What is Salvage title? US States Rebuilt Title Rules

What Do I Need to Know When I Buy a Salvage Car in a Dealer Auction?

By Mike Richards Updated: 05/22/2019 Posted: 08/09/2017

Dealer auctions for cars online present an incredible opportunity for auto buyers. Through websites that offer access to dealer auctions, an average consumer can sometimes save as much as 70% or even 80% on a vehicle.

When looking through the inventories available in dealer auctions, consumers often come across a great many salvage cars. This category of vehicle is largely misunderstood. Many believe that these are simply ‘wrecked’ cars. While some are, the truth is that salvage cars often present the very best opportunity for incredible savings.

Provided you bid with savvy and work in conjunction with your auction specialist, it should be possible to find a salvage car that will be right for your needs and budget. Of course, once you buy a salvage car in a dealer auction, there are things you’ll need to take care of… Let’s take a look at what those things are.

State-by-State Requirements for Rebuilding from Salvage

Most states regulate salvage cars in very specific ways. This is especially true when it comes to rebuilding a vehicle from salvage. For this reason, you’ll want to get in touch with the transportation authority in your state to find out what the rules are for rebuilding a car from salvage.

In the majority of states, you yourself will be able to make all necessary repairs. However, do note that there are certain states that only permit licensed mechanics to make repairs to salvage cars. In addition, there are some states in which certain classes of salvage cars cannot be rebuilt, no matter by whom.

Keeping Documentation and Photographic Evidence Is Important

One thing that is universally consistent is that each state requires a great deal of documentation in order to issue a rebuilt-from-salvage title. Most of this will have to do with proving what repairs have been made in order to make the car roadworthy once again.

For this reason, make sure that you’re keeping track of all repair and part receipts, no matter how minor. In addition, do note that some states will require ‘before and after’ pictures of repairs to the vehicle. So, be sure to keep photographic evidence as well!

Securing Insurance for a Rebuilt-from-Salvage Vehicle

If you’re able to get a rebuilt-from-salvage title for your vehicle, the next step will be securing insurance. For the most part, you should find securing basic liability insurance an easy affair. However, if you’re looking for comprehensive coverage, you may have to search for a while. You can see if your present insurer will work with you, of course. If they won’t, though, do note that there are specialty insurers for salvage cars that can be easily located online.

Why Salvage Cars Are an Amazing Savings Opportunity

The above are the only real difficulties that you’ll encounter when you buy a salvage car in a dealer auction online. If you can deal with them, then you’ll discover how salvage cars present the best opportunity for savings. These vehicles can often be had for incredibly low prices. Even after the cost of parts and repairs, you’ll end up paying far less than you would for a used vehicle of the same type.