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What Are the Pros and Cons of Salvage Cars from Auctions? 

By Mike Richards Updated: 08/04/2017 Posted: 10/16/2015

A number of people are choosing to buy salvage vehicles that they find at used car auctions. Is this a good idea or not? While everyone will likely have their opinions about this method of buying a vehicle, it’s important to strip away the myths and to get at the heart of the matter. You need to look at the benefits and drawbacks of used car auctions and then determine whether you want to buy using this method or not.

The Pros

Although salvage vehicles might not be the right solution for all buyers, a used car auction can be a good choice for many, as it does have some significant benefits.

The primary advantage is the price. Because salvage titles are generally a less attractive option to many buyers, it means that the prices are usually extremely low. It’s possible to find the type of vehicle that you want for a fraction of the price at a typical used car dealership.

Auctions tend to have low starting bids for these vehicles, and even when you are bidding against others, they don’t generally get too high. If they go over your budget, you can simply stop bidding. It is as simple as that.

Used car auctions tend to have a nice selection of different types of vehicles as well. It is possible to find both cars and trucks in a variety of makes and models. You can find gasoline vehicles, as well as diesel vehicles through auctions. If you are going through used car auctions online, you will have an even greater selection, since they may have vehicles in their auctions from all around the United States.

Many foreign buyers looking for used cars like auctions because of the low prices and wide selection. Even when they factor in the cost of shipping and the import fees in their country, it tends to be cheaper than buying new.

Additionally, just because a vehicle has a salvage title, it doesn’t always mean that it will need to have a substantial amount of repairs. In some cases, the damage could be relatively minor, or only cosmetic. The insurance company simply believed it would be easier for them to write off the vehicle as a total loss. Finding decent vehicles through the used car auctions is quite possible, so don’t overlook it.

If you are considering a used car auction, you may want to work with a third party dealer that can help you get into car auctions that are exclusively for dealers. You will be able to look at the selections online and then choose the vehicles that you like. The dealer will even bid on the vehicles, up to your maximum bid. It’s a nice and easy way to find some great vehicles.

The Cons

Of course, even though there are some strong pros when it comes to salvage vehicles from used car auctions, it is important to consider the cons as well.

First, it is a salvage title. This means that you will not be able to get insurance on the vehicle, and you will not be able to register it until you have the necessary repairs. Once you get the repairs, even if the vehicle is better than new, you will not be able to get a clean title for it. It will always carry a rebuilt title, which could affect the resale value if you decide to get rid of the vehicle.

You might also find that it is more difficult to get insurance on vehicles that have rebuilt titles.  After completion of the repairs, you should not have trouble getting liability insurance, as this provides coverage against damage that your vehicle does to property and people. It’s when you want to have more coverage, such as comprehensive or collision, that it gets tricky to get insurance.

Companies don’t know how to value your vehicle, and they are hesitant to provide this type of coverage. That’s not to say that all companies will deny you. Some insurance companies, including Progressive, can provide you with this type of coverage. You just need to find them and check their prices and policies.

Getting the Most Out of the Used Car Auctions

What type of damage does the vehicle have, and how extensive is it? If the damage is severe, then it might not be worth your time and money to buy the vehicle. Even if you find a car that you love, if the damage is too much, you should not buy it. By taking the time to learn more about the vehicle before you bid at the used car auction, you will find that it’s easy to avoid a buying disaster. Look into the vehicle’s history so you can get the full picture.

When you are buying salvage titles, you should also request receipts for any repairs that were already done to the vehicle. In fact, you should always make sure that you get copies of these receipts, and that you keep the receipts for any repairs that you make after getting the vehicle. The car will need to go through an inspection to ensure none of the parts have been stolen, and in many states presenting these receipts during inspection is mandatory.

Make the Choice That is Right for You With Used Car Auctions

By thinking about the pros and cons of salvage titles, it becomes easier for you to determine whether it’s right for you, and what you need to look for when you do buy. Used car auctions have some fantastic benefits, and it would be a shame to ignore those pros just because you worry about salvage titles. A little research could help you find a car that you will love.

Find information on Rebuilt Title Laws for Each US State. Explore our Vehicle Auctions, as well as finding more information about How These Auctions Work.

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