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4 Tips to Consider When Buying a Salvage Car

Buying a brand new car can topple your financial planning, leaving you thousands of dollar poorer. If money is a constraint, consider investing in salvage title cars for sale. Apart from participating in physical auctions, you can also bid online for cars. Considering the fact that you know very little about the car’s past life, you cannot take everything the seller says on face value and need to be extra cautious when buying a salvage car. To help, the post lists some useful tips to consider when looking for a damaged car. Read on.

Illustration for article titled 4 Tips to Consider When Buying a Salvage Carem/em

1. Learn About the Nature and Extent of Damages

Physical damages is one of the most common reasons why cars are given a salvage title. To get your money’s worth, make sure the vehicle is in repairable condition. Consider the severity of damage and look for cars that only have body damages in isolated areas. Avoid cars with suspension and frame damage as they are often costly and difficult to fix. When buying a flood damaged car, look for vehicles that are only damaged up to the level of the carpet.


2. Determine the Car’s Value

The thumb of rule suggests a reconstructed car with a salvage title is worth 60 percent a car of the same make and model with a clean title. To ensure the asking price is right, check the Kelley Blue Book or learn the car’s National Automobile Dealer’s Association value and multiply it by 0.60. If, however, the car has not been repaired or has been repaired less than 100 percent of its full condition, deduct the cost of repairs from the KBB value. If the seller is quoting a higher price, negotiate to get a better deal.


3. Inspect the car

A damaged car may be hiding nasty secrets that only expert eyes can detect. To avoid losses, request your trusted mechanic to inspect the car. Ask the expert to provide repair estimates. When inspecting a flood damaged car, make sure the engine, interior, and electronics have been refurbished and do not exhibit any signs of water damage. Check the car’s frame for cracks and other signs of damage. Check the airbags, seat belts and pretensioners and make sure they are functional.


4. Run a VIN Check

Inspecting a salvage vehicle can alert you about maintenance and repair issues, however, you will still have to believe the seller’s version of how the car got the salvage title, unless, of course, you decide to run a VIN check. To remove mystery from the car’s history, order a car history report. Go through the report carefully to learn about the car’s ownership history, maintenance history, odometer readings, liens on the vehicle, and title history.



Many people wrongly believe that all salvage cars are bad investments. Though, most cars are totaled after getting involved in a crash, many are in repairable condition. And then there are repossessed cars that may have little or no damage. When buying a salvage car, keep your eyes open and follow these tips to get your money’s worth.


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