Are you considering buying car in Nebraska auto auction with salvage title? If you buy a salvage car at auction, you may be able to save a lot of money by doing the necessary repairs yourself and getting it re-titled so that you can get it insured and registered to legally drive on public roads.
First, though, you should understand what it takes for a car to be given a salvage title in Nebraska and what you’ll need to do to get your salvage car roadworthy. What does salvage title mean?
What Is a Salvage Car in Nebraska?
First of all, any late-model car that has been damaged (or destroyed) to the point that repairs will cost more than 75% of its fair market value will be considered a salvage car. These cars are usually totaled by insurance companies, but sometimes an owner will apply for a salvage title on their own car before selling it for parts or scrap, or before using its components to repair another vehicle.
If you’re buying a salvage car at auction from a reliable seller, you will almost definitely be looking at one of the former examples of an insurance company totaling a car, taking possession of it, and then selling it at a heavily discounted price for parts or scrap.
If you can find a way to do all of the necessary repairs to get the car re-titled as “previously salvaged” instead of “salvage” without spending as much as you would on a new or used car of the same quality, you’ll be getting a great deal. So, let’s look at what you need to do to get your salvage car legally back on the road in Nebraska.
Document All Repairs
First of all, as you go through the process of making all of the necessary repairs for your salvage car, you’ll need to document them. Be sure to take before and after pictures, and keep all receipts, bills of sale, and/or other proofs of ownership of any and all parts you use for the repair.
Getting a New Title for Your Salvage Car
After you’ve completed all of the repairs necessary to get your car back on the road, you’ll need to apply for a new title. Some states refer to this as a “rebuilt” or “reconstructed” title, but in Nebraska it is simply a “Previously Salvaged” stamp. This stamp will appear on any and all titles for the vehicle in the future, and you must disclose the fact that the vehicle was once a salvage car and all of its damage history if you decide to sell it later.
To get your new title, you’ll need to first have the Nebraska DMV complete a vehicle inspection. This inspection comes with transfer of a $10 fee and will ensure that all necessary repairs have been done and that the vehicle and its major components are not stolen. If your salvage car passes inspection, you’ll get a new title with a “Previously Salvaged” stamp, and you will legally be able to register your car.
Before you register your car, though, you will need to obtain proof of insurance, which can often prove to be the last challenging step in the re-titling and registration process.
Why Getting Insurance Can Be Difficult
Insurance companies are very reticent about offering coverage for previously salvaged cars because these vehicles can’t be guaranteed not to have structural damage. Because they’ve been salvaged and rebuilt, these cars also have less market value than other models like them in similar condition. So, while you can generally find liability coverage from a lot of insurance companies, getting more complete coverage can be problematic.
If you’re set on getting coverage that will protect the work you’ve put into your salvage car in Nebraska, we recommend taking one or more of these steps to help your case with insurers:
- Get a non-biased third party to appraise the vehicle and present this appraisal to the insurance company to show that it is worth covering and to help in negotiating how much coverage you should be paying for.
- Show them before and after pictures of the vehicle, showing that you’ve added value to it and that it is in great shape.
- Find out if you can bundle insurance on this car with your other policies with your current insurance company. They may not be willing to help a new customer with a salvage car, but they have a vested interest in retaining you as a customer if you already have policies with them.
- Accept a policy for liability coverage for the first six months with the contingency that you’d like to negotiate for more coverage when it’s time to renew your insurance policy.
After you have insurance certificate, you can then simply register your salvage car with your local county office, and you will be ready to drive.