If you are looking into buying a new car on a budget you might want to ask your local body repair shop about wrecked, salvage and repairable cars to rebuild.
Insurance companies’ rule of thumb is that if the repair cost of a damaged car is over 70-75% of the cars value the car will be totaled. In other words, if you can find a good rebuildable car, your savings can be 25-30% of the regular price!
So where do you go to buy a salvage car? Most insurance companies sell their wrecked cars at auctions where individuals as well as car dealers and rebuilders can purchase the damaged cars. It’s a good idea to participate in a couple of auctions to get an idea about the price levels and the conditions of the cars. It is important that you know what you are doing though. Buying a repairable car on a car auction is not without risk. Many times it can be difficult to evaluate the complete damage. There can be safety problems such as Airbags may be missing or disabled. Anti-lock brake systems may not work. Seat belts may have become unsafe. Warning indicators may not work. Steering system and wheel alignment may be damaged.
It is strongly recommended to consult your body shop and eventually ask them to go with you to the auction. Most of them will be happy to do that for a small fee. After all you will bring them business.
You should also keep in mind that other professional car repairers are there to make a good deal. They buy the car wrecks and rebuilt them for resale. Sometimes rebuilders resell salvaged vehicles in states that don’t have salvage titles. Without obtaining a title report buyers won’t know they are getting a previously wrecked vehicle.
To summarize the above, if you decide to save money by rebuilding a salvage car, make sure to consult your local body shop and let them quote you the price for the vehicle repair. Also make sure that all safety equipment in intact or at least repairable. Finally make sure that your state will allow you to get a title on the car after it is rebuilt.