It depends on how comfortable you are buying a car that has a checkered past. On the one hand, Salvage Title vehicles can be an opportunity if you are on a budget or need a second vehicle. Depending on the vehicle, a salvage title car can sell for 20 to 40 percent less than the same vehicle with a clean title, said Richard Arca, Edmunds’ price manager. He added that the discount for a vehicle with a salvage title is greater when market demand for the vehicle is low.
On the other hand, some salvage-title vehicles may be more prone to mechanical problems and have a reduced resale value. Consumers can do these three things to help minimize the risks of buying a car that will disappoint them:
1. Have the vehicle inspected – This is one of the most important things to do if you are considering buying a car with a salvage title. Bring in a mechanic for an inspection. You can also arrange to take the car to a body shop. A professional in the area will have a better idea of whether the repairs were done correctly and can spot any red flags, such as frame damage or parts still in need of repair.
2. Buy the vehicle from a reputable repair shop – Look online for reviews of the facility that sells the vehicle. If you’re one that’s known for doing quality repairs, buying a salvage-titled car may be less risky than buying it from someone with no record.
3. Request the original repair estimate – The best way to determine how extensive the damage was to the car is to look at the original repair estimate. Doing so will show you which parts were replaced and how bad the accident was, or if there was an accident. Perhaps the damage occurred in some other way.