In the United States, a salvage title is an automobile title with a notation that the vehicle has been damaged in excess of approximately 70% of its pre-accident market value. The exact percentage depends on the insurance provider and any applicable laws and regulations. This notation gets applied to a title when an insurance company pays a total-loss claim on a vehicle, but then sells the vehicle at an auction center.
There is no specific formula in most states that specifies when a vehicle is deemed salvage; this is typically decided on a case by case basis. Once the auto is involved in an accident, the insurance company then offers the vehicle back to the owner as an insurance buyback. With an insurance buyback the owner is responsible for getting the repairs made and having the car inspected by the highway patrol or a state regulated inspection facility. At this point, the car still has a clean title, no matter of the degree of the damage done, because it was never owned by the insurance company. If the auto is not a buyback, it is towed to a salvage auction where it will be sold to an auto recycler or a rebuilder, and given a salvage title. A rebuilder can sell the car as-is or fix the car and resell it as a rebuilt salvage titled car.
If the vehicle is kept by its owner through a buy-back program, then the vehicle will retain a clean title. A properly restored vehicle is still safely drivable even if it is technically considered a total loss by an insurance company, particularly with older vehicles where even minor cosmetic damage would cost more to fix than the vehicle's pre-accident market value.
A Junk Title is issued on a vehicle damaged to the extent that the cost of repairing the vehicle exceeds 75% of its pre-damage value. This damage threshold may vary by state. The majority of states uses this title to indicate that a vehicle is not road worthy and cannot be titled again. Some states treat Junk titles the same as Salvage.
A Rebuilt/Reconstructed vehicle is a salvage vehicle that has been repaired and restored to operation. These vehicles are often severely damaged before they are rebuilt and refurbished parts are typically used during reconstruction. In most states, an inspection of the vehicle is required before the vehicle is allowed to return to the road.
A Salvage Title is issued on a vehicle damaged to the extent that the cost of repairing the vehicle exceeds ~ 75% of its pre-damage value. This damage threshold may vary by state. Some states treat Junk titles the same as Salvage but the majority use this title to indicate that a vehicle is not road worthy and cannot be titled again in that state. The following eleven states also use Salvage titles to identify stolen vehicles - AZ, FL, GA, IL, MD, MN, NJ, NM, NY, OK and OR.
Having a "Salvage" or "Junk" title only applies to the United States and Canada. All vehicles imported or exported to other countries will automatically obtain a "Clean" title, even if they have been involved in an accident.
PLEASE NOTE: Elitemotorcars Strongly recommends that you check with your home states DMV regarding the laws and regulations pertaining to Salvage Cars prior to placing bids on Elitemotorcars cars and buying a salvage car. Elitemotorcars.com is not responsible for cars which are purchased that can not be registered in the USA or Europe.