When a car is in an accident and totaled by the insurance company, it is deemed to be worth less than it would cost to fix. These accident vehicles are given a salvage title which lets future buyers know that this car has an accident history. While they may have significant damage, they also could be safe to drive with a little elbow grease and TLC. At Orthodox Auto Company, we buy and sell salvage title cars. If you’re looking to buy one, we want you to have all of the information so that you can feel good about your decision and you won't end up losing money.
1. Learn the Exact Damage
Most salvage title cars were damaged in an accident; however, others may receive a salvage title because of fire or flood damage. Fire and flood damage can be tricky and expensive to fix, so it might not be worth the money to purchase this type of vehicle. There exists both "good" and "bad" damage from an accident that could be worth it to fix. The rule of thumb is to stick with body damage, or at the most, damage to the working parts. Stay away from bent frames, which can seriously compromise the car's safety, even after repairs have been completed.
2. Get a Pre-purchase Inspection
Having a used car inspected by a reputable repair shop, without ties to the dealership, is a very good idea. Don’t consider buying without one. In addition to offering peace of mind when buying a salvage car that's already been reconstructed, an inspection can tell you exactly how much you'll be putting into repairs on a car that still needs to be rebuilt. If possible, have the inspection done at the body shop you plan to use for repairs, so you’ll be on the same page.
3. Do the Math
Reliable, older cars are typically the best types of cars to buy with salvage titles. This is because if the car is only worth $5,000, for example, it might not have extensive damage to be deemed "salvage title". When shopping around, you need to compare the price that the seller wants for the car with its Kelly Blue Book value and weigh that against the cost of repairs. Remember, if the price of the car seems too good to be true, it probably is.
For more information on buying and selling salvage title cars, come see the experts at Orthodox Auto. Give us a call at (215) 608-3270, or stop by our Philadelphia salvage yard. Our team will be happy to help you find what you're looking for.