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What Does Salvage Title Mean? Is It Worth Buying A Car with A Salvage Title? 

I Don't Have the Car Title; Can I Still Sell It

The vehicle is considered salvage when repair costs get close, if not more, than the vehicle's actual worth. 

Auto Repairs Are EXPENSIVE

Probably the vehicle was involved in a significant car accident or was damaged through a flood or hail. In that case, the insurance company will not be able to pay for repair costs because it's not worth it, and instead to, it will declare a total loss and be provided with a salvage title.

By law, the salvage title gives a certain vehicle to indicate that the new buyer is aware of what happened to the vehicle in the past.

The question always remains, is it worth buying a car with a salvage title? This article will answer this question and a lot more in the following sections. 

Which vehicle is considered salvage? 


Determining the actual definition for a salvage title can differ from state to state, but some general rules apply to most states in the United States, including: 

  • The vehicle got involved in a severe car accident 

  • The vehicle experienced fire damage

  • The vehicle experienced flood damage, the vehicle was stolen, and it possibly is missing a lot of parts 

  • The vehicle was used as a taxi, and it was returned under warranty to the manufacturer. 


Factors to consider when buying a car with a salvage title? 


If you have some mechanical skills and think that you will be able to repair the vehicle and get it going, it might be worth investing in purchasing a salvage title vehicle.

However, there are a lot of significant risks when purchasing a salvage title, including:

  • Issues with financing


In most scenarios, banks, lenders, and other auto finance companies will not finance a car that has a salvage title. They understand that the salvage title vehicle is difficult to be repaired and it's very hard to evaluate this car and put a value on it.

  • Consider the history of the unknown vehicle 

Most auto financing companies will also hold back on helping you with any finances related to salvage vehicles. They don't know the full story about what happened to the vehicle in the past, and they don't have a full understanding of the vehicle's safety and how stable it is. 

  • Problems with the trade-in value 


When you decide to go with a salvage title vehicle, you need to keep in mind that trading value in the future. Whether you are purchasing a truck, SUV, or any other new vehicle, and you would like to trade it in with your salvaged vehicle, the Dealership will most likely not accept it.

They don't risk purchasing a salvage car in the trade of a good vehicle. Even if you got lucky and found a dealership focused on purchasing salvage vehicles, you might not get any good offers for this car. 

  • Insurance value 


If your salvaged vehicle got into an accident, your insurance company would not pay a lot of money to fix it because it knows that its actual worth is not a lot. This is assuming that any insurance company would want to ensure this vehicle. 

  • Challenges with loans 

As we mentioned earlier, most auto car financing companies will not help you finance a salvaged vehicle. However, if you were lucky enough and found one, you will be offered very short-term loans, and it will most likely be associated with very high-interest rates. 

How to prevent buying a salvage title without knowing? 


Unfortunately, the automobile market is filled with scammers who might get you a salvage title as a good vehicle. They will not tell you that your car is selfish because they will be selling it in a different state that gives the car a different title or even steals VIN from a different vehicle.

The best tip here to prevent any scams like this is to do your due diligence and read through the vehicle's history.

If you have the right VIN, we can request a vehicle history and consult different agencies to confirm that this vehicle is salvaged. By having the VM, you can get your hands on a lot of good information and data about the vehicle's history and previous owners. 

To be more specific, some common signs are indicating that the vehicle is a salvage vehicle:


  • Before making any final decision, ask the seller to show you the vehicle's title because every state requires direct identification for the vehicle with a salvage title.
  • You will notice that some of the paint might chip off, and it doesn't match the entire vehicle. If that's the case, the seller might be trying to hide big damage under this area 
  • Ask for a certified automotive parts Association sticker. This sticker will indicate to you whether the vehicle was involved in a significant car accident.
  • The vehicle might not be perfectly aligned, and you will see some signs of it was in the vehicle's overall balance. This can indicate that the vehicle was involved in a huge accident.
  • Check the vehicle's doors. If any of the doors don't open and close perfectly, this might indicate that it was involved in a major collision 
  • Check if any of the electrical components don't work properly. Some of them might flick on and off intermittently. If that's the case, this might be a big sign of a major collision. 

What to do if you bought a salvage vehicle unknowingly? 


It's not very surprising to get in this Scam purchase a salvaged vehicle by mistake. Even experienced car buyers might also fall into this scam. 

If this happens, there are some steps you could take to resolve facial, including:

  • Reach out to their state's customer protection office


In your state, the customer protection office can provide you with good guidance and help you get refunded if possible. If you don't know where is your states customer protection office, you can find it by clicking on this link 

  • Consult legal help 


Once you reach out to the National Association of consumer advocates, you can ask them for the list of reputable lawyers in your state who can help you deal with salvage title problems. 

  • Get started with a paper trail 


If you can make a case that you were sold a salvage title fraudulently, you can reach out to the US Federal Trade Commission who can help you deal with auto salvage Issues. 

Interested in purchasing a salvage title? Here is what you need to do 


Assuming that you are interested in purchasing a salvage vehicle and you are fully aware of the entire situation, there are some tips that you need to take into consideration and do your due diligence before purchase, including:

  • Request information about the original repairs


Reach out to the insurance company and ask them about how much it costs to get the vehicle repaired in the past. By getting information about previous repairs, you can estimate how big the problem was with the vehicle, and it can help you get a better deal on the car by proving that it has a lot of problems. 

  • Do your homework on auto financing options 

Since we mentioned that auto financing might not be easy, especially with salvage vehicles, some agencies could still help you and provide you with some financing.

It's important to do your homework and focus on the different alternatives you get. Make sure to grasp a good understanding of the interest rate and the potential timeline of the loan. 

  • Review your state's lemon law options 


Buying a salvage vehicle involves a lot of regulations. That being said, it's very important to review your state-specific lemon law that is related to used car resales. 


Please familiarize yourself with the different laws associated with salvage vehicles and make sure to comply with all of them. 

A safe alternative for selling a salvage title 


Whether you intended to purchase a salvaged vehicle, or you got to count, there is a very safe approach to get rid of this vehicle within a couple of days and get the most cash out of it.

Our company is a junk car removal company which can remove your vehicle within one to three days and hand you a cash payment right on the spot.

Our process is very straightforward, and all that you need to do is get in touch with our team, describe the car, except the instant offer, get real vehicle removed from the color, and receive the cash payment.

If you are interested in more information, you can reach out to us by phone or through our main home page, “get an instant offer.” 



Buying used cars can be a little risky because you might get surprised by many problems you are not aware of. Things get riskier if you are ending up with a salvage title.

A salvage title indicates that the vehicle was involved in heavy damage related to a car accident or other sources of damages like fire, flood, hail, etc.

This article highlights the main tips you could do to prevent falling for salvage title skims. It also provided you with additional recommendations to consider if you decided to go with a salvage title vehicle. 

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