How does a car become a salvage vehicle?

A salvage vehicle is like a phoenix rising from the ashes. Emerging from the brink of destruction, it may evolve into a resale-ready car or a source of parts. Salvage vehicles often have dubious reputations, but they also have benefits. What exactly is a salvage car, and why should it find a home in your garage? Find out here:


What is a salvage vehicle?

Salvage cars have such significant damage that insurance companies consider them total losses. This is because the cost of repairs exceeds 75 percent of the car’s value.

Let’s say your 15-year-old car, worth $4,000, sustains $13,000 in damages. Typically, insurance companies pay the owner what the car was worth before the accident, consider it a loss and toss the $13,000 repair cost. Next, the company repossesses the vehicle and registers it with the DMV as a salvage. It is prohibited from being repaired or driven.

What happens next?

A repair shop or parts salvager buys the vehicle from the insurance company. If the car is fixed the DMV will not issue a new title until it meets a safety inspection. If the car is inoperable it will be deemed beyond repair and sold to a scrap yard.

What kind of damage makes a car a salvage?

Damage from collisions is commonly associated with salvage, but other events can make a vehicle a salvage:

• Flood damage — This occurs when water fills the engine compartment.

• Fire damage — Fire damage includes external and internal fire and smoke damage.

• Hail damage — Hail chunks can severely dent the body. This is cosmetic damage.

• Vandalism — A vandalized car has been spray painted or overturned. The cost of repairing the vehicle outstrips the cost of replacing it.

How can I find a salvaged car?

You can find salvage cars for sale on Internet auto sites, at used car dealerships and in rebuilders’ ads. There are many advantages to buying one.

Should I buy a salvage car?

There are definitely benefits to buying a salvage auto. Salvage doesn’t equate to off limits. You can find salvage cars for sale that are as dependable as ones with clean titles.

You can use it for spare parts

Salvages are excellent resources for parts. Think of them as a donor that can extend the life of another car. Acquiring a salvage is especially great if you are mechanically inclined or have experience tinkering with cars. For example, if you buy a $1,200 car it may cost you $1,000 to repair it yourself, instead of paying someone else several thousand dollars to do it for you.

A salvage car can save you money

Salvages are actually a terrific value. For example, you may pay $1,200 for a moderately damaged vehicle that would ordinarily cost $7,000 with a spotless title. Fix the frame, body, windows and paint for $1,000 to $2,000 and you’ll have an auto with a performance and appearance equivalent to one whose title is clean. RR Car Sales in Miami, Florida offers a wide selection of salvage cars for sale that won’t ding your wallet.

Salvages often can lack mechanical problems

Salvages with cosmetic damages may run perfectly well. Superficial blemishes such as scratches, dents or missing mirrors have no bearing upon their performance. The engine, frame, powertrain, and electronics are not affected, leaving you with a functional car.

Salvages don’t depreciate

In only one year after purchase, a clean title car will lose 40 percent of its value. Conversely, one with a salvage title has already depreciated, and will then align with a value similar to that of a clean titled vehicle.

Salvage cars are a smart investment and can come almost road-ready. At RR Car Sales, Miami, Florida’s renowned export, distressed and salvage experts, we offer a vast selection of carefully chosen salvage cars for sale backed by full transparency. We add hundreds of salvages to our inventory each month and sell thousands a year. Please give us a call today and we’ll discuss which one is right for you.


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