What is Salvage title? US States Rebuilt Title Rules Car Insurance

What is a Reconstructed title? How do I Insure a Salvage Car Pennsylvania?

By Mike Richards Updated: 08/17/2022 Posted: 10/17/2015

Insure Salvage Car Pennsylvania

The easiest way to buy cheap used cars is through online auto auctions in PA. You can often save thousands of dollars on salvage cars for sale in PA Pennsylvania auto auctions including Philadelphia. As long as it doesn’t need extremely extensive repair, then you will be able to save a great deal of money overall.

Then, when you get the salvage car at the central PA auto auction, all you will need to do is make repairs and then get a rebuilt-reconstructed title. Pennsylvania requires you to follow a whole set of rules for this, but the steps could definitely be worth it if you want to save money and still get a high-quality car.


What is a Salvage Car and What does a reconstructed title mean?

Insurance companies will evaluate any car that has been severely damaged to determine if it is worth repairs or not. The usual way for this decision is through a percentage system. If the repair on the vehicle will cost as much as 75% of the car’s value or more, then most insurance companies will salvage it and replace it altogether for the owner. This saves them money.

Some of the types of damage that can lead to a salvage vehicle include collisions, fire, vandalism, flooding, hail, and even theft. In the last of this list, a stolen vehicle will be reported and replaced by the insurance company. Then, if it is found, it will usually be listed as salvage.

In other words, not all salvage cars have much or any damage to them. However, they are still sold at auctions at extremely low prices. This means it is possible to get cheap used cars (Honda, Toyota, and a lot of models of any trademark) that don’t even need that much work to be roadworthy.


Can Salvage Cars Get Insurance?

There has long been a problem with underhanded methods of selling salvage cars. Some dealers would not disclose that a vehicle’s damage was from a flood. For example, and sell the vehicles like new. This is illegal, and the state of Pennsylvania has made an attempt to reduce the chances of this happening by requiring stringent rules in order to even drive a salvage car legally.

A car with a salvage title alone is not legally drivable. You can own it, but you can’t get a tag for it or get insurance coverage. If you want to drive it, then you will need to apply for a rebuilt-reconstructed title for the vehicle. That means making proper repairs so that it is safe and drivable.

Pennsylvania has a number of steps you are to follow.

  • If you purchase the salvage title vehicle, then you will need to fill out an Application for Certificate of Title (form MV-1). This will transfer the S-title to your name. If you are buying the car from out of state, then you will need to fill out form MV-5.
  • Next, you will need to determine what type of rebuilt-reconstructed title you need to apply for. These include reconstructed, specialty reconstructed, flooded, recovered theft, and street rods.
  • You will need to include color photos of all angles of the vehicle with the damage repaired.
  • Additionally, you will need to provide a copy of the bill of sale as well as any receipts for parts and labor in the repair of the vehicle.
  • Finally, you will need to complete the Application for Correction of Vehicle Record or Verification of Vehicle Identification Number (form MV-41).

Part of getting the rebuilt-reconstructed title on reconstructed title cars for sale in PA will include paying application fees. That includes a title and registration fee.

After you have gone through all of these steps, you will need to take the car to a Pennsylvania Department of Transportation-approved inspection station. There, they will ask for copies of all the paperwork mentioned above. The inspection will make sure the vehicle is safe to drive. Additionally, if the car was a salvage after a theft, then the inspection will look for stolen parts.


Insure Salvage Car Pennsylvania

Some insurance companies will only offer limited insurance, such as liability, while others will be willing to offer full coverage based on the vehicle, the type of damage it suffered, and the types of repairs needed. You should shop around for different insurance companies to find the right type of coverage. Do not be surprised if you are only able to get liability insurance policies on the car, but this still means you can legally drive your vehicle.

Read more on the official Procedures in This State, or on Rebuilt Title Laws for Other US States. Explore our Vehicle Auctions, Pennsylvania car auction, and find info on Buying With Us.