If you need a vehicle and you are looking for a way to save money, then one option you could look into would be a salvage car with rebuilt titles. They actually cost thousands of dollars less, in some cases, and it is a great way to save money.
However, a salvage car is not automatically drivable in any state. There are certain things you will need to do in order to get your vehicle registered and insured. These steps, laws, and regulations can vary from one state to the next, so in Florida salvage title have its own rules, you need to know what to do.
How Do You Buy a Salvage Car?
One of the easiest ways to have access to rebuild or salvage title cars for sale in Florida is through online car auctions (Copart or Tallahassee auto auction). They are much simpler than you may imagine. Right from your computer, you will be able to access lists of salvaged vehicles up for auction all across the country.
If you have ever been to a live vehicle auction, you know that it can be high pressure. You don’t have a lot of time to make a decision, so you may go higher in a bid than you really wanted too. After that you have a lot of paperwork to take your car. When you choose a vehicle through an online car auction, you won’t have to deal with that pressure.
Instead, you can look at the cars from your home, choose one you would like to bid on, and when you do win an auction, you can arrange to have it delivered to you or the shop that will be doing repairs on it.
When you buy through an auction and you choose to purchase a salvage car, you are likely going to pay pennies on the dollar compared to what you would have paid for the same type of car that had not been salvaged. Of course, this brings up another question. What exactly is considered a salvage car in Florida?
Definition of Salvage Vehicles
There are different ways a car can be damaged. The most common is a collision. However, damage could also come from flooding, hail, vandalism, or fire. Additionally, vehicles that have been stolen and recovered may also be listed as salvage.
Florida states that if a car sustains enough damage in one of these ways so that repairs would cost 80% or more of the value of that car, then it will be listed as salvage. Essentially, this will allow the insurance company to reimburse the owner or replace their vehicle. Then, the company will have the right to sell that salvage vehicle in order to recoup a portion of their losses.
Florida offers two different salvage titles: rebuildable or destroyed. If the car has been deemed the latter of these two, then it will never be titled in a way to make it legally drivable again. These types of cars can only be sold for scrap. If the car has a rebuilt classification, then if you make the right repairs and it passes inspection, then you will be able to register and insure it.
Getting an Inspection
If you purchase a salvage car and you would like to rebuild it so that it is legally drivable again, then you will need to go through a vehicle inspection at a designated office (DMV).
There are several throughout the state, in: Miami, Margate, Tampa, Ocala, Orlando, Jacksonville, Deland, Palmetto, West Palm beach, Tallahassee, Pensacola, Panama City. You will need to find the closest inspection center to you and then call to make an appointment. This inspection will take up to an hour, so be prepared for this.
It is important that you understand the purpose of this inspection. This isn’t to ensure the car is safe. Instead, it is to ensure no stolen parts have been used in the car and to ensure no one is trying to commit fraud. After the inspection is complete, you will need to pay some fees for new titling and you will receive a rebuilt title.
Like in many other states, you can’t get a clear title on a once-salvaged car in Florida. Instead, the title will state that the vehicle was salvaged and has been repaired.
Some cars that have been salvaged will require extensive repair work, and that can drive the cost up. However, many of them have little to no damage at all.
Remember that a car that was stolen and recovered will be salvaged. It may not need any work done. Cars that have suffered hail damage may be salvaged and probably won’t need much work. Finally, even cars that have been vandalized may need nothing more than a new paint job.
Finally, once you have the rebuilt title on your salvage car, you can get insurance coverage. No insurance company will cover that vehicle when it is strictly salvage because it is not drivable by state law. However, when you do have the rebuilt title, most insurance companies will work with you.
Don’t be surprised if you get turned down or offered much higher premiums with some companies. Not all insurance companies will be willing to insure your car and to give you certificate. So, be prepared to do some legwork and research the different places you can contact. In most cases, the insurance you will be able to get is liability only. That’s because even rebuilt salvage vehicles can be somewhat of a risk.
If you are set on getting comprehensive coverage, then do not get discouraged right away. Continue contacting insurance companies and provide them with fully disclosed details about the salvage car. Many of them will offer comprehensive coverage based on the situation and the original damage to the vehicle.
So, if you decide you want to look for cheap used cars for sale, then be sure to consider online salvage auctions. You will be able to save much more money even after you have completed any required repairs on the vehicle. And, the steps to getting a rebuilt title in Florida aren’t that difficult. After you have done everything else, you can find insurance companies that will cover your purchase once it is registered and legally drivable according to state law.