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How Do I Insure a Used Auction Vehicle in Pennsylvania?

By Mike Richards Updated: 07/27/2017 Posted: 10/15/2015

Buying a vehicle from a used car auction has a number of benefits, and a large number of people in Pennsylvania are considering using these auctions for their next vehicle.

One of the most obvious benefits is the fact that the prices are generally much lower than what you will find through a typical used car dealership. You have the chance to save thousands of dollars on the cost of a vehicle. Also, you will find quite a few varieties of vehicles available when going through a used car auction.

What Are the Rules?

One of the things that you need to know about these auctions though is that a number of the vehicles sold on there have salvage titles, and this can make it tricky. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, a salvage vehicle is any vehicle that is not operable, or that is not able to pass the safety inspection from the state unless the owner spends more on repairs than the actual worth of the vehicle.

Even if a vehicle has a salvage title, you are still allowed to buy and own it. What you need to do once you have one of these vehicles is make sure that it receives all of the repairs that it needs to become operational and to pass a safety inspection through the state of Pennsylvania. When you repair the vehicle, you can receive a reconstructed vehicle title.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, a reconstructed vehicle bought from a used car auction needs to be restored to its “original operating condition” and it needs to match to the appearance and specifications as when it was originally manufactured. This means that it needs to have the seat belts, air bags, and other types of components that were a part of the original vehicle.

Safety Inspections

After you have rebuilt the vehicle according to those specifications, you will then need to have the vehicle undergo a safety inspection to make sure it is safe for the road. The inspection must be carried out by an “enhanced vehicle safety inspection station”. There are a number of these stations throughout the state, and you can find a list of them on the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation website.

When the vehicle passes the inspection, it will be photographed and the inspector will check the documentation that comes with the vehicle. This could be a certificate of salvage from Pennsylvania or from another state where you bought the vehicle from a used car auction.

They will not take Form 907A from New York State, and they will not accept any title or certificate of origin that states the vehicle can only be sold for parts. You will also need to have proof of insurance before you can drive the vehicle.

How To Insure the Vehicle

When it comes to insuring the vehicle, it can be tricky, but it is possible. When you rebuild the vehicle, you should be able to find a number of insurance companies that will provide you with coverage. However, it is possible that they will only provide you with basic coverage in most instances. Since it is a rebuilt title, they are not often willing to provide comprehensive or collision, as it is not in their best interest.

However, different insurance companies have different policies. You may be able to find an insurer in Pennsylvania that will insure the vehicle you bought from the used car auction. Shop around and talk to a number of different companies. Complete your research before you buy the vehicle, so you have a shortlist of potential companies from which to choose when you make your purchase.

Even though buying from a used car auction will often mean the vehicle needs to have some repairs before you are able to title, register, and insure it, the amount that you save could well be worth it. Take the time to check out what some of the online auctions in your area have to offer, and make sure you check into the vehicle more to understand the type and extent of damage it has before you buy.

A little bit of research can help make sure you don’t buy a vehicle that will be too expensive to repair.  

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

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