How to Determine If Salvage Cars for Sale Have Value?


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It can be tempting to buy a salvage car at an auction if the price is right. However, it’s important to research and determine whether the car has value before making a purchase. In some cases, buying a salvage car can be a great way to save money. But you may also spend more money on fixing the vehicle than if you had just bought a used car. So, how can you determine if salvage cars for sale have value? Read on to find out!

What is a salvage car?

A salvage car is a vehicle that has been damaged in some way, usually through an accident. The damage can be extensive, making the vehicle unsafe to drive. However, salvage cars can often be repaired and reused.

When determining whether a salvage car has value, it is essential to consider the extent of the damage. The car may still be worth bidding on if the damage is cosmetic, such as scratches or dents. However, if the damage is more serious, such as engine problems, it may not be worth the investment.

It is also important to consider the make and model of the salvage car. Some cars are more valuable than others, even in salvage conditions. For example, a classic or luxury car will likely be worth more than an economy car.

Where can you buy valuable salvage cars for sale?

If you’re looking for salvage cars, there are a few different places you can check out.

You can buy salvage cars at abetterbid if you are looking for quality salvage autos. The platform features a rich profusion of salvage cars, including trucks, used cars, motorcycles, boats, and more. A Better Bid also has a Copart membership, allowing you to explore a large variety of vehicles.

Another option is Charleston Auto Auction. They offer online bidding on salvage cars and other vehicles like motorcycles, junk cars, trucks, auto salvage cars, and SUVs. Similarly, Hemmings also provides an online auction platform where you can find salvage cars and other classic and antique vehicles. You can also check out CarMax. They hold virtual auctions every week, and their cars are physically located at 75+ locations across the US. You can also review the variety at Cars and Bids to find a suitable salvage vehicle.

How to determine if salvage cars for sale are a wise investment

Insurance companies assign vehicles with the salvage title when the repair cost exceeds the car’s value. While some salvage cars may have little or no value, others can turn a substantial profit.

If you’re considering salvaging a car, there are a few things you’ll need to take into account before making your decision. First, you’ll need to determine the extent of the damage. If the damage is minor, such as a few dents or scratches, then it’s likely that the car has some value and may be worth repairing. However, if the damage is more significant, such as major body damage or a flooded engine, then the car is likely to have little to no value.

Next, you’ll need to consider the cost of repairs. If the cost of repairing the vehicle is greater than its selling potential, you’ll experience a loss. However,  that’s not always the case.  You can consult with a professional who can give you an estimate of the value of the car and the cost of repairs so that you can make an informed decision.

Salvage cars can have value, but it’s important to consider all the factors involved before deciding. By taking the time to assess the damage, repair costs, and value of the car, you can make an informed decision about whether or not salvaging the car is right for you.

The pros of buying a salvage Car

Many people are hesitant to buy salvage cars at online car auctions because they believe they will spend more on repairs. However, this is not always the case. There are many advantages to buying a salvage car, especially if you know what you’re doing and are willing to invest in the vehicle to get it back on the road.

Here are some of the biggest pros of buying salvage cars for sale from a reputable platform, such as a better bid service, which is a salvage car auction.

You can cut costs: Since salvage cars are typically sold as-is, you may be able to purchase the vehicle at a lower bid. This is especially true if you do not have any competitors while bidding.

More control over repairs and upgrades: When you buy a regular used car, you’re at the mercy of whatever repairs and upgrades the previous owner decided to make. With a salvage car bought at a car auction, you can choose your own repair shop and decide what needs to be fixed and how it should be done.

Finding Economically-Priced High-End Vehicles: If you’re looking for high-end auction cars for sale that is beyond your budget, buying a salvage car at a car auction may be your best bet. Since these cars are often sold for far less than they’re worth, you may be able to get your dream car for a fraction of the price.

The cons of buying a salvage Car

While salvage cars can turn a great deal, there are also some disadvantages to consider before purchasing.

  • The car may have hidden damage: A salvage car may have sustained more damage than is visible on the surface. This can lead to expensive surprises down the road. However, you can always request a Vehicle History Report to stay informed.
  • You may not be able to get insurance instantly: Many insurance companies won’t insure salvage cars, which means you’ll be responsible for any repairs out of pocket. Although if you get the necessary repairs and acquire a rebuilt title, you will most likely be eligible for liability insurance, uninsured motorist insurance, and personal injury protection (PIP) coverage.
  • The resale value will be low: If you ever decide to sell the car in its current state, you’ll likely get far less than you paid due to its salvage title. That said, you can profit off the vehicle if you purchase a classic or luxury vehicle and get the repairs required to acquire a rebuilt title.


Salvage cars for sale can be a great find at car auctions, but it is important to research to ensure you are getting a vehicle with value. With a little bit of effort, you can find a vehicle with the potential to be a great investment. With these tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to making a smart purchase.

Photo credit: The feature image has been done by Joshua Rainey.

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