Before talking about salvage cars, it is important to actually know the literal meaning if the word salvage. To salvage means to save something, it could be a car a ship, a situation etc from total destruction, damage, waste or wreckage.
Also the word salvage could also mean the property that has been saved from destruction and that’s where the focus of this article is going to be, which is salvage cars.
A salvage car is basically a car with a salvage title, this title is also known as rebuildable titles which shows that the car was has some kind of substantial damage or in need of serious repairs or fixing which has made the insurance company to take the car.
What is a salvage title ?
A salvage title is a legal document which is given when a vehicle is damaged and considered a total loss by the insurance company. This salvage title is usually applied for by either the outright owner of the vehicle or the insurance company.
This title is issued where the vehicle has been involved in an accident or has been affected by any of the factors that makes the car a salvage vehicle. And where the cost of repairing the said vehicle exceeds the total worth of the car or it up to 70% of the value.
A salvage title informs buyers of the whatever damage the vehicle has incurred. It also helps to show that the car has not been rebuilt or repaired with defective parts.
What makes a car a salvage car ?
There are a lot of things that gives a car the salvage car status, but the most common of all these factors is road traffic accidents (RTA). It is very common to see these kind of vehicles on various car auction websites. These cars having varying degrees of destruction, light, heavy and completely totaled and non repairable.
Other factors that make cars to become salvage cars are fire, theft, natural disasters like flooding hurricanes, tsunamis, land slide etc.
When it comes to flooding, a buyer may not notice the damage since it is hidden. The water evaporates, leaving little trace behind. However, a vehicle’s mechanical and electronic components can be badly damaged, rendering it unreliable.
It is important to note that because a car appears to be in a decent condition on the outside doesn’t guarantee it’s in good working order on the interior. There’s probably a rationale behind the salvage title.
If your vehicle is involved in an accident or suffers damage from any other of the aforementioned factors, it is given a category to signify the severity of the damage. Your car will either be given a CAT A or CAT B designation if it has been written off, meaning it cannot be repaired and should not be permitted back on the road. These are the classifications given to cars that are badly damaged that they must be scrapped, while some pieces of Category B cars may be salvaged.
The next set of categories of salvage cars are CAT C and CAT D which were updated to CAT S and CAT N respectively. This update or replacement was done in October 2017. Vehicles with the C and D designation before October 2017 will still hold their previous designations as the update does not work in retrospect.
Category S, which was previously referred to as Category C, is used to describe vehicles that have sustained structural damage. This can be as a result of a twisted fender or a bent chassis caused by a collision.
An insurance company will have written off these vehicles as being too costly to restore. Because the damage to these cars is more than just aesthetic damage, they will need to be professionally repaired and will be unsafe to drive until such repair has been done.
Because these vehicles can be salvaged, Category S is called a salvage category.
Category D which is now categorized as Category N, is used to describe vehicles have no visible damage but have a problem that is not cost-effective to fix.
Insurers will write off these cars due to the high expense of repairs and the fact that they cannot be driven, despite the fact that they have not sustained any structural damage. Problems with brakes, transmission, or other safety-related equipment are examples of non-structural issues; anything that makes an automobile unsafe to drive.
The car can be used again when any faults or aesthetic problems have been fixed by a customer who purchased it as a salvage car.
It is also important to note that a car with a salvage title, whether A,B,S or N is different from a vehicle with a junk title.
A car with a junk title is a car that only scraps can be taken away from it. It can be sold as a scrap car or different salvageable components of the car can be sold differently as scrap.