Is it OK to buy a vehicle with a salvaged title if it looks and drives well?


Asked by Sep 17, 2016 at 12:46 AM about the 2007 Hyundai Sonata SE

Question type: General

Buying a vehicle with a salvaged title.

5 Answers


Depends on how it got its salvage title. They issue them for wrecks, abandoned property, or police seizures. It's a gamble, and its resale value is severely hurt.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

If you do not need it for parts then NO! Also depends if its been threw the process to make it street legal again. Insurance companies sell these off to a dealer or companies that can get them issued the paper work to put back on the road which then will issue a new title so unless you know the Governor in your state then all a salvage title is good for is selling the part off it and using the parts on a car you hope to repair otherwise it is not a title you can get insurance on a drive around with a tag issued for it because you will not be able to get a tag for it. Cars that can be put back on the road have passed inspection and a new title issued. These cars have "rebuild" or "rebuild salvage" annotation in the title and can be registered and operated just like a new car. In North America, a salvage title is a form of vehicle title branding, which notes that the vehicle has been damaged and/or deemed a total loss by an insurance company that paid a claim on it. The criteria for determining when a salvage title is issued differ considerably by each state, province or territory. In a minority of states and Canadian provinces, regulations require a salvage title for stolen or vandalized vehicles which are not recovered by police within 21 days. In such cases insurance companies declare a vehicle total loss and pay off the previous owner;[1] but, in others, it is issued only for losses due to damage. Under some circumstances, a salvage title denotation may be removed or replaced with a Rebuilt Salvage designation;[2] and cars imported to, or exported from, the United States may be issued a clean title regardless of history. Because a salvage title can be issued to a vehicle with easily repairable problems or no damage whatsoever, the low cost of the salvaged motorcycle or car is appealing to some hobbyists and investors. Experts recommend caution when purchasing a salvaged vehicle, because there may be hidden damage,[3] which, if unrepairable, may render the vehicle a "pile of parts." In the US, motorcycles and cars which carry a salvage title may not be registered and driven on public roads in most states,[8] which impacts resale value.[7] Rebranding of the title is not permitted without having an inspection to verify that they meet all safety standards.[9] The inspection procedure may be complex,[4] and attempts to illegally circumvent the inspections are periodically reported.[10] Industry standards followed by the National Automobile Dealers Association Appraisal Guides, Kelley Blue Book Market Report Official Guide, and the International Society of Automotive Appraisers devalue a motor vehicle that has a salvage title. The Kelley Blue Book automatically rates any salvage vehicle as "poor" and does not value it at all.[11] The value of a vehicle with a salvaged title is usually 45-55% lower than the vehicle's estimated value.


If it does not say rebuild on the title then its a parts car, you can not get it titled for road use without a lot of book work, and when you do get the paper work done and back from the state it has to be repaired in a time frame and inspected and passed or you have to start all over. There is no laws that state that a State must title all cars that can pass to be driven on the road and issued a new title with rebuild status but those that do pass must be issued a rebuild status on new title issued. In fact there are laws against a salvage title car going on the road so you are not guaranteed a title with rebuild status. I have heard of many that have tried and failed while the car had no damage and companies that work under the insurance company as the one that get all there salvaged cars have no issues getting a damaged car that is still damaged while inspected passed, and these end up at car auctions sold to dealers then to the public and the auction company sends paper work for a new title and the dealer sends it off for you and you get a title in the mail and guess what it says nothing about salvaged or rebuilt so yes even against the rules if you do not know someone your chances drop 98%. We have a car in the driveway at this time that went threw this and when we later did a check on the net on the vin we found out and took it back to the dealer which told us when we bought it that it was demo car is why it had just under 20,000 miles and it was less than a year old, and refused to acknowledge it had been totalled and was not a new car they drove around as employees and racked up 20000 miles and sold to us as the first title owner in fact had been sold before, totalled and bought at a auction by them and then sold to us and out title says nothing about savaged or rebuild.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Do not buy it, its not worth it...

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.
Bogdan Butnaru

I sell great used cars - check out my site ... What is sad is that some ppl have share only one side of the situation, yet try to make ppl think they are experts... Cars get salvage titles when totaled... the reason for totaling the car is not always due to major damage and that the car should not be fixed anymore, but simply cause the insurance companies just do not want to deal with them. Many many times the damage is small and car still gets totaled. I have first hand experience with this, I know what they do and how they operate. I run a used car business and 99.99% are first salvage title, then GA inspects them, and get a rebuilt title. I sell the cars quite well, my cars are in top shape, like new, absolutely no problems, nothing wrong with them. The dealer inspects my cars and all my cars pass with flying colors. I guarantee my cars and I also provide warranty to the customers who are very keen on warranty. All my customers were always completely satisfied. Therefore, learn to think and do your homework, draw the line between good car and bad car, not clean and rebuilt. There are plenty of horrible clean title cars out there. Why not bad mouth those cars just as much as some bad mouth the rebuilt ones? My whole like I've always had rebuilt cars and never ever had any problems with them. Newer cars, previous low damage, low miles, well maintained, and had them fully insured and insurance always paid up. Is value lower? YES ofcourse. BUT you buy much lower to begin with, and then you sell lower, so you lost NOTHING. Please think before screwing up the smaller used car businesses and giving power to the big dealers, banks, and insurance companies. They are the ones ripping you off. I sell almost new cars at amazing prices.

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