How to Know If a Salvage Title Car Is Right for You


Salvage cars are vehicles that are extensively damaged due to natural disasters, accidents, or any other reason. Because of this, they are sold at very low prices. In fact, auctions typically supply customers with good quality salvage cars that cost 20 to 80% less than new vehicles.

Dealerships and auto repair shops often buy salvage title cars and use their parts for repair and maintenance. This can be a cost-effective way to buy a car at a price less than the market value which can be restored to its former glory quite easily as well.

However, even if it is appealing to save money by buying a car from salvage auto auctions, there are several things you will need to take into consideration before doing so. In this blog, we will explore a few things you should know before you start checking out salvage vehicles for sale.

What Does It Mean If a Car Has a Salvage Title?

A car that has a salvage title is one that has too much damage, with the cost of their repairs equaling or surpassing the vehicle’s actual value. It’s a “branded title” that is meant to indicate to potential buyers and owners that the car has suffered a lot of destruction.

Moreover, the title can be changed to “rebuilt,” which specifies that it was previously a salvage car but was rebuilt and passed an inspection. The importance of these titles is in the fact that you can’t always tell if a vehicle is damaged; so, several U.S. states issued a mandate for sellers to disclose crucial information to buyers through the title.

Furthermore, the requirements for a salvage title do differ depending on the state you’re in. For example, in Florida, a vehicle gets the salvage title only if the insurance company deems it to be a complete loss. But, other states like New York, deem salvage title cars to be those that will require repairs amounting to at least 75% of the market value of the car.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Buying a Car at a Salvage Auction

There are pros and cons for every situation, which is just the case when you’re considering buying a salvage title vehicle. Here are the main ones:


  • There is always a risk that you may be conned, as most of the time sellers aren’t completely honest about what caused the damage to the car and just how extensive it is. That is why it is best to consider a renowned and reliable online salvage auction, such as A Better Bid, when taking a gander at salvage title vehicles.
  • When getting your vehicle examined, you may realize that there is more repair needed than you initially thought. Unfortunately, many mechanics cut corners, compromising safety, which can be costly and potentially deadly.


  • You can easily take and sell the parts from salvage cars, which may be extremely valuable and useful, for a great price. This is particularly useful if you are looking to restore a vintage car that needs parts that are either extremely expensive or hard to find.
  • Even if a vehicle has a salvage title, it may not necessarily have an extreme amount of damage. For instance, you may find a salvage title car that is extremely cheap only because it is slightly damaged, but has all the parts intact. Buying the car and getting the minor repairs done will still cost you way less than getting a new car.
  • Clean title cars cost 20 to 40% more on average than salvage title cars; so, you can easily save money!

Should You Buy a Salvage Car?

Whether you should buy a salvage car or not begs the question: “Why would you buy a salvage car in the first place?” Well, it can be very fruitful, though it will require you to really dig deep into the history of the vehicle before determining if it’s worth buying.

Suppose there’s a car with a good history over the past three owners, with detailed maintenance records and no accidents. However, after the third trade-in, it underwent a terrible hailstorm while parked on the dealer’s lot, being declared a complete loss, even though the interior wasn’t harmed. In such a case, you can simply get the dings repaired and get a car at a great price!

But, then again, be aware that the circumstances may not always be like this, and you should properly do research and inspect salvage cars before buying. This includes choosing a reliable platform, like A Better Bid, and requesting a vehicle history report. If you’re a pro or premium member at ABB, you can access this document to become well-versed with the vehicle’s condition.

To Sum Up

Buying a salvage-title car can be cost-effective, environmentally friendly, and more convenient than buying a clean-title vehicle. Moreover, you can always get a slightly damaged salvage car that can easily be repaired and be deemed safe and roadworthy by the state and insurance companies. At the end of the day, depending on your budget, requirements, and buying sense, a salvage car can be a great investment.

However, you need to be thorough in your research and only buy salvage cars from a trustworthy source. A Better Bid offers salvage title cars of all types that will help you save a lot of money. They have a selection of over 300,000+ cars that are on auction every day. Moreover, it’s an online-exclusive platform that is very thorough when listing salvage cars.