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When shopping around for a used vehicle, there are so many things you want to consider. This is because, merely looking at a vehicle, you might think it is in great shape not knowing that it has previous defects. This is why we strongly advise you to get a detailed vehicle history report, that shows you the salvage history before buying a used car. In this article, we will be looking at what a salvage repaired car is and whether you should buy one.

What is a salvage repaired car?

A salvage repaired car is one that has sustained significant damage and was subsequently repaired. Having sustained damage, it usually affects their market value and in some states in the US it is as much as 75% of the vehicle’s worth. Such damage might include a major accident, flooding or fire which might be a huge red flag when buying a used vehicle.

Should I buy a salvage repaired car?

It is generally advisable not to buy a salvage repaired car as you might be buying a car with lots of issues. Here are some of the reasons to avoid buying a salvage car
  • Safety: some salvage car rebuilders have been known to cut corners when fixing the car and this can be very dangerous to a new owner. So before buying such a vehicle, consider your safety.
  • Fraud: another issue is fraud as some dealers will make you think the damage is very minor whereas in fact it was a major damage. And there’s very little you can do after you have purchased the vehicle. Always make sure you do proper research before buying such a vehicle.
  • Difficulty insuring or financing: most car insurance companies will offer limited or no financing to owners of salvage cars.
  • There is no resale value: As the owner of a salvage repaired vehicle, it is going to be very difficult selling your car. You need to be aware of this.

Are there any benefits of buying a salvage car?

While this is not advisable for everyone, there are some benefits to get a salvage repaired vehicle.
  • You save money. Most salvage repaired vehicles are usually priced between 20 and 40% less than a clean vehicle. So this is one factor that pulls a lot of people to get salvage vehicles.
  • You just might get lucky: There might be cases where the damage is very minimal and still being sold for a very low price. In such cases the engine and the interior are usually left untouched.
  • Source for parts: Another reason why people go for salvage repaired vehicles is to use them as a source for spare parts.

Who should buy salvage repaired vehicles?

Now that you know the advantages and disadvantages of buying salvage repaired vehicles, here is a list of people that should get such vehicles
  • Have sound mechanical knowledge to detect and possibly fix such vehicles
  • Know the seller and have a proper understanding of what caused the initial damage
  • Have no plans of reselling the vehicle in future
  • Plan to use the vehicle as a source for spare parts.

How to buy a salvage repaired vehicle?

  • Ask a trusted mechanic to perform a thorough inspection of the vehicle. Do not rely on the current owner’s account of the condition of the vehicle.
  • Get a vehicle history report as it usually contains information about the damage and previous history of the vehicle.
  • Ask the seller for repair records and estimates so you have an idea of what it costs to fix the vehicle if it happens again.


Salvage repaired vehicles are not a good idea as they present more risk than most users are willing to handle. Unless you have experience handling fixing such vehicles or you are a skilled mechanic then you should avoid such vehicles. Safety concerns, the potential for costly repairs, and difficulty insuring and selling your car can make the decision clear for most people. If you’re considering it, be sure to get a vehicle history report and have a trusted mechanic inspect the car.