Things to Know About A Vehicle That's Been In An Accident - information from the the pros at Shingle Springs Subaru serving Sacramento, CA

May 15, 2019

Cars are some of the most expensive items that most people will buy, so it makes sense that you'd want to save money when possible. Some people have recommended saving money by buying a car with a salvage title. A salvage car is one that has been in a major accident and has been totaled by the insurance company (which means that they determined that it would be cheaper to pay the owner the estimated value of the vehicle before it was damaged than it would be to pay for repairs).

It is true that salvage cars often cost less up front. However, that's only part of the story. Salvage cars have a variety of problems that may not make them as good of an investment as they seem. If you've been thinking of buying a car that's been in an accident, here are four things to consider first.

A close-up of two vehicles in a rear-end collision on a wet, rainy road.

4. Salvage Cars Are Hard To Sell

If you ever plan on selling your vehicle, you might find that it's hard to sell a salvage car. Many dealerships won't take them at all, and those that do will pay only a very small amount. You might consider directly selling to another person. However, cars with salvage titles are rightly treated with suspicion by many.

A man with a clipboard crouches next to a car with a damaged hood while writing on his paper.

3. Your Insurance May Not Cover a Salvage Car

Liability coverage is the bare minimum of what's required by law, and most insurance companies will indeed provide this coverage for salvage cars. However, you may be out of luck when you're trying to get other coverage. Liability coverage generally doesn't cover any vehicle damage; it's collision coverage that does this. But most insurance companies won't provide collision coverage for salvage vehicles, since it can be difficult to tell if any damage is preexisting.

A man kneels next to a car, working on its interior with tools scattered around the area.

2. Salvage Cars Can Be Unsafe

It's certainly possible for a salvage car to be rebuilt in such a way that it will be safe. However, that's not always the case. If the shop that restored the car cut any corners at all, your car may not provide the same level of protection. Even if the person restoring your car takes care to do things the right way, they may miss some compromised crash safety features.

1. Salvage Cars May Cost More in the Long Term

In terms of up-front costs, salvage cars are generally cheaper. But if you look at what you'll be paying over the life of the vehicle, a different picture may begin to emerge. For one thing, if the car was recently in an accident, problems may begin to show up months afterwards. A seller may tell you that the damage to the vehicle was simply cosmetic, but even damage that appears cosmetic can cause deeper problems. If you're looking to save money on a car, your best option is to find a used vehicle without a salvage title. We carry plenty of these at Shingle Springs Subaru.

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Shingle Springs Subaru

4045 Wild Chaparral Dr
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