Why Should You Buy a Salvage Car?

A vehicle that has been damaged past the point of its worth may be titled as a salvage title vehicle. This means that the auto insurance company and the car owner have settled the claim after an accident.

Why Should You Buy a Salvage Car?

When the insurance company totals out a vehicle, they take possession of the vehicle and then try to sell it at a car auction like a salvage auction. Vehicles do not have to have been in an accident to receive a salvage title. If the car has been stolen and is damaged, it may be sold as salvage. It could have flood or fire damage, or it could have seen heavy use like police cars and taxis.

You can find salvage cars for sale at online auctions like A Better Bid (ABB) online car auction where they sell salvage vehicles, as well as clean title cars and trucks. ABetterBid is one of many places that handle insurance claim vehicles.

Should you buy a Salvage Car?

There are a lot of reasons to buy a salvage car, especially if you are skilled in working on cars yourself or know someone who can work on the vehicle. If you are comfortable under the hood of a car, a salvage car could be the best car for you for these reasons:  

Lower Price – Since a salvage vehicle has been damaged, the seller cannot get full price for it, so you can save a lot of money by buying a salvage vehicle at an auction.

Skilled technician – If you are a skilled technician, you can buy your parts for less money than if you had a garage to do repairs for you, so you can save money on the car, the parts and labor.

Spare Parts – If the car is too damaged and should be in a junkyard, you might be able to get parts from it for another car. The car may be cheaper than buying your parts wholesale.

Damage – The salvage vehicle may not be as damaged as the insurance company or bank thought, so you might find that the vehicle only needs small repairs. This can save you a lot of money.

Cons of Buying a Salvage Car

While there are a lot of good reasons to buy a salvage vehicle, there are some things you should keep in mind about salvaged cars. Here is a list to consider:

Finance – You will have a hard time getting a lender to finance the vehicle for you since the title is branded salvage. There is no way for the lender to figure out the value of the vehicle, so they try to avoid these vehicles.

History – You may not know the vehicle’s true history. There could have been previous repairs or accidents that you are unaware of, so you may be buying more problems than you thought.

Trade-in Value – A salvage title has no trade-in value. Like the finance company, auto stores do not want to bring this car in on trade because they cannot sell it.

Insurance Value – The insurance value might be very low, so an auto insurance company may be reluctant to give you good coverage on the car.

High Interest Loans – You may be able to get a loan on the vehicle, but it will be a high-interest, short-term loan.

When you do decide to buy a salvage vehicle, here are some things to consider:

·         Get a vehicle report on the car. This will tell you what damage the vehicle had prior to its salvage title.

·         Check the title before you buy it.

·         Check the paint for undisclosed damage in mismatched sections.

·         Check the wheels for misalignment that could indicate there is frame damage.

·         Check the doors to ensure they open and close properly and are not hiding body damage.

·         Make sure the hood opens and closes properly.

·         Check the electrical system for signs of flood damage.                                                              

As long as you do your due diligence and know what to look for in a salvage title vehicle, then you can come away with a car for a lot less money than you can buy any other used car for, which might mean a better model than you thought you could buy.

If you are ready to look for cars, here are some places that you can find used cars for sale:      

A Better Bid

A Better Bid is a Copart broker with access to 190 auctions and over 200,000 vehicles like trucks, cars, SUVs, motorcycles, boats and RVs. They are 100% online, so you can bid from the comfort of your own home. In addition, you do not need a dealer license to buy cars from ABB auto auctions. You will find salvage, wholesale, clean titles and more at these auctions.

Fairway Auto Auction

Fairway Auto Auction is located on 13 acres in Edgerton, WI and is open to dealers only. They have three run lanes.

Columbus Fair Auto Auction

Columbus Fair Auto Auction is located in Columbus, OH and is open to both dealers and the public. They offer cars, trucks, SUVs, commercial vehicles and more. They only take cash and cashier’s checks.                                                                   

Orlando Longwood Auto Auction

Orlando Longwood Auto Auction is located in Longwood, Florida and is not open to the public. They handle cars, trucks and more from finance companies. They offer BX auctions that consist of damaged and repossessed vehicles.


When you are ready to buy a salvage car, you will find plenty of options open to you. Do your due diligence and you could end up with a car or truck that lasts you for years.