What is Salvage title?

Getting a Salvage Car You Buy in a Dealer Auction Roadworthy Again

By Mike Richards Updated: 06/23/2022 Posted: 07/10/2017

One category of vehicle that you’ll find a lot of in dealer auctions online is salvage cars. In fact, a sizeable portion of the vehicles that you’ll find falls into this category. While some new bidders initially shy away from such vehicles, this is a mistake. That’s because these vehicles may have incredibly low prices. 

This presents an incredible opportunity to save a hefty sum on the purchase of a vehicle.

The difference between salvage cars and used cars for auto buyers is simple. With a salvage car, the majority of your investment will come after you’ve purchased the vehicle. This is due to the fact that repairs will almost always be necessary. Provided you undertake the following steps, though, you will be able to get your salvage car roadworthy again, enjoying incredible savings in the process.


Making the Repairs to Your Salvage Car

As mentioned, almost any salvage car that you purchase is going to require repairs after you bought it at a dealer auction. How you go about making these repairs will, in large part, determine the extent of the savings that you’ll be able to enjoy.

If you’re able to make repairs yourself, then this is obviously the best-case scenario. Even if you can’t, though, consider the following. How an insurance company determines parts and labor will be much different than what you might get through a mechanic. Due to this, you’ll still be able to save even if you can’t conduct your own repairs.


Securing a Rebuilt-from-Salvage Title

Throughout the repair process, there’s one important thing that you must do. Every state requires that comprehensive documentation be kept of the entire repair process. This means that you (or your mechanic) will need to keep all receipts for parts and labor. Further, many states require photographic evidence of the car pre and post repairs.

Once the car has been repaired to roadworthy shape, you will typically need to bring it to the DMV or an entity thereof for inspection. If this inspection is passed and the car deemed roadworthy by authorities, then you will be issued a rebuilt-from-salvage title for the vehicle.


Getting Insurance for Your Vehicle

After getting the new title, there’s only one more step that needs to be taken before your vehicle is street legal once again. You will need to secure insurance. Getting basic liability coverage should be relatively straightforward. Most often, people will go through the insurer with whom they’re already doing business. You can, of course, shop around if you wish, though.

Comprehensive coverage is harder to come by and likely not necessary unless the vehicle is a vintage classic. If you feel you need comprehensive coverage, then an Internet search for insurers who specialize in salvage cars should yield good results.


Salvage Cars: The Best Deals Available

Given how easy it is to rebuild a car from salvage and get it roadworthy once again, you shouldn’t ignore the potential for savings. If you’re interested in salvage cars, then definitely investigate what options exist in online dealer auctions. You’re sure to find something that will be a perfect match for your means, needs and budget.