Change in Your Pocket: Saving on a Used Car | VideoJoel Porter | 1/10/2013
Vehicles that have been damaged may include words like "salvage" or "rebuilt" on the title. You won`t find them on a certified pre-owned lot, but you may run across them from a private seller.
"That really doesn`t make it a bad car, it`s just protecting you to know that there was an accident at some point of its lifetime," said Kupper Chevrolet Used Car Manager Rod Sandvig.
If you know the vehicle`s VIN, you can look up a Carfax history report. And while that will tell you some important factors, such as previous accidents or any potential flood damage, it`s certainly not a clean bill of health for the car.
"It doesn`t do anything on the mechanical side of things. So if the car`s been in the shop for, let`s say a transmission, that will not show up on a Carfax," Sandvig said.
Even if a mechanic restores the vehicle to excellent shape and cleans up the title, another potential problem is getting it insured.
" A lot of times, if they took the right precautions to fix a vehicle and it was done with safety precautions and it meets the standards of the state law for the vehicle, than we can insure it with normal coverages," said Roberta Flach-Storm with State Farm Insurance.
If everything is ship-shape, take it for a test drive and make sure it`s a smooth ride. Finally, you can compare the year and mileage and make sure you`re getting a fair price. A few steps that`ll save you change in your pocket before you sign the title.
Under state law, every salvaged vehicle has to be inspected by the highway patrol before the vehicle`s title can be restored.