More and more Kansas residents are looking into buying salvage cars at auto auctions. You don’t need a dealer’s license to buy a salvage car at auction. If you’re willing to put the work in and get a salvage car retitled as a rebuilt car, you could get a good vehicle at a fraction of the price of buying it new or used.
So, what does it take to get a salvage car in Kansas insured and back on the road? The process involves some labor, but it’s actually pretty simple. Just follow these steps.
Do Your Research Before You Buy
First of all, we recommend going through an online car auction to buy salvage cars. Instead of feeling the pressure that comes with an in-person auction, you’ll be at home (or wherever you choose with a wi-fi connection) with the freedom to do all of the research you need before bidding.
With that in mind, before you bid on any car in an online auction, do a search on its title to find out all about its damage history and the work it needs. This will also tell you if the vehicle is a standard salvage or if it’s deemed unrebuildable or unrepairable. If you see either of those words on its title, this vehicle can only be sold for parts or scrap and will not be eligible to be retitled and made legal to drive.
After you’ve checked up on the vehicle’s history, if it’s the right one for you, go ahead and bid on it. If the bidding gets too high, just move on to the next car. Remember, this whole process is worth the time and effort, if you find a really low price on a salvage car.
Once you’ve won a car at auction, it’s time to go to work. Your job now is to get all of the repairs done and then get it retitled. After that, you can legally get it insured and registered.
Complete All Necessary Repairs
First, you’ll need to complete all of the necessary repairs to get the car in good, safe working condition again. People who are willing to do at least most of their own work and search through salvage yards and discount parts stores will get the best deals and come away with the least expensive vehicles when all is said and done.
That said, don’t try to do any work that you’re not confident about. If you get a really good price on your salvage car, you can probably afford a little bit of labor from a good mechanic who can help you get your car back on the road.
Throughout the repair/rebuild process, remember that your car is not legally roadworthy. Do not take it for a test drive on public roads after you finish repairs. Don’t drive it to get your inspection done. You’ll need to have it towed until it is retitled.
Getting Insurance Before You Re-Title the Car
In most states, you’ll need to retitle a salvage car before you insure it, but that’s not the case in Kansas. Here, you’ll need to get insurance for your car before the state will re-title it. This can prove a little bit tricky, as most insurance companies are not overly enthusiastic about covering salvage vehicles.
However, you can help your case by showing before and after pictures and/or by getting a professional appraisal done on the car to show that it’s worth covering. Expect to do some research and some calling around if you want to find a good monthly premium rate and if you want more than liability coverage.
Getting a Salvage Car Re-Titled in Kansas
After your repairs are all done and you have gotten insurance on the car, it’s time to get your salvage car re-titled. In Kansas, this will mean going from a salvage title to a rebuilt salvage title, which indicates that the car has been fully repaired and is ready to be insured and registered.
You should know, as you go through this process, that your vehicle’s title will always show that it was salvaged at one point, and it’s illegal to sell a previously salvaged car without disclosing its history. However, that shouldn’t be a problem for you if you’re just trying to get a rebuilt title so that you can legally drive it.
To get your new title, you will have to get an inspection to verify that the car is safe to drive, isn’t stolen, and hasn’t been repaired with stolen parts. This inspection can be done at one of a number of designated locations, and you can find a list of those locations at the Kansas Highway Patrol’s website. When you go in for your inspection, be sure that you have:
- The vehicle to be inspected (towed to the location)
- The vehicle’s current title
- Your driver’s license
- All receipts for any major parts used in repairs
- Inspection fee
- Proof of Insurance
After the car is inspected, the Kansas Highway Patrol will give it a rebuilt salvage status. You’ll take the inspection report, proof of insurance, and your current title to your county’s treasurer, where you can get your new rebuilt salvage title. With your new title and proof of insurance, you can now go get your car registered at the tag office as you would with any other car.
As you can see, getting a salvage car insured in Kansas does involve more work than getting a normal used car insured. However, if you’re willing to put the time and effort in, you can get a really great deal and save a lot of money.