What is Salvage title? Buyer Tips

Used Cars or Salvage Cars: What’s a Better Choice For a Nigerian Buyer?

By Femi Amisu Updated: 05/23/2019 Posted: 11/21/2018

The cost of brand new cars coupled with the state of the Nigerian Economy hasn’t precisely made brand new cars affordable to most. This has resulted in an increased preference for used cars also known as Tokunboh or second-hand cars. Initially, buying cars from the neighbouring Republic of Benin was the way many Nigerians bought their cars. However, with the growth of the internet in Nigeria, online auctions have gotten more prominence in the auto industry. We tell you here what would be a better option between used cars or salvage cars. 

Many online auction platforms including Auto Auction Mall, give you the option of either buying used clean title cars or salvage title cars. While some personal buyers prefer buying used clean title cars, the dealers prefer buying salvage vehicles and here’s why.

Used clean title cars are either cars that are brought in by owners for an exchange, cars repossessed by banks or insurance houses or simply used cars up for sale. These cars are mostly in good shape with the usual wear that would come with a car that is not fresh off the manufacturer’s assembly line.  Most individual buyers go for used clean title cars because of the reduced possibility of extensive damages when compared to salvage cars which always come with body and in some cases mechanical damages. The stress and headache of fixing a car and the preference for a car they can just run and drive makes personal buyers go for a clean car and avoid all the hassles.

Further Reading

Salvage title cars, on the other hand, are often damaged vehicles auctioned by insurance companies to recoup money paid to the previous owner for damages incurred. In some cases, these cars don’t suffer extensive damage. It’s either relatively minor scratches and dents or some issues caused by extreme weather conditions.  Local Dealers buy these cars because they are cheap and can help them maximize their profit.

used cars or salvage cars

Here’s how it works; during the auction, the dealer buys salvage titled cars at cheaper rates. They fix the damages at a very affordable cost with a local mechanic since he knows how to find cheap labor, and when the work is done, he’d sell at a price that seems reasonable to the buyer, but would garner him amazing profits.

PROs and CONs of Used Clean Title Cars


  • It is cheaper. Used cars cost less than buying new cars.
  • Insurance is easier to get. However, in some cases is not that easy, as some companies won’t provide coverage for used cars.
  • It costs less overall as you won’t have to spend too much money fixing damages.


  • Hidden issues: It is possible to buy a car that looks like it’s in good shape, but isn’t and you won’t discover this until you have bought and taken possession of your car.
  • It definitely will come with some wear and tear due to usage. It’s tagged used for a reason.
  • Compared to salvage titled cars, it will be more expensive. The better the condition of the car, the more the auction house can make from it and the more competitive the bidding process.

PROs and CONs of Salvage Title Cars.


  • Salvage title cars are way cheaper than both new or used cars.
  • Luckily, salvaged doesn’t mean the car was smashed in an accident, it could just be a dent that may be expensive to fix in the US but cheap to fix in Ladipo market here.
  • Because of its nature, there’s always available spare parts.
  • As a dealer, you’d earn maximum profit.


  • The salvage title sticks forever.
  • It becomes difficult to ensure because of the said title.
  • The safety capacity systems might not be as efficient as before.
  • Repairing the damages could cost a lot of money especially if the damage is mechanical and is around the engine or front part of the vehicle.

In the end, the decision is up to you. Auction cars are sold “where is, as is”. It is all about the amount of risk you are willing to take. With proper research and patience, you can, however, avoid buying a lemon.

Salvage or Used clean, it all depends on what you need the car for, and if your budget can handle it. So if you’re working with a budget and won’t mind fixing minor damages, go salvage it’s cheaper. If you don’t mind the wait to get your desired taste and you also won’t mind the cost, then buy a used clean title car. Whatever you decide, we’ve got it at www.autoauctionmall.com.