Are you trying to sell a junk car with a “salvage title?” Your success will vary greatly depending on the reasons behind the salvage title designation.
What is a Salvage-Title?
Simply put, a salvage title vehicle is considered a total loss, in that it has sustained significant damage that exceeds its market value. The exact ratio varies from state-to-state, but typically, the damage will be about 75 percent of the car’s fair market value.
A car with a salvage title classification cannot be registered until it passes the required inspection. A car that’s been declared a total loss but is repaired to the point of being drivable will receive a rebuilt title.
Common Reasons for a Salvage Title Designation
1. The car was involved in a major accident.
Most commonly, cars are deemed total losses because they were involved in a major accident. Either the insurance company (or the car owner, if uninsured) decides the car is not worth repairing from a cost standpoint.
2. The car suffered from a natural disaster.
Any kind of natural disaster — floods, hail, fires, winds — can also cause severe damage to a vehicle.
3. The car was stolen and then recovered.
If a vehicle is stolen and not found within a reasonable amount of time, the insurance company will compensate the owner. If the car is later found, it will be issued a salvage title. Sometimes these cars have nothing wrong with them. Other times, however, the thief may have stolen or damaged major parts.
4. The car has been vandalized.
If a vehicle is vandalized and receives enough damage, the car will receive a salvage title.
Explanation is Key
When presenting your car to potential buyers, be sure to explain the reason behind the salvage title designation. If you do, you are more likely to get a fair price for your car.