A salvage title car is a vehicle that was deemed totaled and sold off by the insurance company, usually to a shop or individual who wants to get it running again. Salvaged cars typically have flood damage, fire damage, are marked stolen and recovered, or are otherwise completely unsavable. They regularly sell for a massive discount. But where can you even find repairable salvage cars for sale?
You’ll find a lot of these on Craigslist, in the cars+trucks section. You can also find them on some other websites and online auctions.
Unfortunately, buying a salvage title vehicle has more cons than pros. Some states don’t require a complete accident history, making it impossible to know the damage. The vehicle will always have a salvage title attached to it, which also makes attaining insurance difficult. If that’s not enough, they’re also incredibly difficult to resell.
If you still decide you want a salvage title vehicle, there are a couple of red flags to look out for. Signs of major repair in the fender, mud mold or rust around the trunk, and the VIN attached to the car with something other than rivets.
Even though there’s a lot of risk in purchasing a salvage title car, there’s an entire industry around repairing them. If you do your research, it’s a gamble that might pay off.