When you buy a salvage car at auction, you can often pay pennies on the dollar for a vehicle. However, buying a salvage car isn’t just as simple as getting it and jumping behind the wheel. There are many things you need to consider before you make this decision, and you will want to know more about how to make a salvage car legal to drive through registration and insurance.
We are going to explain how you can do that in the state of Nevada.
Just What Is a Salvage Car?
First, let’s establish what a salvage car is. In the state of Nevada, there are actually three different categories that are used for these types of vehicles. Two are reparable, but one is not. These three ways that a title could be designated include:
- A Total Loss – In this case, the insurance company has deemed the cost to repair the vehicle would be 65% or more of the value of the car itself. If the damage is less than 65%, then a vehicle cannot be salvaged and would need to undergo standard repairs.
- Non-Repairable – If the vehicle has suffered from 100% damage, has been stripped or burned beyond anything that could be restored, then it will be listed as a non-repairable car. That means it cannot ever be used as a vehicle again. It can only be sold for scrap or parts.
- Flood – The state of Nevada has a separate category for cars that have been flooded. If the flood waters went higher than the door sill on the bottom of the vehicle, if it entered the passenger area, the trunk or under the hood and it has come in contact with anything electrical, then it is considered salvaged due to flood damage.
All salvaged cars will have a specialty title that is actually orange in color. These vehicles can’t be driven legally until a rebuilt title has been issued.
If the salvage car you have purchased is older than ten years old, then the state of Nevada does have special rules about this. The 65% rule doesn’t exactly apply in the same way, and if damage is deemed minor enough, then the vehicle still may not receive a salvage title.
Repairing a Salvage Car
When you have purchased your salvage car through an online auction, you will need to make repairs to it so that it can be deemed safe for driving. If you go through all of the proper steps, then the Nevada DMV will issue a repair/restore title, which means you can register and insure the car.
- Your car must be five years old or newer.
- When you first get the vehicle, you need to have a DMV inspection done before any repairs are made. Remember that you cannot drive the car, so it will need to be towed.
- You will need to take your car to a full service Nevada DMV office and then an inspector will issue an Authorization for Vehicle Restoration.
- Once you have this document, then you can begin repairing the car.
- Once you have completed the repair work, then the next step is to have your mechanic who did the work complete the Certificate of Inspection and the Affidavit of Vehicle Construction. This document will indicate that all state and federal regulations have been met through the repairs.
- You will need to take your car to a full service DMV once again for a final inspection. If it passes, then the examiner will sign the forms your mechanic should have completed.
- After you have gone through all of these steps, then you can apply for the new registration on your car. The DMV will issue a title that is now listed as rebuilt. While you can never get a clean title on the car, this rebuilt title does allow registration.
It’s important to note that even if the vehicle is as good as new, it’s not going to get a clean title. It will always be a rebuilt title. This helps to ensure that anyone else who may buy the vehicle in the future realizes that it has been rebuilt.
Of course, you will need at least some amount of insurance on your salvage car to be able to drive it. If all you have is a standard salvage title, then you will not be able to get insurance since the car is not deemed legal to drive. However, once you have received the new repair title, then you should be able to get some level of insurance coverage.
It won’t necessarily be easy. Not all insurance companies are willing to cover rebuilt salvage cars. You may need to provide information on the type of damage the car received and the work you had done rebuilding it. Then, the company will decide if they will offer insurance, how much they will charge, and what policies they will offer.
Don’t be surprised if most companies only offer you liability coverage on the vehicle. However, if you are set on getting comprehensive coverage, then you will need to shop around more and look for a company that will offer this.