Purchasing a vehicle with a salvage title can be extremely tempting. They are most likely much less expensive than other comparable vehicles due to the circumstances surrounding the reasons they have the branded title, but you also have to be aware of what you might be getting into.
What is a Salvage Title?
Vehicles are assigned a salvage title when they’ve undergone damage that is around or in excess of the total cost or value of the vehicle itself. It also means that owners and potential buyers need to be aware of the extent of damage, which isn’t always obvious just by appearances.
How to Purchase a Vehicle with a Salvage Title
The first thing you will want to look at is a complete inspection and maintenance from a qualified and trusted mechanic. Never just take the seller’s or previous owner’s word that the car has been properly repaired. It’s better to know exactly what you’re getting into before buying a repaired vehicle.
Next, you should check and double-check the car’s history. Was this the first time the vehicle was damaged or repaired? Are there other damages you need to know about? You can get a history report on the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System to get a complete report.
Because lenders typically are leery of financing vehicles that have undergone extensive damage, you might not be able to get a loan for a vehicle with a salvage title. Oftentimes, the interest rate is much higher on this type of car, so you might end up paying more in the long run.
Pros of Buying a Vehicle with a Salvage Title
The most obvious reason to purchase a car with this type of title is to save cash. Vehicles that had extensive damage can go for up to 50% of the cost of a comparable car that doesn’t have a salvage title.
You might find a car that just had a lot of damage to the body, but the engine and electrical systems were untouched. In this case, it might be a great idea to save yourself a lot of money and get the vehicle for a fraction of the cost.
Another reason people like to purchase salvage vehicles is for car parts. If you’re in the process of restoring a vehicle that is missing parts, consider buying a salvage vehicle and you could save money compared to buying each part separately.
Cons of Purchasing a Salvage-Title Vehicle
The number one reason not to buy a car with a salvage title is the extensive damage can make it unsafe to drive. If you recently purchased a wrecked car and were misled about damages, causing an accident, contact a car accident attorney Bay Area to learn if you have a case.
Sellers don’t always disclose the truth about the extent of damages and this could be potentially very dangerous, resulting in injuries or even death. It’s also very difficult to get proper insurance companies on salvage titles, so do your research and be sure you can get insurance coverage before you buy.