Tuesday, July 23, 2024 Detailed Auto Topics
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Many people think that once a vehicle is declared a total-loss, that is the end of it. This is far from the truth. In many cases, seriously wrecked vehicles are repaired and sold to the public.

Possible example of a salvage vehicle title

In Louisiana and many States, vehicles receive a salvage title after they have been declared a total-loss by an insurance company. Insurance companies are very well trained at cutting cost. They are experts at determining when the cost of a proper repair would exceed the value of a vehicle. When this occurs, the vehicle is declared a total and passes to the insurance company.

Being cost cutting experts, insurance companies sell the salvaged vehicle, usually to the highest bidder in an auction. This way, they recoup some of the money paid on the claim. Salvage vehicles are purchased for many reasons. Most are broken up and the good parts are sold. Often, the value of a vehicle’s parts exceeds the worth of the vehicle as a whole.

Seriously wrecked vehicles are sometimes patched up and resold

Others are purchased by people who intend to repair and resell them. To protect the public, many States now mark the vehicle title as salvage, if the vehicle is declared a total-loss. This is for good reasons, and buyers are wise to heed the warning.

If proper repair were economically feasible, it is likely the vehicle would not have gone to salvage. Add to this the purchase price paid, cost of repairs and the fact that salvage vehicles sell for a lot less than a non-salvage vehicle and the potential for problems is clear. Enough money must be cut from the repair process to make the venture profitable.

Cutting repair cost may sometimes be accomplished by substandard, incomplete and inferior repair

Aftermarket parts are often substituted to save cost. Corrosion protection may not be installed, and many times frame damage is improperly repaired.

Be very careful of deals that seem to good to be true 

Buying a salvage vehicle may seem like a good deal, until thousands of dollars in re-repair are needed to address problems. A reconstructed vehicle will have a much lower resale price, when the buyer decides to resell. Dealerships may also refuse to accept a salvage vehicle as a trade in.

The words "salvaged" or "reconstructed" stamped on a title is a huge red flag

When contemplating an inferior product, it is well to add something for the risk taken, and when this additional expense is considered, a superior product will be a less expensive choice.

Should you contemplate purchasing one of these vehicles, a very thorough inspection should be undertaken beforehand. After weighing the risk and additional cost, buying a better vehicle may be far less expensive.

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