Salvage titles are an interesting thing. Where do they come from? What do they mean? Can I get a salvage title cleared to drive the car again? These questions all have answers.
Salvage titles are usually issued once a vehicle is so damaged that the insurance company deems the vehicle a total loss. This usually occurs because of some type of catastrophic accident. Normally, the damage is thought to cause a total loss of the vehicle once the value of thought to cause a total loss of the vehicle once the cost of the repairs exceeds the current value of the vehicle. In some states, it is thought to be totaled when the cost of the repairs equals 90% or more of the current vehicle value. In others, this percentage can be as low as 75%. Water submersion is another cause for an insurance company to deem a vehicle a total loss. There are other causes, but these are the two most common.
After an insurance company has determined a vehicle is a total loss, they pay the insurance holder for the vehicle. The insurance company then owns the vehicle. It is the insurance company’s problem to decide what to do with it from here. Some states require the destruction of the vehicle (example: crushed at a salvage yard to be sold as scrap weight), or the re-selling of the vehicle for repair and/or parts.
These heavily damaged vehicles are then sold to Consumers either outright by the insurance company or through auctions. There are in-person auctions all over the country. Online salvage car auctions are gaining popularity, too. They can be a time-saving way to purchase a car for refurbishing and parts. People are garages that purchased these vehicles can repair them in order to have them inspected and then titled as salvage vehicles.
Qualified mechanics and body workers know how to repair these cars in a manner that will get them on the road. It can be costly if you are just one person trying to do it yourself. A record of all repairs done should be kept. It’s also a very good idea to keep pictures along the entire process so that visual proof may be presented upon inspection. All of these things will make the process of getting the salvage title cleared much easier.
Once repaired they are required to be inspected each state is a little different with how they go through the inspection process. When should contact their local Bureau of Motor Vehicles or Department of Motor Vehicles in order to find out the exact details in your state?
Inspections consist of making the appointment with the proper Agency for inspection; bringing all documentation of repairs; paying the fee required in your state for the inspection; and, of course, a physical presentation of the vehicle for inspection.
If your vehicle has been approved in the inspection process a title will be issued that is branded as “Previously Salvaged.” This indicates that at one time, the vehicle was in a state of total loss. This previously salvaged title will follow the vehicle through its entire lifespan. It may or may not affect the process of ensuring the vehicle. Always check with your car insurance company to be sure what the rates will be for a previously totaled, or Salvage title, vehicle.
There are car dealers who specifically specialize in selling previously totaled, or Salvage title, vehicle. They can be in a fordable alternative when looking for an acceptable vehicle to drive. Once a salvage title is cleared, it is certified to be just as functional as a non-totaled vehicle.