What is Salvage title? Buyer Tips

Used Car or Salvage Car, Which Benefits Me More?

By Femi Amisu Updated: 07/09/2022 Posted: 07/01/2019

A car title is a document that is issued to a car owner. This document contains the vehicle identification number, the description of the car, the mileage, and the condition of the car. The vehicle title is the document that states if the car is a clean used car or a salvage car.

A vehicle is given the salvage title when it has sustained some serious/minor damage. Or when the insurance company which paid claim to it, considers it a total loss. On the other hand, a clean used title car is the term for describing a vehicle with a higher value than the salvage car, has almost no visible damage, still has a warranty and can be insured.

Differences Between a Salvage Title Car and a Used Clean Title Car

For more clarity, below is a table that distinguishes between the clean used title cars and the salvaged title cars.

Salvage Title Cars

Used Clean Title Cars

Salvage title cars have usually incurred some damage from a serious accident, a minor scratch, or from poor maintenance and negligence. Used clean title cars have minimal or no damage at all.
They are also deemed a total loss by their previous insurance companies. Insurance companies still insure vehicles with a used clean title.
In some cases, has to undergo thorough car inspection and repairs. Still requires inspection, but might not undergo any repairs.
Salvage title cars are mostly purchased by car dealers, repair shops or hobbyists. Usually purchased by private buyers.
Salvage title cars are cheaper and help to save cost. Used clean title cars are considerably costlier than salvage title cars, but not nearly as expensive as brand new cars.

As the saying goes, “different strokes for different folks”. Different people have varying reasons why they prefer either salvage or clean title cars. The major buyers for salvage title cars are dealers who make a profit from buying really cheap cars, for sale; while the major buyers for the used clean titles are individual private buyers who don’t want to go through repairs before driving their cars.

Benefits of a Salvage Title Car

Based on the above premise, here are some benefits of buying a salvage title car

  • Some of the salvage title cars actually come in good condition.
  • The price is always right, whether, with cosmetic or severe damage, salvage title cars always save cost.
  • As a dealer, salvage title cars are one of the best ways to make a good profit.
  • Being a spare part collector or hobbyist also has its benefit, as you could make twice the amount spent buying the car from selling the spare parts from the car

Benefits of a Used Clean Title Car

  • Compared to buying a brand new car, used cars are very cheap.
  • Used cars sometimes still have a warranty, which means that the manufacturer could still be held responsible for certain repairs.
  • Insurance cost would also cost less compared to a brand new car.


Buying either used clean title cars or salvage title cars are both beneficial in their own rights depending on your reason for purchase.  The cost of repairs, the time required, and what you need the car for will ultimately help you decide which of these to go for. Whatever your decision is, remember that at www.autoauctionmall.com we have both options available.