What is Salvage title?

What Options Do Salvage Cars for Sale Offer?

By Mike Richards Updated: 05/22/2019 Posted: 09/25/2017

You might consider the term “salvage” a negative one, but when you consider salvage cars for sale, it might not be such a bad thing. After all, the reason cars and trucks become salvage is not always catastrophic or even all that serious. Naturally, there are those salvage cars for sale that are really only good for parts or scrap, such as those caught in hurricanes, floods and other similar issues. There are also cars and trucks that are so badly damaged in accidents that they just cannot be reconditioned and made roadworthy once more. However, the salvage cars for sale we suggest are those that are entirely fixable and offer you a chance at the most affordably priced ride imaginable.

How It Happened

Before we look at the best way to get your hands on premium salvage cars for sale, let’s consider how those redeemable vehicles ended up with the salvage label. Most often, it is a matter of insurance companies, and their perspective on what is worth fixing, or not as is the case with many salvage vehicles.

Let’s say you have a reasonably new sedan that is the victim of a side swipe or even a side impact. That could mean that the door or doors are caved in, but the vehicle itself is still fine, with a good frame and complete mechanical function. So, your insurance adjuster comes out and you think they’ll give the estimate and you can then have the local garage do the body repairs and cosmetic work. After that, you and your trusty car can be on the road again.

Only, it doesn’t work out that way. The adjuster tells you that the car has to be totaled because the damage is too costly compared to the market value of the vehicle. In other words, you are out of luck unless you pay for repairs yourself, and even then, your insurance company is unlikely to extend coverage because of the adjuster’s verdict.

So, the car ends up in an insurance salvage auction open only to dealers and you find yourself pricing out new or used vehicles. Of course, it doesn’t have to end that way, and you can turn to third-party sites that offer access to some of those dealer auctions.

Working With a Proxy

It is entirely possible to find salvage cars for sale that have a similar history to the one just outlined above – cosmetically or lightly damaged but not deemed repairable by the insurance firm. These sites are licensed dealers with full access to auctions, and will perform as proxies for you, bidding on and buying a car you want to purchase and repair yourself. Though they have salvage titles, most states allow you to repair them and many insurance firms will offer basic coverage. This means you can get into a decent vehicle for a fraction of the typical price just by being willing to pay for a bit of cosmetic repair and by working with the most reputable dealer auction sites.