generally provide guidelines for you to follow when you are rebuilding a salvage title. You can also contact the motor vehicle department directly if you have any questions. You will need to follow the rules exactly if you want to get the vehicle on the road again.

Tip #4: Get the Repairs, Inspection, and Title Change

Once you have your vehicle, you may need to repair it. These repairs may need to be done by an approved shop, so make sure you are following the regulations properly. After you have the vehicle repaired, you will need to have at least one inspection.

In several states, one of the inspections is done by the local police department. They will check that all of the parts are valid and that they have not been stolen. They will also check that the vehicle itself wasn’t stolen.

In most states, you will also have to take the vehicle through a safety inspection to make sure it is actually roadworthy. After the car is ready, you will be able to get a rebuilt title.

Tip #5: Look for Insurance

You can’t drive the car without insurance. However, many insurance companies will only provide liability insurance for rebuilt vehicles. Liability insurance doesn’t actually cover your vehicle. Instead, it covers the damage that your vehicle does to other property and people.

Getting collision and comprehensive coverage can be very difficult, but it is not impossible. The major reason for this is that the insurance companies have difficulties determining the actual value of a rebuilt vehicle.

Still, it is possible to find some insurance companies that are willing to offer collision and comprehensive coverage. It’s a good idea to start your insurance search even before you buy any salvage cars, just to determine what companies are willing to offer coverage.

Should You Choose Salvage Cars in the USA?

Even though buying a salvage car may take some time and work, it can still be worth your time and money. Buying these vehicles at auction can help you save on the cost of the vehicle. Use the money that you saved to rebuild the vehicle. This can help you get the vehicle that you want at an affordable price. Just make sure you follow these tips and do plenty of research before you buy.

Explore our Vehicle Auctions, as well as finding more information about How These Auctions Work.