What is Salvage title?

The Smart Way to Buy a Salvage Car with High Value

By Mike Richards Updated: 10/15/2019 Posted: 09/22/2017

It’s always a little bit of a gamble to buy a car that could be un-insurable because determined as totale damaged. However, if you know your insurance options and you’ve found a salvage car that looks to be in decent shape, there’s nothing saying you can’t find a great deal. But before you start bidding, you may want to consider how you are estimating the value on that car. If you are trying to buy salvage cars based on the same estimations you use for used cars in general, you could be setting yourself up for disappointment. How to buy salvaged car high value and low price?

Non-Salvage Price Point vs. Salvage Price Point

Estimating (to calculate) the value of a non-salvage used car is usually pretty easy. Once you know the year, make, and model of the car, as well as any trim packages or add-ons, you just need to look up the blue book value of salvage car. Websites like Edmunds.com, KBB.com, and NADAGuides.com provide good current market values of most cars you can find.

Just by having the classification of salvage on the title, a vehicle will drop in value by somewhere around 50%, if you get a good deal. For some cars, it’s more like an 80% drop in value. Salvage cars are great for buyers, but not so great for those who want to resell.

Consider a Professional Appraisal

The method above is the most basic of estimates, and really can’t be trusted to provide the most accurate picture of a car’s worth. When you buy salvage cars, it’s important to have them appraised by professionals. Give the shop you take the car to any information you have about its past, including damage and other repairs that have been made. You can also just pull up a Carfax report if you don’t have much information. These mechanics will most likely be creating a list of repairs that are needed, so their estimate will be based on the car’s value after their repairs.

Alternatively, you can ask your insurance company to evaluate the car. They have to do that every day to charge the right amount for insurance coverage, so they have the tools necessary to get a good market value on a salvage car. Give them the same information you gave the mechanics, and they can give you the valuation. An insurance valuation will be a lot lower than the market estimate, and will likely even be lower than the asking price, so be sure to use this as a car’s value only as a last resort.

Online Shopping Makes Comparison Easier

There’s one more thing you can do to buy salvage cars at the best price – compare, compare, compare. The more data you can gather from similar salvage cars being sold, the better you’ll understand the potential value in a car you’ve been eyeing. Online auctions make that very easy, because you can see many auctions all happening on one screen.