5 Things to Know about Cars with Salvage Titles: Car Shopping Tips from Carlsen Subaru

Things to Know About A Vehicle That's Been In An Accident from Carlsen Subaru

If a car has been in a major accident, it can cost thousands to repair and may develop chronic problems. When it comes to a car that's been in an accident, the insurance company may decide to "total" the car -- paying out the cash value of the car to the owner, rather than paying to have it repaired. This is generally done whenever the cost to repair the vehicle would exceed its value.

However, that still leaves the car. In many cases, other than some body damage from the accident, it's still a drivable vehicle. You'll find these cars on the market with "salvage" titles. A car with a salvage title lets you know that the car has been damaged and has seen significant repairs or may still be in need of repair.

You generally won't find pre-owned vehicles with salvage titles for sale at Carlsen Subaru. For the reasons we'll tell you below, they're often a risk. Learn more on this page what it means for a car to have a salvage title.

Ask our sales and finance professionals from Carlsen Subaru more about salvage titles before buying any car.

5. Salvage Title Cars are Less Expensive

Because they've been damaged, there can be underlying problems with salvage title cars. If the frame is bent, the structural integrity of the car is compromised. Body damage can usually be repaired, and many engine and chassis repairs can be performed, but you may not get the level of quality and reliability you'd expect from a car that hasn't been in an accident. In short, cars with salvage titles come with additional risk.

The upshot? Salvage title vehicles can be had for as little as half of what a similar car would cost with a clean title on the pre-owned market. If you're on a limited budget, just looking for a project car or you're up to the task of fixing problems yourself, a salvage title vehicle might work for you. For most everyday drivers, they're just not suitable.

Let the service and parts specialists at Carlsen Subaru help keep all your vehicles running great!

4. Salvage Title Cars are Difficult to Insure

Many insurance companies will refuse to provide collision or comprehensive insurance for cars with salvage titles. That's because, if the car is involved in another accident, it can be difficult to determine if any damage found was from the new accident or was pre-existing damage from the accident that caused the car to be totaled in the first place. If you can find an insurer for your car, you may pay increased premiums. Before investing in a salvage title car, have a plan for insurance -- it can cost you more than you might think, and could erase the savings advantage of a salvage title car entirely.

3. You May Not Qualify for Financing

Many loan companies won't provide you with financing if you're trying to buy a salvage car, either. Lenders generally want cars to last the entire length of the loan, and salvage title vehicles are more likely to develop problems. They're also more likely to need major repairs that cost more than the vehicle is ultimately worth. For that reason, you may not have success securing financing for salvage title cars. If you can, paying up-front for a salvage title car is often the best or only option.

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2. Salvage Title Cars are Worth Less at Trade-In

When you go to the dealership for a new or pre-owned vehicle, you'll generally be able to get market value for any vehicle you're trading in. However, even with low miles and a desirable model, a salvage title car may not get what you'd expect in trade. That's because, once the dealership gets a car on trade, their goal is to clean that car up, fix any major problems, then offer it for sale. Salvage title cars cost less and are harder to sell, and many dealerships won't work with salvage titles on trade at all. When buying a salvage title vehicle, understand you may be limited to private sale when it comes time to get rid of it.

1. Salvage Title Cars Often Aren't Reliable

At Carlsen Subaru, our pre-owned inventory features a wide variety of vehicles, including inexpensive selections under $10,000. And with our talented finance team, we can make almost any budget work to get a reliable set of wheels you'll be happy with for years to come.

If you're looking at a salvage title vehicle for the savings, we urge you to reconsider. You'll probably spend more money in the long run, due to a steady stream of repair bills, costly insurance and little help for financing. The pre-owned vehicles in our inventory have been thoroughly inspected by our service experts, and come with clean titles and free CARFAX vehicle history reports, so you know exactly what you're getting. We even offer certified pre-owned Subaru models which come with the peace of mind of a manufacturer-backed warranty! We can help you find the truly reliable, affordable ride for you at Carlsen Subaru.

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  1. Carlsen Subaru

    480 Veterans Blvd
    Redwood City, CA 94063

    • Sales: (888) 520-5916

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Carlsen Subaru

480 Veterans Blvd
Directions Redwood City, CA 94063

  • Sales: 650-365-6390
  • Service : 650-365-6390
  • Parts: 650-365-6390
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