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That sports car you’ve always dreamed of buying but has always been out of your price range can be made a reality for you if you rebuild it yourself or have someone else rebuild it for you cheaply. With enough automotive know how and cash to invest in repairs, seemingly wrecked cars and trucks can be rebuilt for a fraction of the normal purchase price.
How to Buy a Car for Rebuild
Before you begin your project, you should first map out a firm budget. Figure how much you want to pay for the vehicle, how much is acceptable to spend on the rebuilding process, and what kind of profit you may expect from resale should that be a major factor. Get a vehicle history report for any cars you plan to buy for rebuild. If you are planning on purchasing a vehicle for rebuild but don’t intend to do the repairs yourself, it is always wise to get multiple bids on repairs before you take the plunge and purchase the vehicle outright. Most rebuilds are actually done by experienced repair garages or body shops, which can be depended upon to produce a reliably fixed vehicle which is safe for the road. Also, if there has been any frame damage or the car has other difficult to repair problems, a body shop or garage are universally recommended over self repair.
Before you make a bid at auction on a car with a salvage title, however, you must first check to make sure that your state will re-title salvage vehicles; this varies widely by state: some states won’t ever let the car back on the road, others will issue a new, clean title after repairs are made.
Actually purchasing your project car is simple. Rebuildable cars can be purchased privately through paper or online auto sales classifieds, from physical salvage auctions, or from online salvage auctions. Many people prefer using online salvage sellers and auctioneers because they are convenient, there is the widest selection, and there is no question whether you will receive a title. Once you’ve started browsing for the perfect car for your project, keep quality at the forefront of your decision making, alongside price. Wrecks and salvage cars which are in relatively good condition are better bets for a successful rebuild, and are surprisingly easy to find. After you have had repairs completed, have your vehicle inspected by your state’s DMV, which will then determine the title status of your rebuilt car.
Buying a Salvage Car for Rebuild
Finding a salvage car for rebuild that is in a somewhat easily repairable condition is easier than you might think. Often an insurance company will total a car because it doesn’t make sense to the company financially to pay for repairs, not because the vehicle cannot be repaired; usually the repair cost standard for totaling is somewhere around 70% to 75% of what the insurance company believes the vehicle is worth. Sometimes, insurance companies take short cuts in valuations in cases such as natural disasters where many vehicles were damaged at the same time, inspecting only a few cars and then declaring all similar vehicles totaled. This means that there are cars circulating around the salvage market which may need only very minor repairs.