Let’s face it, buying a brand new car can have you breaking the bank. Because of that, many people are now considering salvaging cars. But, why would anyone want to buy a salvaged car, being that such cars are pretty much write-offs?
Well, it may interest you to know that not all salvage cars are entirely worthless. In this guide, we are going to give you tips for repairing a junkyard car. That should get you ready to visit an Omaha car junkyard for one.
Determine the Exact Damage
Not every kind of car damage is repairable. That means you want to avoid certain types of damage and this includes water and fire damage. The commonest reason for vehicles to be declared is involvement in a crash. However, in some states, fire and flood damage are also considered salvage.
Ultimately, there is good and bad crash damage, so the rule of the thumb here is to stick to damage to working parts or body damage. Avoid bent frames, regardless of how good the vehicle looks after the repair because they are likely to compromise the car’s safety and cause endless problems down the road.
Trust your Instinct
Have you ever wondered why an insurance company uses the term ‘salvage’? It is simply because the cost of repair surpasses the value of the car. That means that repairing the car has to be worth it. You do not want to take a car that has been hit too hard because it will not be worth your while.
You need to assess the junk car’s description and compare it with the asking price. If your Omaha car junkyard dealer claims minimal damage to a new car, your instincts should begin tingling. As they always say, when the deal is too good, think twice.
Consider the Price
The damage to a salvaged car has a lot to do with the price. This also determines how much you are going to spend on repairs. What you need to keep in mind here is that a reconstructed junk car is more or less 60% the same model, make, and year.
With that in mind, you check the value with the National Automobile Dealers Association or Kelley Blue Book and multiply by 0.6. If the asking price is higher, you probably want to forego the car. If the price is lower, that is a great deal.
Have the Car Inspected
One of the most crucial things you want to do before getting a salvaged car is to have it inspected by a repair shop and a reputable one at that. The repair shop should not have any ties to your Omaha car junkyard either.
Having a junk car inspected is indispensable, so it would be in your best interest not to overlook this step. An inspection gives you peace of mind by letting you know how much you are expected to spend on repairs. If you can, have the car inspected at a body shop.
Theft Recovery Salvage
You would be the luckiest person if you get a theft recovery salvage car. You see, if a stolen car is not recovered within a month or, in some cases, three weeks, the insurance company compensates the owner and writes off the stolen car. If the car is found after that, it is declared salvage even if it doesn’t have any damage. However, sometimes such cars come with damage but your Omaha car junkyard dealer will not tell you because they would want to sell at a higher price.
Just as with any used car, ensure that the salvaged car you want to buy is inspected to reveal any hidden damage.
Look into the Past
Even after having a junkyard car inspected, you may fail to find out everything about it. Therefore, along with the inspection, look into the vehicle’s past. First, you should consider getting the vehicle identification number checked at the National Insurance Crime Bureau. Doing that will reveal if the car is reported as stolen or salvaged.
The Vehicle Identification Number is usually located on the interior dash on the driver’s side. It is also often stamped in other areas like the engine bay, car windshield, or doorframe but seeing as you will be looking at wrecked cars at your Omaha car junkyard, it is not always possible to access the number.
Vet your Dealer
You do not need to be told that you need to be extremely cautious when picking the Omaha car junkyard dealer to buy your salvage car from, do you? If you are lucky enough to have a friend who does this job, it’s good for you, but if not, things may be a little hard for you.
It is necessary to do your due diligence before settling for a salvaged car. Of course, you can tell if a dealer is trustworthy through reading reviews or asking around. The Better Business Bureau is a great place to check for reviews.
In case you bid on a salvage car at a clearinghouse, do not skimp on the assessment by using distance as an excuse. Keep a clear head and take your time because the dealer at your Omaha car junkyard may unfortunately be dishonest.
Ask your Omaha car junkyard dealer to send you pictures of the wrecked car you intend to purchase. You will be surprised at how many dealerships are not open to doing this. Usually, you can gauge the extent of a car’s damage by looking at pictures as they will show any broken windows or chipped paint.
Of course, pictures will not tell you whether the car’s hydraulic cylinder needs work but a trusted Omaha car junkyard dealer will tell you how much the car is worth if you intend to bid. That gives you value for money.
Before settling for a salvaged car be sure to consult with your insurance provider to find out if they will cover it. However, you want to keep in mind that most insurance companies will not cover collisions but they will insure the liability. If you can get an insurance company that will insure both, the better.
The key to getting the most out of your insurance coverage is asking for the diminished value of the salvaged car. Have an expert come to your Omaha car junkyard and appraise the car and provide you with the adjusted value. You can then present that to your insurer as proof of the vehicle’s value.
Be Sure About Your Decision
One thing you need to know is that salvage vehicles are sold as-is in auctions. That means that the car you get does not come with a warranty, and while you can view that car before the auction, you cannot start it. You also want to keep in mind that some damage to the car may be invisible.
Aside from that, you need to know what is required to register the salvage car after repairs. If the car is repairable, it must be repaired in compliance with the standards in your particular state and once that is done, the car has to pass an inspection. Note that you will be required to provide receipts that the vehicle has passed standard checks before it can be registered. Essentially, you need to know what you are getting yourself into even as you contemplate buying a salvage vehicle. If all this sounds outlandish, then getting a car from a junkyard is probably not a good fit for you.
Up your Bidding Game
Do not just walk into an auction without an idea about what you want. The best course of action would be to do your research before the auction and identify the vehicle you are interested in. Find out the trade-in value of the vehicle you want was pre-salvaged. This will be quite easy to see as auction listings usually provide images and descriptions of the damage to cars. You can also view the car before the day of the auction. Doing this will help you understand the repair costs for the car you intend to get depending on the make and model, not to mention the labor costs. If the car you want requires replacement parts such as brakes and axles, find out if they are easily available and how much they will cost you. Finally, remember that auctions can be overwhelming, especially if you are a first-timer, so if you are not comfortable, you should consider an online bidding platform because of the privacy and convenience.
Do Not Expect to Drive your Car Home
As you bid for a salvage vehicle remember that you will have to pay the full amount if you win. So you want to have your cheque, credit card, or cash ready. There will be no financing. Another thing you want to keep in mind is that the winning bid is not inclusive of online bidding, administration, and processing fees.
Also, be ready to cover the cost of towing the vehicle from the junkyard because you cannot drive the car from the auction venue. Making arrangements with a towing company before going to auction is always your best bet. If the car you want has collision damage, you will probably need a forklift to move it and load it on a tilt tray. Even at that, keep in mind that minor forklift damage may occur while doing that.
Visualize the Repairs
As you contemplate getting a salvage vehicle, remember that there are two categories. The ones that have not had any repairs done and those that have been reconstructed. Choosing a reconstructed one saves you the effort and time it takes for repairs to be done. You can supervise the repair procedure and save money by buying a damaged car.
The decision requires a lot of investigative work, so be sure that you are ready for that. If you are not vehicle-savvy, have one or two dependable mechanics to assess the vehicle so that they can tell you if doing the repairs on your own would be cost-effective or not. Sometimes, you just need a vent hood cleaner to get the car good and ready. This will take a significant amount of your time, so if you don’t have that, going for a reconstructed car may be good for you.
Do a Safety Check
Granted, you want to have the vehicle you intend to buy inspected for faults in the electrical systems and the like, but before you get to that, you may want to do a little bit of investigation on your own. You may not be qualified for the job, but you can walk into your Omaha junkyard car and at least check the car’s frame for signs of damage like metal wear and cracks.
If the car was involved in a collision, check to see if all the airbags have been replaced and that they are fully functional. While at it, test the seatbelts as well. Do they lock properly? Are they sturdy? These are some of the things you are likely to disregard but they increase your safety on the road. That way, you won’t be needing an injury lawyer.
A junkyard car can save you costs or it can be a total waste of your money. It all depends on how you go about the process. If you are smart enough, it will be worth your while. Of course, with all the tips here, that should be easy.
Just keep in mind that every state has different rules as far as insuring, registering, and selling salvage cars, so you may want to visit your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles website before you begin your search for a junkyard car. Ultimately, the car you have always dreamed of but couldn’t afford could be within reach. A used RV could be yours as long as you are smart about salvage car shopping.