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Salvage title due to theft?

Just how much damage had to have occurred to deserve a salvage title? I see sooo many cars on craigslist like this but the ads always say "it was just stolen but there's nothing wrong with the car" etc. Salvaged is salvaged, right. Doesn't matter is it was a theft recovery or not, it still carries the same stigma and has to be deeply discounted in order to sell.
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Old 05-19-2009, 09:35 PM
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I think it gets a salvage title after being deemed a total loss by insurance. So theft could be a cause as well as wrecks am floods. You have to really watch for the flood cars as they can have major electrical problems
Old 05-19-2009, 10:41 PM
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Salvage for any reason is when the cost of replacing or repairing the parts exceeds a certain percentage of the car's actual cash value. I don't remember the exact percentage, but 70% rings a bell (maybe it was 80...).

So let's say my 97 Ford 3/4 ton diesel crew cab were stolen and later recovered without the engine and transmission. It's worth about 8K but replacing the engine and trans could cost 7 or 8K pretty easy. Not a mark on it and it would be salvage.

I personally have no problems with salvage titles. All that a salvage title tells me is that the previous owner had insurance. In the case of my pickup, if I did not have insurance on it and it were stolen, then recovered sans drivetrain, there would be an entry in carfax for theft, but the title would remain clean. Why? Nobody paid me for the damage on the vehicle, so the title stays clean...

The big issue with salvage titles is that MOST cars deserve them and they can be difficult to finance, and are sometimes repaired very poorly. Further, they have low resale and your own insurance company will give you a significant slam if the vehicle is damaged/stolen while you own it. Roughly think of the lowest actual cash value for your vehicle minus 25% plus... Ouch.

As cars become more complex, they salvage out much easier. You can figure about 1,500 to 2,000 minimum for a single blown air bag (including the modules). If you have a little cheap car, a super light hit that deploys an air bag will total the car. Even on a moderately priced car, a blown air bag and a pair of HID headlamps with related front damage very quickly totals the car.

As for me? I drive a salvage title car every day. I paid chump change for it, understood wholly what I was buying, have no interest in selling, and just don't care about the stigma.

angela
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Old 05-20-2009, 04:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Laneco View Post
Salvage for any reason is when the cost of replacing or repairing the parts exceeds a certain percentage of the car's actual cash value. I don't remember the exact percentage, but 70% rings a bell (maybe it was 80...).

So let's say my 97 Ford 3/4 ton diesel crew cab were stolen and later recovered without the engine and transmission. It's worth about 8K but replacing the engine and trans could cost 7 or 8K pretty easy. Not a mark on it and it would be salvage.

I personally have no problems with salvage titles. All that a salvage title tells me is that the previous owner had insurance. In the case of my pickup, if I did not have insurance on it and it were stolen, then recovered sans drivetrain, there would be an entry in carfax for theft, but the title would remain clean. Why? Nobody paid me for the damage on the vehicle, so the title stays clean...

Not true. For insurance to pay out for a total loss (i.e. salvage) you sign ownership rights to the car over to them. That's why people that want to fix their own vehicles have to buy them back from the insurance company, and that's where the title branding comes from.

The big issue with salvage titles is that MOST cars deserve them and they can be difficult to finance, and are sometimes repaired very poorly. Further, they have low resale and your own insurance company will give you a significant slam if the vehicle is damaged/stolen while you own it. Roughly think of the lowest actual cash value for your vehicle minus 25% plus... Ouch.

I owned a salvage truck, when I sold it the buyer had no trouble obtaining financing. During my ownership I was sideswiped, the insurance company payout was no different than if it had a clean title. The only time this might be an issue is if your salvage title vehicle was again totalled, as the lump sum (market value) would probably be less.

As cars become more complex, they salvage out much easier. You can figure about 1,500 to 2,000 minimum for a single blown air bag (including the modules). If you have a little cheap car, a super light hit that deploys an air bag will total the car. Even on a moderately priced car, a blown air bag and a pair of HID headlamps with related front damage very quickly totals the car.

As for me? I drive a salvage title car every day. I paid chump change for it, understood wholly what I was buying, have no interest in selling, and just don't care about the stigma.

angela
Agreed that if you're careful and go into it with open eyes, a salvage title vehicle can be a good way to get a great deal. However, I'd hesitate to buy one without fully understanding what was repaired. The salvage truck I owned was purchased from the individual that repaired it, he walked through all of the repairs with me prior to my purchase.

I did a little reading on theft recovery vehicles, there's a fine line between an owner getting their car back and the car becoming a salvage title theft recovery. What I found was if the car's owner received an insurance payout for the purchase of a new vehicle BEFORE the car is recovered, it's automatically sold by the insurance company with a branded title. So if your car was stolen, your insurance company paid you after one week, then two weeks later the car was recovered (even with little/no damage) it's a branded title. Regardless of the WHY, anything with a branded title should be selling for significantly less than normal market value.
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Old 05-20-2009, 04:59 AM
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Originally Posted by onewhippedpuppy View Post
What I found was if the car's owner received an insurance payout for the purchase of a new vehicle BEFORE the car is recovered, it's automatically sold by the insurance company with a branded title.
This is correct, and the ONLY reason to buy a theft recovery vehicle.

But usually if they are stolen, they are either stolen for parts or for a joy ride. Either way they are usually damaged. Even if it is just the door and steering column. That can be thousands on a modern car.

I would stay far, far away from any branded title
Old 05-20-2009, 05:26 AM
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This is correct, and the ONLY reason to buy a theft recovery vehicle.

But usually if they are stolen, they are either stolen for parts or for a joy ride. Either way they are usually damaged. Even if it is just the door and steering column. That can be thousands on a modern car.

I would stay far, far away from any branded title
Unless it's REALLY cheap. My salvage title Silverado was about 50% the price of a clean title vehicle. It had been rear ended, requiring the replacement of the bed and straightening the frame rails behind the rear spring perch. Oddly enough, the rear bumper was fine. But generally speaking, it's best to be weary.
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Old 05-20-2009, 05:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onewhippedpuppy View Post
Unless it's REALLY cheap. My salvage title Silverado was about 50% the price of a clean title vehicle.
In my experience, whatever you save money on the purchase you will give back when you sell it. There is no gain.

In other words:
Buy a normal vehicle for $15,000, keep it three years and sell it for $12,000
Buy a salvage vehicle for $10,000, keep it three years and sell it for $7,000

If the cost of ownership is close to the same, why take chances?

Buying one is easy. Disposing of one is very hard.
Old 05-20-2009, 06:20 AM
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Salvage title rules totally suck. My older '89 chevy truck sustained $4000 in damages which ain't a lot. Being older, it was totaled. I fixed it myself for 2500. There are thousands of cars driving around with way more than 4K in repaired damages that have clear titles.

Salvage means nothing to me except the vehicle is worth a lot less. A thorough PPI will tell the story. BTW, the business about whether you can get collision insurnace on a salvaged vehicle has been discussed here. I can't get any thru USAA, but apparently other companies will write a policy including collision and comprehensive.
Old 05-20-2009, 07:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaisen View Post
This is correct, and the ONLY reason to buy a theft recovery vehicle.

But usually if they are stolen, they are either stolen for parts or for a joy ride. Either way they are usually damaged. Even if it is just the door and steering column. That can be thousands on a modern car.

I would stay far, far away from any branded title
I picked up this theft recovery, gray market 3 series for next to nothing. Fortunatly the only issue it had was a missing stereo.



Old 05-20-2009, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by kaisen View Post
In my experience, whatever you save money on the purchase you will give back when you sell it. There is no gain.

In other words:
Buy a normal vehicle for $15,000, keep it three years and sell it for $12,000
Buy a salvage vehicle for $10,000, keep it three years and sell it for $7,000

If the cost of ownership is close to the same, why take chances?

Buying one is easy. Disposing of one is very hard.
Assuming you have infinite amounts of money, that's all well and good. In my case, I was able to get a much nicer truck than my fixed budget would have otherwise allowed. Because I bought it cheap I was also able to sell it cheap, it sold pretty quickly.
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Old 05-20-2009, 09:05 AM
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The RS America that I used to have was a salvage title car due to a hard sideways hit to the rear end. it had frame damage. I paid $22k for it, beat the snot out of it for two years, then sold it for $22k. Nothing wrong with a salvage title as long as you pay accordingly.
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Old 05-20-2009, 10:18 AM
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Hey, you told me that car was never even driven in the rain you b*st*rd!
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Old 05-20-2009, 12:33 PM
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Nuthin wrong with a salvage title car. My jet fokin black LOLOL 2001 Eclipse was a salvage title theft recovery. All that was stolen was the rims and stereo, and I got it for only $7000 which left a couple grand to spent on nice rims, stereo, cold air intake, big throttle body w/chip, and the body kit.

Car got totalled by some beeyotch in a Caddy hittin the side and the insurance paid me $7000 for it after I drove it for two years! So it worked out good for me...here's my salvage ride:


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Old 05-20-2009, 01:36 PM
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cantdrv55,
To me, it's depend. I have seen and purchased theft recovered cars without any problem at all. The key is how long (when) was it's stolen and recovered. My current 911 was a theft recovered and it condition is better than many cars I looked at, many. The previous owner said it's was stolen several years after it was born. After it recovered, it's been out there for more than 10 years before it became mine. To me, for more than 10 years, previous owners would take care of it way before I got my hand to it. According to him, the major part they took was the engine. Do to this reason, my car has newer engine
BUT, I have seen car was salvage from total (accident and flood) reason and owner posted as (theft recovered), so watch out.

Sacal911T, Playa76911S,
Where do usually find those sources for Salvage theft recovered cars for so cheap? Mine was from normal owner and it's not that cheap.
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Old 05-20-2009, 02:17 PM
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do a search on craigslist for "salvage" youll find a ton of em.
Old 05-20-2009, 02:21 PM
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I was hoping you have connections to direct sources such as insurant companies and such
Thanks.
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Old 05-20-2009, 11:33 PM
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The 911 I've owned for 7 years had a salvage title because it was stolen and recovered. I'm very happy with it...
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Old 05-21-2009, 03:42 AM
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My 96 Disco was purchased from the insurance company as a salvage for a whopping 1,000
My sister owned it so I knew it's maintenance history. It had a front-end hit and was totalled.
1 ARB winch-mount bumper, grille, some putty/paintwork on the drivers' fender, a used turn signal, and some putty work/paint on the hood later and voila--a DD with an R-title for 2500(I also put tires/brakes/plugs/wires/battery)

3 years now and still chugging along pushing 130K
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Old 05-21-2009, 05:54 AM
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A recovered stolen car can get a salvage title with no apparent damage, simply because the insurance company doesn't want the liability -- just in case they miss something.

I've seen cars that are truly destroyed with clean titles... All depends on whether an insurance company was involved.

Having said that, the vast majority of the cars out there with salvage titles fall under the conventional definition of "too expensive to fix."
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Old 05-21-2009, 08:35 AM
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Issue on the newer cars are the air bags. Often the cars are rebuilt cheaply, without replacing the air bags.

I would only buy a salvage title car if I could see the damage in images along with receipts for every important piece to put it back together.

Overall I am in the camp that spends a little more when buying and getting it back at sale time, avoiding the salvage title altogether.

George
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Old 05-21-2009, 09:20 AM
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