So, you’re thinking about buying a salvage title car? While these vehicles can be had for a steal and are often a DIY mechanic’s dream, it’s important to know the downsides of rebuilt cars before purchasing one. Our readers weighed in on some of the cons associated with salvage titles.
What are the disadvantages of buying salvage title cars?

Will Henry

Will Henry, Founder of Bike Smarts.

3 Disadvantages of Buying Salvage Title Cars

A salvage title is an advisory designation placed on a vehicle that has experienced severe damage due to contact with another object, in-car fire, or flooding. Salvage vehicles cannot be adequately repaired and resold.

Considering the following:

• Vehicle cannot be fixed/repaired just like before.
• Unknown maintenance/repair history because of part removal for improper repair.
• History unknown even if parts are taken off are known (not removed from the car entirely) or missing indications of potential problems (e.g., due to improper installation). If your industry mandates OEM parts, this could also be an issue for you, such as it would.

Resale Value Will Be Low

The resale value can be low on salvaged vehicles. Even if the vehicle is revamped, this label is not going to go away and it can become a serious concern when looking to make your money back later on. It’s a risk you have to accept before making the purchase.

What are the disadvantages of buying salvage title cars?

Jenna Granger

Jenna Granger is a 28-year-old accountant with a passion for everything to do with homes. She is the founder of Drop By My House.
What are the disadvantages of buying salvage title cars?

Peter D. Gehres

Peter D. Gehres, CAI, CES, CAS, is an auctioneer and Realtor specializing in the sale of Real Estate, equipment, and automobiles at auction. He currently serves as a director of the National Auctioneers Association.

The Quality and Completeness of the Repairs

A salvage title on an automobile, motorcycle, or ATV typically is an indication of previous significant damage. After repairs and reconstruction, the vehicle is issued a salvage title. Salvage titled vehicles often sell for less than their non-branded title counterparts. The primary disadvantage is that you do not often know the extent of the previous damage or the quality and completeness of the repairs. Beyond affecting the future resale value, the safety systems may be compromised. Only buyers with an extensive understanding of automotive repair and restoration should buy a vehicle with a salvage title. This is especially true if the previous damage is unknown.

Hard To Sell and Some Won’t Pass State Inspections

When a vehicle is labeled salvage, it has been totaled or 70% damage with an insurance company. Or it may have had a previous salvage title. This decreases the value by almost 60%. On some vehicles, they are hard to sell. Some states won’t pass inspection. Once a title is branded you can’t wash or clear.

What are the disadvantages of buying salvage title cars?

Yvette VanDerBrink

Yvette VanDerBrink, Owner and Auctioneer at VanDerBrink Auctions.
What are the disadvantages of buying salvage title cars?

Hadeel Hijazieh

Hadeel Hijazieh, VP of Digital Marketing and Strategy at Ontario Chrysler Group.

Unexpected Expenses from Unseen Damages

There are a number of disadvantages when it comes to buying salvage title cars including the tricky process of insuring a salvaged car, unexpected expenses from unseen damage, and re-titling issues regardless of how you are able to rebuild the car, it will always be considered salvaged.

No Warranty and Safety Is the Issue

No matter what you do, the salvaged car will never be the same as an equivalent non-damaged car. The biggest problem with these cars is that you have no clue who rebuilt it and how well it was put back together or if any corners were cut in the process.

It brings up a potential safety issue because you don’t know how well the car will hold up, especially in the event of a collision.

The lack of a warranty is also concerning since the warranty almost always becomes void for these cars.

What are the disadvantages of buying salvage title cars?

Cody Crawford

Cody Crawford is a mechanic-turned-entrepreneur with a vision to bring automotive enthusiasts together. He is the Co-Founder of Low Offset.

Ashley Moore

Ashley Moore, Sales at Bayway Volvo.

Expensive Insurance

One disadvantage of buying a salvage title car is that it can be harder to get an insurance company that is willing to insure the car. Also, even if you can find one that will ensure it, it may be much more expensive to have insurance on the car. This can make the carrying cost of salvaged title cars much higher.

This is a crowdsourced article. Contributors are not necessarily affiliated with this website and their statements do not necessarily reflect the opinion of this website, other people, businesses, or other contributors.