Every year, one million cars are scrapped in the UK.
Many of these cars have salvage titles. But what exactly are salvage cars? And Is it bad to buy a car with a salvage title?
Although your first instinct is to stay away from salvage titles, we are here to tell you that salvage is not necessarily a bad thing.
We think that cars with salvage titles can actually be a smart purchase, depending on several factors. We might even be so bold to say that buying a salvage car can save you money if you are a savvy buyer.
We compiled 10 things you need to know when it comes to buying salvage cars. Read on to learn about what salvage truly means.
1. Defining Salvage Cars and Salvage Titles
A salvage car is a car that has been in an accident or has been damaged enough to be written off by a car insurance company. The damage may be caused by an accident, a fire, a natural disaster or even theft.
2. Salvage Titles Have Changed in the UK
Salvage cars are classified into four different levels which have recently changed in the UK as of October 2017. The former levels were A, B, C, D.
The new classifications replace C and D. The changes have been made by the Association of British Insurers (ABI). This new system classifies a car based on its condition:
- Category A – Scrap: These cars have the most damage and may not be fixed or used again.
- Category B – Break: These cars also cannot be fixed or driven on the road. You can, however, use their parts.
- Category S – Structural: This category replaces the prior “C” classification. These cars may have structural damage, but they are allowed to be fixed and driven.
- Category N – Non-structural: This category replaces the “D” classification. These cars have been damaged, but the structure remains. However, some parts critical for safety may need to be replaced.
3. A Salvage Title Does Not Always Mean It Has Extensive Damage
Thanks to the new classification system in place, you can get an idea of how much a car has been damaged. Salvage title does not necessarily mean that the car has been damaged beyond repair.
For example, a car with a Category N classification may have had body damage but the structure remains intact. In such a case, the core components of the car are serviceable.
4. Buying Salvage Can Save You Money
You can buy salvage cars at a low cost. If your immediate goal is to save money, and the thought of making monthly payments for years gives you a headache, then salvage can be the right decision for you.
5. You can Bid on a Salvage Car for Cheap at an Auction
If you’re looking to venture deeper into the money-saving territory, consider bidding for a salvage car at an auction.
You can go to an actual physical auction or you can bid for a car at an online auction. Auctions are one of the best places to get a good deal on cars with salvage titles.
6. Make Sure You Have a Means of Transporting your Salvage Car
If you purchase a salvage car at an auction, make sure you have a means of transporting since the car may not be drivable.
If you are making the purchase at an online auction, you can pay for a service to transport your car.
7. You Can Fix the Car up Yourself
If you are skilled in car mechanics, you can get a car for cheap at an auction and then make the repairs yourself.
Not a mechanic or don’t know a thing about servicing cars? If you know a trusted mechanic, they can fix your car, and you can buy the car parts yourself for cheap. Some people enjoy buying salvage cars and restoring them.
8. Do your Research: Get a Car History Report
One of the most important things to know when buying a salvage car is to do your research. Get a vehicle history report to learn more about the car’s history. However, know that even a report will not tell you everything.
Sometimes a car looks and runs fine and a report tells you otherwise. When it comes to buying salvage, it’s a risk that you have to take.
9. Salvage Titles Last Forever, But They Can Be a Smart Buy for the Right Person
Salvage titles are forever, but is that always a bad thing? Maybe you need a car that will transport you a few miles to and from work. Perhaps you need a spare car for when visitors arrive.
If you are planning to keep your salvage car until it’s on its last mile, then forever may work for you.
10. However, You can Always Scrap the Car for Money
For some reason, you decide you don’t want your car anymore. You also don’t want to go through the hassle of trying to sell it either.
Let the DVLA know that you are planning to scrap your vehicle.
The Final Question: Is it Bad to Buy a Car with a Salvage Title?
Our answer: not necessarily.
It is possible to make a well-informed decision and purchase a perfectly good car. The key is to do your research and have an idea of the extent of damage the car has received.
Want to learn more about salvage cars or salvage titles. Contact us! We love hearing from you.