Don’t let a salvage title stop you from selling your used vehicle. While selling an old car may require additional steps, trying to sell a car with a salvage title doesn’t have to be stressful. Discover whether your old vehicle has this title type, what you need to do to sell it, and how PrivateAuto can make the process easy.

Check Your Title

First, you need to determine whether you have a salvage title. All states have slightly different laws regarding salvage titles, but there are some basic similarities. The title should clearly display that it’s a salvage. Don’t try to pull one over on your buyer by hiding the title status. Make it clear before you sign the car's title over that it is a salvage.

Understanding Salvage Titles

Typically, a salvage title is given when your vehicle is considered a loss. That doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t drive your vehicle or that it’s been in an accident. It usually happens in one of two ways:

  1. Your insurance company acquires the vehicle and pays a total loss claim.
  2. The amount of damage exceeds a significant percentage of the total value, typically around 75% or 80%.

Many salvage titles are issued after a car accident, but some are issued after a flood or other natural disaster. Some states allow you to drive on this type of title, while others require your vehicle to be inspected and issued a rebuilt title. Whether your car is a junker or still drivable, you’re still able to sell it with a salvage title.

Review The VIN

Before listing your vehicle, check its VIN. Selling a car with the wrong VIN number may be difficult, so it’s best to have the issue fixed. In most cases, this is simply a clerical error that can be fixed by contacting your local DMV. This gives you and your buyer peace of mind with a safe, hassle-free transaction.

Consider Clearing Your Title

While it’s possible to sell a car with a salvage title, you may be able to sell it at a higher price if you have a rebuilt title. Consider clearing a salvage title if your vehicle is still drivable. Some salvage titles have repairable damage or mostly cosmetic damage. In these cases, it may be a worthwhile investment to have your vehicle fixed before selling it. This is particularly true if you’re ready to fix up your car yourself.

As mentioned, some states require you to have your vehicle inspected before clearing your salvage title and receiving a rebuilt title, so don’t try pulling a fast one on your buyer or local DMV. Invest in the right materials and repair steps for a car that’s ready to drive safely.

A rebuilt title isn’t the same as a standard title, but it does give you the ability to improve the value of the car. This isn’t a required step to selling your car, so compare the pros and cons of clearing a title before you list your used car online.

How to Sell a Car with a Salvage Title

Selling a Junk Car with a Salvage Title

Not willing to invest hundreds or thousands into clearing your title? Simply list your vehicle as a junk car with a salvage title. Selling a junk car is easy with the right online listing site. Make it clear that you’re selling a junker and you may receive a higher price than the cost of scrap metal.

Some DIY mechanics may have the know-how and time to repair your junker and clear the title, which means buyers do exist. You can sign over a salvage title like any other title and let your buyer invest the time and energy to restore your old or damaged car.

Benefits of Selling a Salvage Vehicle

Many buyers may look at a salvage title as a major disadvantage. There are, however, a few benefits of a salvage title that some budget buyers will love. Here are a few reasons why you may receive a good price and plenty of interest in your salvage vehicle.

First, a salvage vehicle is a DIY mechanic’s dream. Some don’t necessarily need a lot of costly parts, they just need a lot of labor to repair. Your car may be the perfect option for a mechanic looking to get a great deal. Clear photos and descriptions of the damage can help interested buyers get a sense of the valuable parts that are salvageable on your car.

Another reason buyers may be interested in a salvage vehicle is for spare parts. There may be some significant damage to your car, but there are still plenty of parts that have a lot of life in them. Savvy mechanics and DIY auto repair enthusiasts will see your vehicle as a treasure trove of replacement parts for their vehicle.

Prepare Your Vehicle for Sale

You can just stick a sign in the window and hope your vehicle will sell, but this is unlikely to work with a salvage car. Since some states don’t allow you to drive on the road with this type of title, so you probably won’t get a lot of action with your car sitting in your driveway. Find out how to prepare your car for sale to maximize your profits and enjoy a quick sale.

Start by gathering the proper materials. Here are some basic items that you’ll need to sell your vehicle to a private party:

  • Title
  • Records and warranty documents
  • Odometer disclosure form
  • Asking price
  • State-specific forms, such as a bill of sale or certificate of inspection

It’s also a good idea to give your car a good cleaning and take quality photos. Just because you’re selling a salvage title doesn’t mean you don’t want to promote your car in the best possible light.

Explore Reliable Ways to Sell Your Car Online

PrivateAuto makes it easy to sell a car with a salvage title in a safe, reliable way. Create a listing, manage offers, and ensure you sell to a trustworthy buyer, all on PrivateAuto. As you explore the benefits of selling your car online, get ready for new online sales features. These features will be launched in Spring 2021 and include new ways to sell your car quickly.

Improved safety features, like facial and driver’s license recognition, keep you and your buyer safe. Convenient advertising benefits, payment features, and more are all waiting for you at PrivateAuto. Create your listing today!