If you’ve been shopping for a used car, either from a private owner or a third-party dealer, you may have run across vehicles that have “salvage titles”.
Usually, these cars are available at a good price – so you may be wondering what, exactly, a salvage title is – and whether or not you should buy a vehicle with a salvage title.
In this article, Ride Time will discuss salvage titles, and talk about the pros and cons of buying a car with a salvage title, so that you can make an informed decision.
What Is A Salvage Title Car?
A salvage title car is one that has been significantly damaged – usually “totaled” in an accident.
If an insurance company decides to repair and try to re-sell a totaled car, they will issue a “salvage title”. This title makes it clear that the car has had significant damage in the past.
Private owners may also get a salvage title if they decide to repair a car that’s been totaled.
Salvage cars are sometimes repaired, but they may also be in the same condition that they were in after an accident.
Either way, a salvage title is permanent. Once a car has had a salvage title issued, it is forever branded as a salvage vehicle, no matter what shape it’s in.
The Pros Of Buying A Salvage Title Car
Here are a few of the pros of buying a salvage title car.
- The car may be in great condition – A totaled car may sometimes simply have body damage or other cosmetic issues which can be fixed, either by a mechanic or a DIY hobbyist. Some salvage cars are in pretty good condition, and will be effective daily drivers with just a little bit of work, and many are completely fixed.
- The price is right – Salvage title cars are usually available for 20-30% less than cars with clean titles. This is a significant cost savings.
- You may be able to get spare parts from the car – If you’re a DIY car hobbyist, salvage title cars are great for spare parts. You may even be able to make more money “parting out” (disassembling the car and selling its parts) than you paid for it, in some cases.
The Cons Of Buying A Salvage Title Car
Salvage title cars do have some benefits – but there are also some drawbacks that we must mention.
- Insurance can be a big hassle – Many insurers are wary of providing collision and comprehensive coverage on rebuilt vehicles. The reason for this is that, when you get in an accident, it’s hard to tell what damage has been caused by the new accident, rather than other accidents.
You will probably end up paying quite a bit for collision and comprehensive coverage from an insurer. Your other option is to only carry liability coverage, which saves you money – but means you risk losing your investment in the car if you get in an accident that’s your fault.
- Repairs may cost you too much in the long run – Even the best salvage vehicles may have underlying mechanical issues that were not fixed – or may only become obvious after several months of driving. Repairs and fixes may end up costing you all of the savings you had from buying a salvage vehicle – or even more.
- It won’t be worth very much, even if you rebuild it – Your car will always be branded as a “salvage” car. Even if you pour money into it to rebuild it to factory quality, its value will be much lower than a comparable car with a clean title. If you’re ever looking to resell, a salvage title car is not a good investment.
Need A Used Car For A Great Price? Forget Salvage Cars – Come To Ride Time!
If you are a hobbyist mechanic, buying an extra car for your family, or otherwise willing to spend the time and money to repair a salvage title car, the cost savings may be worth it for you.
Otherwise, most people are better off looking for a high-quality used car with a clean title. If you need a used car in Winnipeg, Ride Time is your best choice.
We have a large stock of high-quality used vehicles at great prices – and no salvage title vehicles. You can trust that you’re getting cars that have been well-maintained at our service centre.
So whether you’re in Winnipeg or anywhere else in Canada, browse our cars today – and find the vehicle that’s right for you.