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6 Tips You Need to Remember When Buying a Salvage Car

Marc Skirvin
Marc Skirvin

What's in this Article

Buying a salvage car is one of the riskiest paths a buyer may take when looking for a vehicle. That said, it is possible to discover a gem in an unassuming salvage yard. You can do it successfully when you have a clear idea of what you are looking for, and you are willing to do extensive research. 

While we aren’t saying you should abandon all hope, you also need to realize that most salvage vehicles have records of previous accidents or misfortune. Many of these directly damaged the engine and frame, the two most essential components of a car.

If you are already decided and keen on owning a salvage car, here are some guidelines that will help you purchase something that’s worth your while, whether your intention is to refurbish, resell, or just get your hands on a cheap vehicle for temporary use.

Check the Seller

Trusting the seller is a critical component of buying a car. To build your trust, try to locate a seller that has a proven track record of genuine and successful transactions. It should be ready to give all of the essential information upfronts rather than make you look for it yourself. You can also talk to past customers, read internet reviews if available, ask hundreds of questions, and cross-reference all of the responses you gather.

Verify Vehicle’s Background

If you’re looking to purchase a salvage car, you’ll need to uncover every single detail regarding that vehicle. Learn about the vehicle’s history, accidents, the gasoline used to run, the places it has been, and the challenges it encountered. That will assist you in creating a historical chronology for the car. It will also help you to track down any accidents and determine if the vehicle is worth buying.

Seek Professional Help

Your trustworthy mechanic should be able to inform you whether the vehicle is too far gone. When purchasing a salvage vehicle, a trusted mechanic is your best friend! Make sure every prospective vehicle undergoes a professional examination and have the mechanic provide you with a comprehensive list of everything that will get it back on the road, legally and safely.

Estimate Repairs and Insurance

It is a good idea to have a salvage car inspected for repairs before purchasing it. Check to see how much it will cost to get it repaired to meet your restoration standard. That figure should be the very bare minimum required to get the vehicle back on the road. Knowing these expenses will help you budget or show you if the car is not worth your effort and money. You must also consult with your insurance provider to establish how much this particular vehicle will cost to insure if you could rebuild it. 

Have a Backup Plan

If you plan to purchase a vehicle with a salvage title, do not depend entirely on it. One of the main reasons someone would buy a salvage vehicle is for the low cost and affordability. However, if a transaction did not materialize, you should have a plan to back it up. If possible, look for a vehicle that is identical to the one you are considering. Just ensure that it has a clean title rather than a salvage title. While it will cost more, when you are prepared to pay for a clean title, you are almost paying for your peace of mind.

Walk Away

If you can, try to avoid buying a car with a salvage title. If you’re not comfortable with risk or require confirmation that your automobile is in good condition, don’t purchase a vehicle with a salvage title. There is no assurance that it won’t break down in a few months, although there is no guarantee that non-salvage autos will not. Therefore, it will all boil down to your willingness to take the risk.

Final Thoughts

These days, there is a market for previously salvaged vehicles. However, it is just a tiny portion of the overall secondhand car industry. Because most salvage vehicles have a shady history, many individuals do not even consider them as a viable choice. Therefore, if you are already buying one, you need to understand that reselling a car with a restored salvage title may be more difficult. It will take longer and will not earn you the same resale value with a clean title car. 

On the other hand, if you are willing to take all the risks that come with owning a salvage car, use these tips and suggestions to act as your guide.

When you are buying or selling a salvage car, make sure you are dealing with the most trusted in the industry! We at Cash Auto Salvage, a scrap yard that takes cars in New York and other places near you, can take the hassle of finding and selling salvage cars out of your hands!

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About the Author


Marc is the Co-Founder of Cash Auto Salvage and Director of daily operations. He retired from a leading Internet Marketing company in 2013 and has been involved in the automotive industry ever since.

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