Are you considering buying a salvage car? There is no denying that you can get yourself a great deal on a car when you buy one that insurance companies have written off.
There are different levels of damage sustained by cars when they have been in an accident, so knowing exactly what you are buying and the work involved in making it roadworthy again is vital before purchasing.
What is a Salvaged Car?
A salvaged car is one that an insurance provider no longer considers roadworthy in its current condition. If a vehicle is in an accident, stolen, or weather-damaged, and the repairs will cost more than the vehicle’s value, the insurance company will write it off and seize control.
An insurance company will then sell the car to a salvage company or via an auction when deemed as a total loss. Salvage companies and private buyers will then be free to do as they wish with the motors, be it sell them in whole or for parts or reduce them to scrap via a car baler.
At this point, when the cars are written off, they are given a category.
When cars are written off, they will be classified for the level of damage sustained and repairs required.
- Category A – These cars are suitable for crushing or scrap only and should never be resold again.
- Category B – Should never be driven on the road again, although some parts are suitable for salvage to use on the roadworthy vehicles.
- Category C – The car is repairable but deemed not cost-effective and more than the car is worth. Can be driven once required repairs are completed.
- Category D – Considerable repairs required disproportionate to the value of the car. Can be driven again.
Tips for Buying a Salvage Car
Do your homework before buying your salvage car and know its classification to know what you are buying. As damage can vary, you need to know beforehand what damage has been sustained and the approximate cost for fixing them to a drivable standard.
Inspect the car so you can see for yourself what you are buying. This can give you an idea of what the repairs will be and the type of work required. If you are unsure of the work required to repair a salvaged car, then take a mechanic with you who can give you a better idea of the type of work required and the cost to rectify the damage.
Theft recovery vehicles are vehicles that have been stolen but not claimed and then written off. These usually don’t require any repair work however you may find they are hard to come by as they will be popular and highly dependant on police activity and recovery.
Before committing to purchasing a vehicle, make some enquiries with insurance companies to ensure you will be able to insure your vehicle.
Make sure you buy from a reputable dealer to make sure your purchase is legal and above board, and no one is selling you a car that cannot be driven on the road.