Picture the scene – you’ve just discovered the car of your dreams at a price you can actually afford. The latest model BMW is for sale at thousands of bucks lower than all the rest. It’s got low mileage and a spotless interior – is this your lucky day or what?
Only one small detail can possibly put a damper on things – an asterisk which indicates that it has a salvage title. The seller does his best to assure you that it’s just cosmetic damage and nothing structurally wrong with the car. The car is by far cheaper than anything else you’ve seen so what do you do? Should you take your chances or walk away?
It may seem like a good deal to get your hands on a car which is priced substantially lower than all the rest, but what does it actually mean?
Salvage Title Cars
What are salvage title cars – what does it actually mean? If a car has been involved in an accident, weather damaged or stolen and the repairs on the car would cost more than the motor is worth then the insurance company will consider it to be written off and take possession of it. Insurance companies then sell on these cars to salvage yards / rebuilders. The salvage title is a warning to any future buyers that the car has been declared a total loss by an insurance company. But what does it matter? Of approximately 2.5 million cars which are salvage titled every year around 1.5 million of them end up back on the roads, a number which has grown dramatically over the last few years. But it may not be quite as simple as you first thought.
Finance and Insurance Problems
You may find that you cannot find any finance deals on a salvage title car or be able to fully insure it either. There are very few motor insurance companies which are willing to give full comprehensive and collision cover for a car which has had a salvage title. One problem is that it’s so difficult to put a value on them. For this reason it can also be very difficult to secure a finance package on a salvage title car. If you want to buy one you will probably need to pay cash for it.
This is probably the best reason of all to avoid a salvage damaged car. Some of these cars are nothing short of dangerous. Many vehicle rebuilders are tempted to cut corners skimping on airbags, alignment and structural issues.
A salvage title car will always be worth considerably less than a “normal” car which has not been involved in an accident. This makes them incredibly difficult to value and can be very difficult to sell on afterwards. There is a very small pool of potential buyers who are willing to take a risk on a salvage title car.
There are also many problems with fraud when it comes to unscrupulous sellers selling on salvage cars without the knowledge of the buyer. There are loop holes in the law from state to state which means that a car which has salvage title in one state may not be the same in another.
The Bottom Line
If you plan on owning a salvage car and driving it until the wheels fall off (which may not be very long) then it may be a way of saving a little money. If not you are well advised to use reputable dealers like www.ocfiat.com so you know exactly what you are buying. Check out the offers at fiat dealership Los Angeles for a great start.