Why People Seek To Buy A Salvage-Titled Car

Factors like price and conditions are a magnet for buyers, but is it a good idea to choose a car with a salvage title?

It is not uncommon to hear that there are many cars for sale that have a title “salvage” or as it is known in Spanish: “rescued” or “saved.” These vehicles have suffered enough damage that the cost to repair them exceeds their value, so they are “totaled” or declared a total loss from an insurance perspective. But that’s not the end of the road for many of these vehicles.

According to a survey conducted by CarInsurance.com, nearly half (46%) of those surveyed recently said they have purchased a car with a “salvage” title. While some do this because they can’t afford a roadworthy used car, research shows that is not always the case. The vast majority of buyers are bargain hunters or buy for sentimental reasons.

Highlights of the reasons to buy salvage title cars include:

43%: I can afford other vehicles, but I wanted to buy a car as cheaply as possible.

40% – I really loved the car and didn’t want to drive anything else.

17% – I cannot pay for any other type of vehicle.

But don’t be confused. In California it is illegal to drive a car with a “salvage” title and cannot be registered. To do so, the vehicle must first be repaired to an acceptable driving condition, and then pass a state-approved inspection, after which the title will go from “salvage” to “rebuilt”. 

Can you get insurance for a car with a “salvage” title

If possible. But keep in mind that not all auto insurance companies will insure these vehicles and that when this is possible, they will only issue limited liability insurance.

To obtain auto insurance for these vehicles, you will need to have a copy of the title, registration, and VIN number.

Some insurance companies may also require that the vehicle be inspected or request a mechanical report. They can also request to have the vehicle evaluated, says an expert. EC