Cars are basically considered totaled only when the expense for repairs costs way more than the value of the car. These cars are also called ‘salvage’ and when all is said and done don’t get your hopes up; as a buyer it may not be the perfect car and as a seller the money you receive may not be as high as expected.
However, the main concern of buyers is the fact that the car will be branded as ‘salvaged’ since the car’s value will definitely drop below the actual worth once given the title. It’s kind of like sweat equity where one puts a lot of work on finding the car, testing, ensuring and fixing everything; you’ll pay for almost everything in the form of saving on the sticker of a regular car. So what else should be considered during the evaluation?
Establishing the Exact Damage
One of the most common reason why cars, trucks and other vehicles become labeled ‘salvage’ is because they were involved in crashes and sustained considerable damage. Damages sustained in fire and floods are also considered as salvage in a number of states. But do take note that these kinds of damages can be tricky since parts that seem alright can and may fail, it’s difficult to specifically determine what the vehicles needs repaired in order to be returned to working condition.
On the same note, there are ‘good’ as well as ‘bad’ crash damage. First off, know the categories in rating the sustained damage; you’ll want to target a lower letter in the alphabet. So A is simply terrible, B is a little less bad while C and D could be worked with. As much as possible, go for damages on the body or, worst case scenario, the working parts. Avoid bent frames despite how good the appearance of the car may be because there’s a high chance that it will create problems in the future.
Details on the Purchase
As you’re looking for salvage vehicles, some of the factors to consider are warranty, registrations, insurance, claims, financing, resale and claims.
Insuring a salvage vehicles varies depending on the state and insurance provider but do expect to qualify for the least liability insurance for the majority of states and companies. Sure there may be a couple of dealers that provide warranties of sort on salvage vehicles, don’t expect the best though. Registration also varies from one state to the next, like in some states police officers are assigned to inspect vehicles branded as salvage before it’s officially registered and driven on the road. If the car sustains considerable damage due to accidents, then it’s a great thing that you had it insured under comprehensive coverages. Even with the package, it’s unlikely that you’ll receive more than 80% of the listed value.