Can you sell a car with a salvage title?
Can you sell a car with a salvage title?
If you wonder what a salvage title is and how you can sell a car with a salvage title, this article is for you. We will also try to answer some other questions like: What is the difference between a branded title and salvage title? How to sell a car with a salvage title? And can a vehicle be salvaged twice?
What is a "salvage title"?
A "salvage title" is an official, legal brand denoting that a car insurer has deemed a vehicle to be a total loss. The salvage title tells consumers that a car has sustained severe damage, and its value has dropped significantly. A car is granted a salvage title when it's been damaged through a severe accident or crash, fire, flood, or other natural disasters. The amount of damage for a car to be deemed a total loss is around 75% of its market value. That means the cost to repair it is more than its actual cash value. The amount of damage for a salvage designation varies from state to state; the lowest is 50% (in Iowa), and the highest is 100% (in Texas). It is highly advisable to check your state's salvage title laws through the department of motor vehicles. In some states, a stolen car that has been missing for a certain amount of time (usually three weeks) is granted a salvage title, and the insurance company will pay off the vehicle. If the car is eventually found, the insurance company is free to sell it to a repair shop, salvage yard, or car dealership. According to the law, such cars will be issued a salvage title to warn future buyers that an insurance company has declared the vehicle a total loss.
An insurance firm that deems a vehicle a total loss will need to request a salvage certificate. This certificate will come from the state's department of motor vehicles. Once the certificate is issued, it makes the vehicle legally undrivable and unregistrable. Usually, The insurance company takes ownership of the totaled vehicle. In return, they pay the insured car owner the car's actual value (before the accident). Although in some states, car owners can buy back the damaged vehicle from the insurance company. Insurance companies often sell such vehicles at salvage auctions. Car salvage yards are the usual buyers at such events, as they can sell the parts or rebuild the cars. There are some cases as well, where the car owners decide to keep the vehicle and repair it on their own. In such a case, the salvage title vehicle needs to undergo an inspection first, and only after it passes the inspection can it be registered again.
Qualifies car for a salvage title
Unfortunately, there is no standard and unified definition for what qualifies a vehicle for a salvage title. This fact and such loopholes open the door for fraudsters to take advantage of uninformed people. That usually happens when a car moves from one state to another, and the car's history is erased. That's why it's important and strictly suggested to get a vehicle history report from CarFax or similar companies to determine whether the car has ever been issued a salvage title.
Now let's see what the difference between branded title and salvage title is. In general, a branded title shows that a vehicle has suffered significant damage, has been declared a loss by the insurance company, and then issued a new title by the state department of motor vehicles, showing its new status. The salvage title is a subcategory of branded titles. Branded titles are permanently recorded, and they stay on that, while for the rest of its lifespan. A vehicle's type of branded title indicates what type of damage it has. The most common types of branded titles are Lemon title, Salvage title, Rebuilt title, Junk title, and Odometer Rollback title. When you want to sell or purchase a car, you should note whether it has a clean title or branded title, and act accordingly.
Salvage title issues
Now that we know about branded titles and, in particular, the salvage title, let's go through some of the issues that come with salvaged vehicles. The first thing that we should note about salvaged cars is that insuring them is quite difficult; it's not impossible, but difficult. You probably will no longer be able to buy all types of car insurance; especially collision and comprehensive coverage are almost impossible to get. This is because it's really difficult to put a value on warehouse vehicles. The chances of getting insurance from a firm are higher if you buy back a car that they have totaled. The other thing to note is that financing a salvage title is difficult as well. Without comprehensive and collision policy, it's unlikely to find a lender for financing options. And finally, selling such vehicles (even though they could be repaired and rebuilt) will always be difficult. When a salvage title car is fixed and rebuilt, it would need to undergo an inspection by the department of motor vehicles. If the car is roadworthy, the salvage title will be rebranded as a rebuilt title. However, the salvage title is still on the record, and it could be a red flag for someone you may want to sell a car with a salvage title to.
If you want to keep and rebuild a salvaged vehicle, you should be fully aware of the time and money you will need to spend on it. Sometimes you could be spending a lot of money (thousands of dollars maybe) and, in the end, be unable to get a return on your investment. And as mentioned before, there are very few insurance firms who would accept to cover such a vehicle, and, on the occasion when they do, they will charge higher rates. Apart from that, you should know there are rules and laws to follow when attempting to sell a salvaged car, so you should check your state laws before trying to sell the vehicle. some steps you could follow before selling the car:
Step 1- Recognizing a totaled vehicle
The first step is to see if your car is totaled. As explained before, this is done by the insurance companies. Have your insurance company inspect the vehicle to make sure it is totaled beforehand.
Step 2 - Salvage the vehicle.
After your car is totaled, you can now sell a car with a salvage title to your insurance provider. This will make the vehicle a salvage car. Some insurance companies will buy the vehicle and salvage it themselves, as legally they now own it. Many companies also offer you to buy back the salvaged car.
Step 3 - Obtain a salvage certificate.
Now that the vehicle is a salvage car, you can take it to your city's department in your city and apply for a new title. The department will issue you a salvage certificate, replacing the old title with a new one. As mentioned before, the salvage title will be permanently recorded, and the car will always be considered a total salvage vehicle, no matter what condition it is repaired.
Step 4 - Sell a car with a salvage title.
You can now sell the totaled car with a salvage certificate. One easy way to sell your car is to take it to a car dealership. A lot of dealerships purchase salvage vehicles for different purposes, such as re-sale or auctions. Finding a dealership that would buy your car could be a bit tricky. We suggest you find dealerships that specialize in selling "as is"vehicles. Such dealerships will sell a car with a salvage title or will only sell the car's parts.
Another choice is to sell your vehicle to a private buyer. Private buyers are a great alternative. You can use Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace websites to list your salvaged car and get the word out there to find a private buyer easier.
If a private party sale doesn't work, or you can sell a car with a salvage title the vehicle to a dealership, you can almost sell it to a junkyard for scrap or donate it for a tax credit. Junkyards specialize in weighing your car on a scale with plans to melt it down. So as you can guess, the bigger your vehicle, the more it weighs, meaning the more it's worth. To make sure that you're being paid the fair value of your car (for example, the scale could be tampered with), find a licensed junkyard.
There is another question that you might be wondering about. Can a car be salvaged twice? The general answer is yes. A vehicle can be salvaged twice, but the amount you will receive varies and depends on the insurance company. It's also dependent on the car's condition and the quality of the repairs on the car. Some insurers will pay about 20% lower than the value of the vehicle repaired and rebuilt. Some other companies pay about 50% lower. In some rare cases, a company could pay equal to the rebuilt car's value, but in general, the vehicle salvage value for a second time would be significantly less. Also if you are looking for a Used Lexus or Used Mercedez-Benz check our latest inventories to buy a clean used car.