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Should I Buy A Car With A Salvage Title

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You’ve found the perfect used car, and the price is well below what you expected to pay. It looks like a great deal until you see a notation on the car’s title: Salvage.

A salvage title isn’t necessarily the mark of death for a car deal, but it should raise a red flag in your mind, and it will complicate purchasing and owning the vehicle.

What is a Salvage Title?

Though the definition of what specifically constitutes a salvage (or sometimes called “branded”) title varies by state, it most commonly refers to a vehicle that has been damaged to the point that repairs would cost more than the value of the car. For example, if the insurance company takes possession of the car and sells it to someone who rebuilds it anyway, the title is labeled “salvage”.

A salvage title doesn’t always apply to vehicles with collision damage. A car with significant hail damage, fire damage, one that has been in a flood, or one that has been stolen and then recovered after the owner has been compensated for the loss can be branded as salvage.

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