What Is Salvage Title and How it Works?

1. What is a Salvage title?

A salvage title is issued on a vehicle damaged to the extent that the cost of repairing the damage, as determined by an insurance company or other source, would be more than 33% of its pre-damage market value.

2. How does salvage title work?

The salvage title is similar to a junk title. The owner of the vehicle must declare it as salvage when they apply for registration and/or license plates on their new car. They are branded with the word “salvage” on the certificate of title or an equivalent state-issued document that allows this designation, in one of three places:

The brand is usually placed on the front of the title in either red or black, depending on state law. Some states use decals to brand salvage titles instead of placing them directly onto the certificate of title, so be sure to check with your department of motor vehicles for details.

3. Benefits of a Salvage Title?

A salvage title offers several benefits, including lower registration fees. Most states charge lesser registration fees for vehicles with damaged titles because they are considered to be less valuable than those without a salvage title.

4. Disadvantages of a Salvage Title?

There are several disadvantages to having a salvage title on your car, especially if you are not allowed to drive it in your state due to safety issues or legal restrictions.

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It is very difficult to sell a car with a salvage title because some potential buyers assume major damage or incidents have been concealed. It is also difficult to sell a salvage title because some lenders will not finance a car with a salvage title, so the buyer may need to secure another type of loan.

If your state requires you to purchase insurance on your vehicle, many insurance companies will only provide the required minimum coverage for vehicles without a brand.

If you fail to keep insurance on a vehicle with a salvage title, your license and driving privileges can be suspended in most states.

5. Risks of a Salvage Title?

Vehicles with salvage titles are less valuable than other vehicles because they can require costly repairs. The insurance rates for these types of vehicles will also be much higher compared to a regular clean title vehicle.

6. Costs of the salvage title?

If your car has a salvage title, you will have to pay higher taxes because the value of the vehicle is considered to be less. You should also expect higher insurance rates as well as fees associated with registering and titling the car.

7. How do I apply for a Salvage Title?

You must apply for the salvage title with your state department of motor vehicles. Each state has different requirements and fees, so be sure to check with your DMV for specific details.

8. When should you use a salvage title?

If you have a totaled car that has been declared as “salvage” by your insurance company, you should apply for a salvage title from the DMV. In many states, this is required in order to declare the vehicle as junk or non-repairable so it can be dismantled or crushed.

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You will need a copy of the repair estimate, which states the damage is at least 33% of the car’s value. You must also fill out an application for a salvage title and pay any fees required by your state.