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Is It Worth Purchasing a Vehicle From a Salvage Auto Auction?

PressReach - Fri Mar 3, 4:46PM CST

Whether you are a student looking for a cheap car, or someone with a taste for classy vehicles that may be out of your budget, you have possibly considered buying a salvage car. But, are salvage cars worth buying? If you have yet to decide whether to buy a salvage car, here are the risks and benefits to consider.

Benefits of Buying from a Salvage Auto Auction

They Tend to Be Cheaper

Cars bought at auction can be an excellent bargain for savvy shoppers. Salvage cars, in particular, are often particularly cheap when compared to the typical buy-and-drive option. This is because fewer people want them, and the costs often don’t reflect what a clean car would cost.

Since these vehicles have usually been through some accident or damage, knowledgeable buyers can sometimes flip them for nicer prices than they paid. You can find an affordable car and make money by reselling it in much better condition than when you bought it.

For context, if you are into performance cars, you know that a high-performance Chevy Camaro can go for as high as $70k. On the flip side, wrecked Camaros on A Better Bid can go for less than $5k. You will be surprised to know that, in most cases, the repairs you need to do on such a car are pretty low, which means you get value for your money.

You Could Land a Good Quality Car for Next to Nothing

Most people don’t like buying a car that they will have to spend time repairing to get it back on the road. For this reason, damaged but repairable cars tend to be priced much lower than other cars at car auctions.

However, it would help if you remembered that salvage cars are not all write-offs. A good number of them have a few minor dents that would cost you hundreds or even a few thousands of dollars to repair. You could easily hit the jackpot by buying a high-end car for less than $10k. If for no other reason, this is a good enough motivation to consider buying salvage cars at auction.

You Can Use Salvage Cars for Parts

Sometimes you don’t even need to repair and drive a salvage car. If you can get a salvage car for under $1,000, why not buy it, chop it up, and store the parts in your garage just in case you need replacement spare parts? You can save a lot of money on repairs, especially if you have some mechanic skills and can handle car repairs.

Risks of Buying a Salvage Car

While salvage cars have their advantages, they also present some potential challenges/risks. Among those you should keep in mind are:

Most Insurance Companies Don’t Cover Them

Insurance companies have a dislike for salvaged cars and for a good reason. In the event of an accident, the insurance company may not be able to determine whether the accident is due to a previous or current accident. As such, by buying a salvage car, you may be unable to drive it with comprehensive insurance coverage. That’s a significant risk on your part.

A salvage car always retains that title throughout its lifetime. This means it will always sell at a lower price than an accident-free car, no matter how much you work at it.


There are a lot of reasons to buy a salvage car. You can use them for parts and buy a high-value vehicle at a massive discount. That said, they also come with some risks including insurance problems.

Featured Image: Pixabay @ niekverlaan

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