Make the Most of Your Car: How to Determine a Salvaged Title Car Value

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Marc Skirvin

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As used vehicle sales have hit an all-time high in recent years, there are lots of ways that people are trying to buy used cars. One of the smartest ways to get a great deal is to buy a salvaged title car. If you have your own salvaged car and are trying to determine your salvaged title car value to sell or get a new one, there are some tricks to figuring it out.

Here is your guide to determining your car’s value.

Getting Your Salvage Title Value

Getting your salvage title isn’t as easy as you might think. You need to get your insurance company on board. If you’re not the owner, you need the owner to get their insurance company to determine that the car is irreplaceable for what it’s worth.

If your car was stolen, the insurance company will usually wait four weeks for it to show up. If it’s not recovered by then, they’ll take some action. When theft if covered by your insurance, the insurance company becomes responsible for replacing the car or paying for it.

In most cases, a car was involved in a collision that caused extensive damage. When the damage was so severe that repairing it would outweigh the cost of the car itself, that’s when a salvage title comes in handy.

Make a strong case with an insurance company and you can ensure that you can get a salvage title. However, you must figure out the real dollar value of your car before you agree.

Many people seeking a salvage title face an insurance company trying to cut costs. When an insurance company is skeptical of the amount that’s being sought, they’ll try to find ways to lower the amount being requested. With a little bit of research and some due diligence, a salvage title at the value requested can be received.

Thinking About Blue Book Value

When you want to start looking into getting down to the value of your salvaged vehicle, you need to start with the Kelley Blue Book. This comprehensive guide has the stated value of every car on the road. Taking into account craftsmanship, how well they’ve held up, and how good that year was, every car ever manufactured is in this book.

When you’re buying a car from anyone, you want to know what this book says about the value.

After you’ve picked out the car, trim level, and the mileage on the vehicle, you can then see the value of “selling it to a private party.” This is relevant if you’re buying a car from a private party. This tells you how much you’ll get from your insurance company for this kind of purchase.

There’s a different value if you’re going to consider going to a dealer. Dealerships will expect a different kind of trade value and so your salvage title will hold a different value to them.

Treating the car as if you’re going to be selling it gives you a realistic value.

Look at other databases like Edmunds for comparative value. This solidifies the fact that you’ve chosen the right options. While you might get a slightly different number, it’ll be close to the average of the values you’re quoted on these databases.

Consider Market Value

Beyond just those tools, there’s going to be a general market value to your vehicle. The National Automobile Dealers Association or NADA will have a trade-in value that they’ll abide by.

Add the retail price to the trade in value from one of the books above and then divide by two. This gives you a general idea of what your car’s market value is.

Next, call your insurance provider and then see the percentage that they calculate salvage car value by. Don’t get your hopes up, because that number is going to be less than 100%. It’s likely to be closer to 75% or less.

If you came up with a market value of $10,000, multiply your salvage value percentage by that number. If the insurance company gave you a percentage of 75%, the salvage value of your car is going to be $7,500. This is how much the insurance company will pay for a new car.

Don’t forget to include tax rates as well.

It might be a little bit disappointing to only get three-quarters of the car’s value from your insurance company. However, if the collision was someone else’s fault, you can contact their insurance company for the rest to cover a new car.

Buying a Salvage Car Title

Some people will buy a salvage car title in hopes of fixing it up and making some money back. If you’re thinking of buying a salvage car title, you should find out the state of the repairs. The cost of repairs is going to be a major factor that determines how much you should pay for the title.

You can call a shop and get an estimate if you know what’s wrong with it. Otherwise, there are online resources to help you calculate all the needed repairs on a salvaged auto.

Buying a salvage title car isn’t always going to be a car that’s been in a huge accident. It could also mean that the car was stolen and then found after the grace period ended. If the owner filed for replacement through insurance on week four and it was found on week five, there could be very little wrong with the car.

Maybe it’s gotten a little bit of interior damage from joy riding but other than that, it could be as good as new.

Salvaged Title Car Value Is Really Up To The Buyer

Whether it’s a private buyer, a dealership, or an insurance company, your salvaged title car value is up to who is buying. However, if you’re armed with the right information, you can tell the difference between a good deal and a bad deal.

If you’re curious whether you’ve got a scrapper or a salvage auto, check out our guide.

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About the Author

Picture of Marc

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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