General Question

sccrowell's avatar

What concerns should I have when buying a "Salvage Vehicle?"?

Asked by sccrowell (3508points) July 1st, 2009 from iPhone

It is a 2007 BMW 328i with 30000 miles externally it is beautiful. My main concern is of it’s frame. What else should i ask? I NEED a car badly as some of you know a couple days before I got married. A neighbor ran head on into my Mountaineer. Which happened to be parked in the street which i never do and to make matters worse, there was a car parked behind mine. Our insurance co, said it was a total loss. Mind you, the towtruck driver drove it up onto the flatbed truck. What questions should I ask?

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6 Answers

kevbo's avatar

How about “why is it salvaged?”

The title for my ‘92 Metro was stamped as salvaged after I was rear ended because the repair cost more than the value of the car. But, the car still ran fine.

So, I’m assuming (correctly or not) that the cost of whatever repair for the BMW exceeded the cost of the vehicle. That’s a pretty expensive repair, whatever it is. My first thought is some kind of systemic electrical problem or flood damage. Katrina was in 2005, so it’s probably safe to say it’s not a Katrina car.

Your question, though, is a little confusing. Is the BMW separate from your Mountaineer accident or is it the car that was parked behind yours? Which car was driven on to the tow truck?

sccrowell's avatar

@Kevbo, My apologies for the confusion. The mountaineer was my vehicle that was a total loss and which was driven up onto the flatbed. The BMW is the car I would like to buy.
What I have learned so far is this. If some party other that myself buys my car, they will receive a Salvage title and that
If I choose to keep the Mountaineer? The ins co will leave the title clean. Once it is repaired and passes inspection, the mountaineer will keep a clean title. This is all to confusing to me…

Steven0512's avatar

None, don’t buy it. Buy something in your price range with a clean carfax.

mzgator's avatar

As a Notary Public who handles many car sales, I suggest that you never buy a car with a Salvage or Title of Non- Conformity. There is a very valid reason why this car has a bad title. More often than not people are suckered into buying a fancy looking expensive looking car that has a bad title. These cars are often sold at a much lower price than one with a good title. The cars usually have problems which surface shortly after sold. These cars can be very difficult or impossible to re sell. They are also hard to trade in. Always buy a car with a clean title and save yourself loads of grief.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

The salvage title will usually mean there is no warranty coverage anymore and with a BMW, especially the entry level psuedo-luxury 3-series, it’s a bad risk to take.

FrankHebusSmith's avatar

I am VERY integrated into the car world, and I can tell you that you should PROBABLY avoid a salvage car unless it is a rare sports/fixer-upper car, or you are fairly well versed in cars (which you asking this question suggests you are not).

You CAN get a good deal from them, and sometimes you come across some real gems (especially if you know how/don’t mind putting in a bit of wrench time). But the odds aren’t good, and if you don’t know what you’re doing, you’re going to have a hard time finding the problems/issues that you want to be looking for.

Side note, don’t trust a car fax. They are not always accurate (and often aren’t). Anytime the car was not insured, it will not show up on carfax. Or if it was imported from any other country (including Canada and Mexico).

my father has a car he bought brand new in the late 80s…. Its been wrecked 3 times, 2 new transmissions, one new engine, and it’s sitting on unmoveable now. As far as car fax says, it’s in pristine shape.

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