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How to Properly Price a Salvage Title?


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22 replies to this topic

#1 jasinwa

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Posted 25 August 2006 - 02:32 PM

I am still looking for a legacy sedan...turned down about 8 so far - I must be a picky SOB !!

saw an 02 outback limited with 60k, in what looks like excellent condition, rides tight for an automatic. It is a salvage title, hit from the back. bumper, etc replaced, all with Subaru parts, etc...all receipts etc. I normally wouldn't do salvage but car looks good, licensed mech, alignment good, etc...since hit from behind, I am think the engine's basically unaffected (except from the jolt, of course...)...

asking 11k - how would I consider pricing a salvage title?

#2 Kilroy

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Posted 25 August 2006 - 02:37 PM

Get the Blue Book price on the vehicle then knock a good 25% off of that. Seeing as the damage is in the rear, the value when dickering should be higher than if it was in the front.

KBB.com gives this vehicle a price of $11,355 with the stock option in 'GOOD' condition, but a retitled vehicle is considered 'FAIR' condition, which I can not get a price for on that site. I wouldn't pay more than $9k for said vehicle because you won't get the money back when you resell the car at a later date. You may want to have an independent mechanic/bodyman that you trust look at the vehicle first.

""Poor" condition means that the vehicle has severe mechanical and/or cosmetic defects and is in poor running condition. The vehicle may have problems that cannot be readily fixed such as a damaged frame or a rusted-through body. A vehicle with a branded title (salvage, flood, etc.) or unsubstantiated mileage is considered "poor." A vehicle in poor condition may require an independent appraisal to determine its value. Kelley Blue Book does not attempt to report a value on a "poor" vehicle because the value of cars in this category varies."

#3 jasinwa

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Posted 25 August 2006 - 02:49 PM

thx. kilroy,

I maybe wasn't clear...it's an Outback Legacy limited....

I kbb'ed it at 13,765 (good cond), 12,530 fair cond.

but it does sound too high priced, although everything is back to 'mint' condition (the car really is clean) - but it will have that branded title...

ps - I keep my cars till about death (still have my 88 celica gts, 170K miles), so am not too worried bout resale value!

2002 Subaru Outback Limited Sedan 4D

Excellent
$14,665

Good
$13,765

Fair
$12,530

#4 Kilroy

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Posted 25 August 2006 - 03:11 PM

Shoot for $10K and keep your fingers crossed, dropping the price $1k for a retitled vehicle isn't that much of a shot in the dark. Explain to the seller why you are going lower, I'm pretty sure they already know that the resale is going to be lower than an undamaged vehicle. Also, check eBay for any retitled Subarus around that year as a reference and if you find any print them out to show the seller.

#5 grossgary

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Posted 25 August 2006 - 04:30 PM

any before or after shots of the damage?
things to worry about:
does the rear trunk or window leak?
was there any fender damage?
any damage to the rear suspension - possibly alignment issues that would eat tires is no fun.
was the gas tank damaged?

salvaged is fine, the more you know about it the better. and the better deal you get the better. this doesn't sound like a great deal to me, but if it's what you want and in your range then go for it.

#6 fastwgn286

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Posted 25 August 2006 - 04:51 PM

if they have a similar legacy wagon, or a friend has one, park them side by side and check underneath to compare the two. take some measurements to see if the frame was returned to close to normal. it won't be perfect, but best to take a look anyways. or take it to your body shop repair guy to check the frame for proper repairs.

#7 jasinwa

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Posted 25 August 2006 - 05:23 PM

I can ask about those things...I asked about the frame - they have a frame straightener but I don't know what printout/reports it does. they do have 4 wheel alignment papers from a thid party....

I don't know i could measure anything precise enough!

thx guys...

#8 nipper

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Posted 25 August 2006 - 06:38 PM

Personally i would never buy a salvage car. You really dont know whatwas wrong with the car.
Run a car fax and make sure it came from from where they say it did.
Call your insurance company and ask them what they value it at. Never pay more for a car then what it is worth. Personally i would take the money and by a slightly older non salvage car, be far less headaches in the long run.

nippe

#9 Kilroy

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Posted 25 August 2006 - 07:32 PM

Some insurance companies won't even insure a retitled car. :-\

#10 jasinwa

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Posted 26 August 2006 - 09:20 AM

thx all....I better contact my insurance company Monday, just to see if it's worth it. The car sure *seems* really nice, though!

#11 Esteban32696

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Posted 27 August 2006 - 06:34 AM

I have bought & repaired a good many " salvage cars." One thing I like is that when I buy one, I know the damage that was done. When you buy one already repaired, you will never know everything that was damaged. Remember, it being salvaged, from a wreck, meant that the insurance company deemed it was not worth fixing ! After you buy one, it surely has to be fixed well, or you will be " stuck" too, trying to resell it with a salvaged title.

#12 calebz

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Posted 27 August 2006 - 12:27 PM

In my experience, Find Private party blue book and cut that price in half.

10k for a salvage titled 02 is still too much money.. By a lot.

I am a little confused. Is it an 02 GT like you said in the first post, or is an 02 OB limited?


PS. Most of my experience in these matters are from up in your neck of the woods. Its even worse here in TX

#13 jasinwa

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Posted 27 August 2006 - 02:12 PM

I am a little confused. Is it an 02 GT like you said in the first post, or is an 02 OB limited?

PS. Most of my experience in these matters are from up in your neck of the woods. Its even worse here in TX


sorry, it is an outback legacy limited....I must've not been concentrating and have been looking at GT's all along!

#14 jasinwa

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Posted 27 August 2006 - 02:14 PM

I have bought & repaired a good many " salvage cars." One thing I like is that when I buy one, I know the damage that was done. When you buy one already repaired, you will never know everything that was damaged. Remember, it being salvaged, from a wreck, meant that the insurance company deemed it was not worth fixing ! After you buy one, it surely has to be fixed well, or you will be " stuck" too, trying to resell it with a salvaged title.


It is already rebuilt, so I won't know all done, but they have/will provide receipts for the repair.

I most likely wouldn't worry about selling it....or way later. The car I have now is an 88 Celica gts and I have had it since '94 !!

#15 JT95

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Posted 28 August 2006 - 04:47 PM

I assume that you will be putting full coverage insurance on this car if you buy it. Be aware that if--and we hope not--the car gets crashed again while you own it, the insurance company will probably only give you 70% of the vehicle's book value because it is a salvage titled car. You need to make sure you don't have more invested in the car than you could get from the insurance companies if needed.

I have worked on several rebuilt wrecks. My 95 Legacy LSi wagon was wrecked when I bought it. Totaled doesn't always mean physically totaled. It just means that all the labor to fix the car (in addition to parts) would make it more expensive than most would want to fool with. If repairs go over 70-80% of the car's value then the insurance companies total it out. I did most of the labor myself on my 95 (a frame shop straightened the front, which wasn't too bad out of whack anyway) and I ended up investing about $1600 total to put a sweet inexpensive ride on the road...of course that was with lots of hours in the garage.

If you can get pictures of what the car looked like before, that would be good. Buying a salvage title car that has already been fixed is always a pig in a poke, especially when you're talking $10K+. Most wrecked cars are never totally like they were before. (The only exception I can think of is my uncle, who used to spend a whole year rebuilding a car--his welds were so sweet it made factory welds look like a child did 'em...) People who rebuild one to sell have to do so in a reasonable time frame or they don't make money. See if all the gaps in door fittings and trunk lid are uniform. Lots of times a car hit in the back will have the gap of the trunk lid lines wider on one side than the other. Look hard and careful underneath. Keep in mind the paint may not look as nice in two or three years as the factory paint would have, depending on the brand used and the painter's skill. People have already mentioned other things to look for.

Bottom line--can you find the same thing that's never been wrecked for almost the same price? If so, go for that instead. The only time you should choose a salvage title car is if it saves you a good chunk of money.

#16 JPX

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Posted 28 August 2006 - 10:04 PM

Pioneer 3700MP - along with a freshening up of the bezel.
Posted Image

#17 johnceggleston

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Posted 21 September 2006 - 05:57 AM

found this service on ebay and wondered if you bought your car. apparently this is a $20 service to see actual pics of specific wrecked cars. if no pics, no pay.

hope it helps.

http://cgi.ebay.com/...ZWDVWQQtcZphoto



I am still looking for a legacy sedan...turned down about 8 so far - I must be a picky SOB !!

saw an 02 outback limited with 60k, in what looks like excellent condition, rides tight for an automatic. It is a salvage title, hit from the back. bumper, etc replaced, all with Subaru parts, etc...all receipts etc. I normally wouldn't do salvage but car looks good, licensed mech, alignment good, etc...since hit from behind, I am think the engine's basically unaffected (except from the jolt, of course...)...

asking 11k - how would I consider pricing a salvage title?



#18 Sweet82

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Posted 21 September 2006 - 10:43 AM

I've had two salvage title vehicles. Still have one of them.

My experience tells me you get what you pay for.

Both salvaged cars i've had, have "personalities".
A salvaged vehicle will always have quirks!

The question is did you get a good enough deal to make it worth while to put up with the quirks?

My mind tells me you have to get a super discount to make it worth while.
Like 60 to 70% of book value.

Good Luck,
Glenn
88 Trooper--restored/rebuilt, quirky and still going!

#19 SUBARU3

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Posted 21 September 2006 - 11:30 AM

Salvage titles on newer vehicles are more of an issue than older ones.

The lower the book value, the greater chance of the vehicle being totaled for minor damage.

If you have a vehicle worth less than 5K. You can easily have $3K worth of repair, for even a minor fender issue. Hail can be one more of those things that total a car and nothing else!

I have a friend who bought a salvage car recently that was a salvage vehicle and had hail "minor". It was a 96 Honda. Perfect car! Took it to a paintless dent repair guy in the evening that moonlighted and had it fixed for $500! Beautiful car!!! The car was totaled because the estimated PDR for the hail was $3200 from the "mainstream" body shops. Body shop are SUCH ripoffs. PDR is PURE profit!

One more example was a bumper and fender damage on a 94 Legacy. Car was totaled. Repair costs were less than $500 to have a nice car. No frame damage, not ANY other damage, but the car was totaled. Car had 79K!

So Salvage can be good, but yours eyes are your market!

Todd

#20 Storydude1

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Posted 21 September 2006 - 12:49 PM

Salvage title=NEVER SELLING THAT CAR AGAIN in NY.

Salvage title=Coverall for insurance companies...Could be small accident...could be fire repair.

Salvage title=Walk away, or 85 bucks/Ton Scrap price.

#21 jasinwa

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Posted 21 September 2006 - 02:16 PM

yea, I gave up on the salvage title....they wanted too much still.....so not worth a 200 mile drive to even look at it...

Still looking but will stay with used, non-salvage. 95 2.2 preferably, otherwise like a 98-01 GT or GT ltd...

#22 Soutthpaw

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Posted 21 September 2006 - 10:02 PM

The other thing you want to do when looking at salvage vehicles is have someone drive it on a straight road and then drive behind them, get your sight line directly on the rear wheel and if you can see the front wheel then the frame is bent or some serious suspension damage issues. I see these kind of vehicles on the road all the time.

#23 nipper

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Posted 21 September 2006 - 10:21 PM

The other thing you want to do when looking at salvage vehicles is have someone drive it on a straight road and then drive behind them, get your sight line directly on the rear wheel and if you can see the front wheel then the frame is bent or some serious suspension damage issues. I see these kind of vehicles on the road all the time.


i see them even on non-salvage

nipper




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