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

How To Insure Salvaged Cars Bought at Auction in Colorado?

By Mike Richards Updated: 05/22/2019 Posted: 10/16/2015

Buying a salvage car at auction can be a great way to save money on a vehicle. However, you must keep in mind that, if you wish to drive that car legally in Colorado, you will have to take a few steps and comply with rules and regulations to get the car registered and insured.

What Is a Salvage Car?

In Colorado, the vehicle has to have sustained enough damage to need repairs that equal 100% of the value of the car. This is higher than in some states, which allow salvage status if the damage is 75% of the value. Once a vehicle has received a salvage title in the state, it cannot be legally driven, given a license plate, or insured. Salvage vehicles will have to be repaired before they are legal for the road.

The state of Colorado provides a list of the types of damage that can cause a vehicle to be considered salvage. These include collision, accident, vandalism (trespass), fire, flood, or others. In this state, hail damage does not qualify.

In order to have your car retitled as a rebuilt car, you will need to fill out a salvage title form and take it to your local Department of Motor Vehicles branch. The form includes a checklist where you will need to provide information about the vehicle, its inspection, and other information.

Then, the vehicle will have to be submitted to an inspection to determine if it is safe. The inspection will specifically check to ensure the lights work, the tires and wheels are operating correctly, all mirrors are in place and work, the vehicle can keep up with the flow of traffic, parts are permanently attached, seats are attached properly, there is no torn or jagged metal.

The current price for an inspection of the vehicle is $20. You will also need to have a police officer complete the Verification of Vehicle VIN. This ensures that the vehicle, as well as any parts used in the reconstruction, is not stolen. 


If the vehicle passes inspection, then the car itself will be stamped with “rebuilt from salvage” and the rebuilt from salvage title will be issued. This allows the car to be licensed and insured.

Getting Insurance

Insurance companies may be wary to offer full coverage to a rebuilt car. In many situations, you will not have access to collision or universal insurance coverage, depending on the nature of the damage sustained by the vehicle before it was repaired.

For that reason, the insurance company will want to get information on the damage as well as the DMV’s inspection report so that they can make their decision. At the very least, you should be able to get liability coverage. To get more than just basic coverage, you are going to need to spend more time shopping around.

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.