Recently, I inquired about the price of a particular car, on a used car lot. I was told that it was being sold cheap because it had been salvaged. I envisioned a car that had been wrecked, and crushed to a pulp, repaired, and would have multiple problems for a new owner. This however is not always true. The term salvage can be deceptive.
Salvage does not always refer to a banged up vehicle that sits in the junk yard to be sold as spare parts. This may happen if said vehicle is deemed totally un-repairable. If however, there was what appeared to be only a fender bender but the insurance company deems the repair cost to be greater than the vehicle’s value, the car title is then listed as salvaged.Other reasons a title will be salvaged are vandalism, theft, flood, or hail damage.
Vehicles that have been salvaged will say so on the title. If you purchase one and later decide to sell it you may have problems. A dealer more than likely will not buy the car, and you may have to sell it to a private owner. You must disclose that the auto was salvaged, if not this constitutes fraud. Also make sure that your insurance carrier will ensure a salvaged auto.
With that being said, on the other hand, one man’s nightmare may become another man’s dream car. One man’s junk may be another man’s treasure. I know someone who bought a salvaged vehicle and it has been a blessing thus far. They paid cash and are driving a reliable vehicle with no note.
The car was on the lot of a reputable car dealer, where this person’s family had previously purchased 5 reliable used cars from. The vehicle had recently been inspected, and the car dealer shared that he had put close to $,4,000 worth work into this car. He was selling it at a price to recoup his expenses. This car normally would have sold for about $7,000.
This particular used car dealer also does repair work, on the vehicles they sell, and that was an extra bonus. Even so, the individual who bought the car had a diagnostic done at Sear for $20.00 and it ruled out any major issues. This gave additional peace of mind.
If you have the means to have everything checked out, and are able to keep your salvaged auto on the road, until you can scrap it, then you will have come out on top of the deal. According to the Consumer Federation of American, about 2.5 millions American cars are totaled annually. 1.5 million of these vehicles make it back on the road.
There are valid reasons why a salvaged vehicle should not be purchased, but some people have no choice. Low income families, or those without a good credit rating may have no other way to obtain a reliable car to drive.