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3 Reasons to Buy a Salvage Car

3 Reasons to Buy a Salvage Car

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You have limited funds and need to buy a vehicle. Could a salvage car be the answer? It’s important to understand why an insurance company declares a vehicle a total loss – the cost of repair is close to or greater than the value of the car. In many cases, salvage vehicles only hold value for their undamaged parts. But for the knowledgeable car shopper, that is not always the case. Here are three reasons to consider buying a salvage car.

Save money. Some dealers sell salvage vehicles, and according to car experts, the discount is often about 40 percent. That can be an enticing savings over the cost of even a normal used vehicle. However, it’s important to factor in whatever costs will be required to get the vehicle road-worthy. In some cases, the car may already have been repaired. In other cases, the repair work falls on your shoulders. If you can do the work yourself, or have a mechanic you trust explicitly, choosing a salvage vehicle that needs repair work can be a smart choice. That way, you can estimate what it will cost to make the repairs and oversee every step of the process.

Find an older jewel. Car experts say the best deals involve older vehicles. That’s because an older vehicle, with a lower value, could be totaled for only cosmetic damage. For example, few insurance companies would approve a $1,800 repair for a smashed bumper and quarter panel on a 10-year-old car worth $2,500.  But that car might still run very well. A newer vehicle worth $30,000 would need much more than cosmetic damage to be declared a total loss, making it a much riskier choice. Having the time, patience and expertise to find that jewel could make the purchase of a salvage car an excellent decision.

You know cars. Perhaps you are a weekend mechanic and work on cars all the time. That knowledge is invaluable when shopping for a salvage car. Any car that has been declared a total loss by an insurance company must be inspected thoroughly. Studies show that vehicles with significant damage tend to have higher repair costs after they have been made road-worthy. Also, if you are going to do the work on the vehicle that will significantly reduce the cost of hiring a mechanic. One warning: Make sure you are familiar with the process to get a salvage title and whether – and at what cost – you can pick up insurance for your salvage car.

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