How would I know if a used car has ever been salvaged?

How to Tell

You’ll know a used car has previously been salvaged if it’s listed on the title, if an insurance company is listed as a previous owner, or by checking a vehicle history report.

Salvaged vehicles are used cars that were once damaged so badly that the estimated repair expense exceeded the car’s value. Often insurance companies will simply pay off the car, take possession of it, and sell it off for parts. In some cases, cars are salvaged, meaning that someone buys the car and repairs it back into running condition.

The problem with salvaged cars, in addition to potential mechanical problems, is that their market value plummets. You don’t want to pay regular market value for a used car that was previously salvaged.

Order a Vehicle History Report

Know up front if you’re buying a salvaged vehicle. The fastest and easiest way to check the salvage status of a used car is to obtain a vehicle history report. A vehicle history report will tell you if the car has ever been salvaged or, at the very least, will list an insurance company as a previous owner – a sure sign that the car was once a salvaged vehicle. Ordering a vehicle history report online is the easiest and fastest way to get the information you’re looking for.

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