To buy or not to buy-salvage title

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  #1  
Old 09-14-06, 12:13 AM
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To buy or not to buy-salvage title

My son wants to buy this 1995 integra that has a salvage title. I got the vin number and ran a carfax on it and found that the salvage title was issued in 1996, at around 1500 miles. It has since had three more owners and now has 152,000 miles on it.

The owner does not know the reason behind the marked title. He has had the car for three years and said it has performed great for him with no problems...so he says. As a mechanic myself (airplanes, not cars) I looked the car over using what knowledge I have about cars, and found nothing unusual about the vehicle.

It looks and runs great. It has been driven for more that 150,000 since the salvage title was issued, and the carfax reports that it has passed emissions testing several times as well. I do plan on having a mechanic look at it if we get serious about buying it.

My son is 17 and will probably drive the car for several more years, as he goes through college and whatnot. Everything I've read about a salvage title says to stay away from it, but I just can't seem to find any mechanical reason not to buy it, so I wanted to put it out here to see what others have to say about it.

Thanks...Randy
 
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  #2  
Old 09-14-06, 04:34 AM
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My guess would be crash damage. I think I would be looking for signs that the car had been spliced together from two wrecked cars.

Here's a good article on the subject:

http://www.vehicleinfo.com/articles.php?id=26

Just curious, but how much are they asking for it?
 
  #3  
Old 09-14-06, 12:59 PM
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Salvage title can also be theft recovery. Look for traces of major body repair, or rewelded frame work. If you do not knwo how to look for these signs, just have a body shop look it over.

They will know within a few minutes.

Salvage title vehicles can be fine, as long as you understand the resale value isn't going to be pretty. If the frame is straight, then I wouldn't worry too much. Dropping a rebuilt motor into that car is not too expensive.

Just don't pay too much for a salvaged car with that many miles. Shouldn't even be close to blue book value at all. If it makes you feel any better, I have a good friend who only owns salvaged cars. I think 4 at the moment.
 
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Old 09-14-06, 03:10 PM
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Just curious, but how much are they asking for it?
The car is in excellent shape, with only a few scratches here and there and one small ding in one of the fenders. Paint looks good and the inetrior looks great. It has a Clifford alarm system, and he installed a subwoofer/amp in the rear. (I think that's what caught my son's attention the most) The Yokohama tires show little wear and he said he just redid the brakes. It's a standard transmission and the engine is VTECH...whatever that means.

His listing price is $5600. The high blue book is about $4100, and the low is $3100, and both of those are for vehicles with a clean title. Kelly doesn't even list an estimate for a car with a salvage title.

The car is in very good shape, and if not for the title I would be inclined to offer him the higher blue book value, but I think I will offer him $3100 and see what happens. I'm pretty sure he won't take it.

Thanks guys, I appreciate the feedback.
 
  #5  
Old 09-14-06, 03:30 PM
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Make sure youre insurance company doesn't have a problem insuring it as well.............many do.
 
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Old 09-14-06, 03:39 PM
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Good point...hadn't even considered that aspect.

Thanks...Randy
 
  #7  
Old 09-14-06, 04:48 PM
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Sounds like he's got that car listed way over what its worth ($5600 for a previously wrecked 11 year old car w/ 152K on it? ...way too much). You should offer him less than $3100 and plan to end your negotiations at $3100 (ie start at $2800 explaining to him the fact that based on the miles, title, and age, it's not worth more than that and don't plan on going over $3100 ...if you start at $3100, you may end up closer to $4K). Bring a print off of the Kelly Blue Book values and show him he was smokin' crack when he listed his price. If he doesn't budge, walk away and look for a better deal with a clean title. There are plenty of great cars out there for your son. Good luck and let us know how it goes and don't forget to hold your ground!

Steve
 
  #8  
Old 09-14-06, 05:45 PM
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Yep, you're right. I explained all of this to my son and he reluctantly agreed. This car was just what he wanted and now he has to say no to it.

Oh well, one of the many lessons in choice he will have to make throughout his life. But, like I told him, this is the first car we have looked at and I'm sure there will be more...even better ones.
 
  #9  
Old 09-15-06, 11:23 AM
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If he has his mind set on an Integra, he can find a much nicer buy at that price.

Salvage title, and that mileage, I would pay $2,500 TOPS.
 
  #10  
Old 09-15-06, 06:10 PM
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I offered him $3000, and he said no, because he had just listed the car and wanted to wait a while before he would consider that price. He said that right now $4500 is as low as he would go. I told him, "good luck".

He was really nice about it, and wasn't getting cocky or being a jerk about it like I have seen before in these situations. He says he knows that he is high, but he wants to try anyway.

So, we are now looking at other cars.
 
  #11  
Old 09-16-06, 05:59 AM
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Car owners frequently have rose-colored glasses on when they look at the value of their vehicles. Often they are lucky enough to catch a buyer also wearing the same glasses. Birds of a feather, I guess. Recently got a call to pick up two donated cars for a charitable organization; just had to wait until the owner got them out of the backyard where they had sat for God knows how long and out to the street for pickup. The owner's boyfriend decided they could get something for them instead of donating them.
 
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Old 10-31-06, 11:09 AM
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Salvage titles mean different things in different states and some states do not have "salvaged or branded" titles so you could buy a salvaged titled car in Vermont and re-register it in Florida and have a "clean" title.
You may want to check with your state and find out what "salvage" means. They may also be able to tell you why that particular car earned a salvage title.
I do agree that giving him Kelly Blue Book would be absolutely ludicris.


Mark_ms
 
  #13  
Old 12-21-06, 10:00 PM
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I think is good to let a mechanic check on it, just to safe and test drive it.
150K mileage is quite big, I believe the worst thing will happen to that car is you have to overhaul the engine completely sooner or later.


Johnny Ace
 
  #14  
Old 07-17-14, 09:56 AM
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Interesting read here about kids

If you are thinking of buying it for a kid you should have it thoroughly inspected by agencies first. My kid is my life. you should see these tips from salvage reseller before buying to check if the car is 100%:
 

Last edited by Shadeladie; 07-17-14 at 10:16 AM. Reason: Advertising not allowed
  #15  
Old 07-17-14, 10:09 AM
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Josh:

Welcome to the forums. Please check the dates; you have responded to an eight year old question.
 
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