How to Sell a Salvage Title Car?

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Edgar Moulton.


Edgar Moulton. Car Expert

Has your car been damaged so much that repairing it will cost you more than it is worth? Do you wonder how to sell a salvage car without a headache and get a decent payment for it? There is a solution to your problem, but there are a few things to consider. In this article, you will learn about the problems associated with owning salvage vehicles, how to prepare a car for sale, and the easiest ways you can get rid of it.

Things to Know Before Selling a Salvage Car 

Before we dive into how to sell a salvage title car and consider the methods of selling a car with a salvage title, we should first define what a salvage vehicle is. It’s a car that has been exposed to structural or mechanical damage to the point where repair and restoration costs are higher than the vehicle’s residual value. In a word, a salvage car is a totaled or wrecked automobile in an unserviceable condition. 

To sell a vehicle for salvage, you need to get a salvage title for it. Notably, a salvage title is something from a legal sphere. It’s a document issued based on the designation assigned by an insurance company once it admits that fixing a vehicle will eat up more money than the car costs. To be worth a salvage title, the car repair costs should make up over 80% of the automobile’s price. 

One more thing to remember when selling your car for salvage is that conditions for salvage designation differ across the states. So, it’s advisable that you check for those in your area to duly observe all formalities valid in your jurisdiction and avoid any potential legal issues. 

The Truth About Owning a Salvage Title Vehicle

It is no wonder that many drivers think about selling a car with a salvage title, as the potential troubles associated with owning such a vehicle are significant.

  • Fixing a car may not make it better 

Even if you decide to invest money in repairs, you should remember that a restored vehicle still won’t compare to the new one in terms of safety and reliability. It is more likely to break down shortly after, so it’s usually not the best idea to fix a salvage vehicle.  

  • Inconvenience and additional expenses 

A salvage car occupies space and gets in the way. If you have a non-driving car, you will possibly need to move it from one place to another at some point. To do this, you may have to hire a tow truck and thus spend more money. 

  • Potential hazard 

If you keep a damaged vehicle with some sharp edges or missing pieces of glass in your yard, it can turn into a potential hazard, especially for children and pets. 

  • Loss of value over time

Another reason why it’s not a good idea to keep a salvage car in your garage for years is that it loses its value. Without proper maintenance, a car will slowly deteriorate, and thus, you won’t be able to get even $100 for it.

These are the main reasons why selling salvage title vehicles is usually the best way to go. Get the highest payment for your damaged vehicle from JunkCarsUs! 

How to Get a Salvage Title for Your Car

You might still be wondering, “Can I sell a salvage title car legally?” As we’ve already mentioned, selling salvage cars requires having that specific title in place.. A salvage title is issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in each state. Before applying, you need your insurance company to declare the vehicle a total loss. Then, you should file an application with your local DMV, pay a state fee, and submit the car to a salvage inspection.

The most common circumstances for assigning a salvage car designation across the states include  

  • Accidents, collisions, and crashes;
  • Natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, tornados, etc.;
  • Weather calamities such as hail, high wind, storms, etc.;
  • Vandalism and other types of deliberate damage and breakage;
  • Severe damage caused by rust and corrosion.

Beyond direct impact, insurance companies can declare salvage designation for a theft-recovered vehicle, the cost of which has already been compensated to the owner. This allows an insurance company to get some money back.  

How to Sell a Car With a Salvage Title: 4 Easiest Ways

While considering how to sell a salvage title vehicle, you need to take into account the fact that it’s an insurance company that has the prime right on selling your salvage car. Hence, to keep a salvage auto in your possession, you need to agree with the insurer and expect that the settlement amount will be cut down by the salvage car price. 

Notably, unless you get a better price than the estimated salvage car value, there is no sense to sell a salvage title car on your own. You can leave this hassle to your insurer and simply get your insurance settlement.

How can you sell a car with a salvage title in the best way? In case selling a salvage vehicle is in your plans, there are a few options for you to consider:

Specialized Marketplaces

Selling a vehicle with a salvage title by listing it online is one of the easiest and most straightforward options you have. There are online marketplaces dedicated to selling salvage cars. This way, you have chances to spot private buyers and find the right buyer for your car, who will purchase it on your terms. At the same time, though, arm yourself with patience, since finding your perfect buyer might take quite a while.


Many car dealerships welcome buying totaled and salvaged cars. Some might purchase them for parts, while others overhaul vehicles to a serviceable condition for further re-sale. 

Auto Auctions

An auto auction is a great place for selling a salvage title car for cash. Those auctions are not numerous, yet, they sell cars in “as is” condition, with no preliminary inspection. 


Wondering how to sell a salvage car quickly? Sell it to the junkyard. Most of them buy salvage cars for parts or metal scrap and can offer hefty price points.     

How to Prepare a Salvage Title Car For Sale?

How can you sell a salvage title car easily and prepare everything you need? To make sure that the process of selling your vehicle is legal, and you won’t have any problems, there are a few things you should do. 

Have a car title ready 

If you have a salvage car title provided by your insurance company, you need to have it ready for when you sell a vehicle. 

Prepare odometer disclosure statement 

Another important document is the odometer disclosure form, as you have to reveal the mileage of your car to the potential buyer. 

Put an asking price on it

To determine the price, you should know the clean title price and then adjust it according to the mileage of your car, the extent of damage, and other factors. You can use a car value calculator on our site to get an idea of a price. Still, the best way to determine it is to either get the car appraised by the dealer or by our company. 

Make sure you have state-specific documents

These may vary depending on where you live. For example, in some states, you need to provide a certificate of inspection to legally sell a salvage vehicle. 

Take photos of your vehicle 

If you want to sell a car to a private driver, you should take detailed photos. They should properly show the car’s overall state and any damage it has. 

When you decide to sell your car to JunkCarsUs, you can be sure that we will help you with any documents, even if some are missing. If you have no idea where to begin selling your car, contact our specialists!

Consider Selling Your Car to JunkCarsUs

Want to cut the trouble of selling a salvage title vehicle on your own? If so, consider selling to JunkCarsUs. We purchase used, damaged, aged, and totaled vehicles, and we buy salvage cars as well. We offer

  • Same-day service
  • Quick and fair quotes
  • Cash payment
  • Free towing service

Our team members will explain to you how to sell a car for salvage in detail, so you have nothing to worry about. So don’t hesitate to contact us right now to get your car sold asap!  


Is it hard to sell a salvage title car?

By and large, it will depend on your salvage vehicle's state and the extent of the damage. Cars with minor damage are easier to sell and entail higher value. However, get ready for the situation when dealers and junkyards will seek to lower the price and offer much less than the real cost.

What do I need to sell my salvage car?

Should the auto insurance company recognize your vehicle as a total loss, you need to apply for a salvage title for your car with the Department of Motor Vehicles in your state.

Can dealerships sell salvage cars?

It depends on a particular car dealership. Many cannot sell a salvage title car due to the potential legal issues associated with the resale of such vehicles. However, some dealerships can overhaul salvage cars and then sell them with proper documents. 

Can I be sued for selling a car with a salvage title?

It is legal to sell a car with a salvage title if you fully disclose this information to the buyer. It doesn’t matter in what condition your car is as long as you inform the seller about it.

Edgar Moulton.


Edgar Moulton. Car Expert

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