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Many cars that have been wrecked and damaged are not worth the amount it takes to repair them like new, especially if it’s an older car with a lower Blue Book value. Because of this, insurance companies typically write off these types of cars as a total loss and turn them over to dealers or auctions. Several states issue what is called a salvage title, and salvage cars can range from cars that have been wrecked in an accident, damaged from flood or weather (such as hailstorms), or vandalized and recovered from auto theft cases. Whatever the case may be, some of these cars, despite being considered a loss from the insurers, are easy to repair and put back on the road.
Generally, the bulk of wrecked and salvage cars on online auctions are available to buyers who have the resources to move them easily. So how can a hobbyist, or someone in need of a cheap car get them?
People typically think salvage cars are worthless and unfixable, but that isn’t always the case. The whole purpose of putting a salvage title on a car is to let the buyer be aware of any damage that may have incurred from the circumstances, be it accident or theft. The level of damage can range significantly, sometimes being as little as cosmetic or minor mechanical problems, to larger issues such as safety problems or driveline issues. Because there is such a wide range of salvage cars and their problems, many people turn to salvage cars for a better bargain. The ability to purchase a car for a flat rate and never have to make payments is an attractive and economical option for just about anybody, and that can be achieved with buying a salvage car.
The key to buying a salvage car is to ensure you get your money’s worth. You must be able to assess the damage and decide if any future repairs are both necessary or overly costly. Having a trusted mechanic examine a salvage car before buying is a smart choice, as you can have him walk you through any long term problems the car may have and the future costs it may take to put the car up to your standards. Luckily, with salvage cars, you can afford to be specific and choosy about the kind of damage you’re willing to work with. If, for example, you don’t really care about aesthetic appeal and find a car that has a damaged paint job or a few dings, but is still in excellent driving condition, then that may be the car for you. You can decide to avoid cars with flood damage or frame damage because you may find it too costly and time-consuming, or too much of a risk, to try and fix it.
Salvage cars can also be an excellent source for hard to find parts. Many people rebuild cars as a hobby, while others may have already found their dream car, but need parts for it that are otherwise expensive and hard to find. When buying a salvage car through an online auto auction, much of the process is worked out for you, from finding the right car to arranging transportation to finalizing inspections and necessary documentation.