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How to Sell?

How to Sell Salvage Car? [Get Instant Quotes]

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Written by: Michael Becker
Last Updated:

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Quick Answer:

The most effective method for selling a salvage car is through online platforms. Online car-buying companies such as Peddle, Wheelzy, and CarBrain focus on purchasing vehicles that are damaged, junked, or salvaged.

This process is streamlined and straightforward: once you agree to their proposal, they will retrieve your vehicle and complete payment within 48 hours, all without any hidden charges.

When selling a salvage car privately, it’s a legal necessity to inform potential buyers about the car’s condition and the type of title it has.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Understanding Car Value: Salvage cars typically fetch 20% to 50% less than their clean-titled equivalents. It’s essential to know this to set realistic expectations about the selling price.
  2. Online Selling Advantage: For a quick and hassle-free sale process, consider using online car-buying platforms. These companies specialize in buying salvage cars and streamlining the transaction.
  3. Legal Disclosure: Potential buyers must be informed about the car’s salvage condition and title status. This disclosure is crucial to avoid any legal consequences post-sale.

Best for Older & Damaged Cars

Peddle logo

Buys used, damaged or junk cars

Free tow and no hidden fees

Pays by ACH trasfer or check

Top Pick for Junk Cars

Wheelzy logo

Free, no-obligation cash offers

Offers free paperwork service

Pays on the spot upon pick up

Highly Rated by Customers

CarBrain logo

Excellent customer service ratings

Honors guaranteed offer for 7 days

Can pick up a car within 48 hours

Great for Low-Mileage Cars

Carvana logo

Gives a real offer in 2 minutes

100% hassle-free online process

Free car’s Value Tracker available

When is a Car Considered a Salvage Car?

When a vehicle is so severely damaged that it’s declared a total loss (or “totaled”) by an insurance company, it typically receives a “salvage,” “flood,” or “junk” status.

Usually, this happens in cases like major accidents, natural disasters, or other severe damage incidents.

In case of such damage, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) gives the car a salvage title.

Is Salvage and Rebuilt Car Title the Same?

Salvage and rebuilt car titles are not the same. Here’s how they differ:

Salvage Title: the vehicle cannot be legally driven or registered in its current state

Rebuilt Title: a rebuilt title is assigned to a vehicle that previously had a salvage title but has since been repaired to a state that is considered roadworthy.

The salvage car can get a rebuilt title after it is repaired and passes a state inspection. Only after such an inspection can the car be legally registered, plated, and driven on public roads.

A car with a rebuilt title can never revert to a clean title, even if it is restored to perfect working order.

Can You Sell a Car With a Salvage Title?

Yes, you can sell a car with a salvage title. However, it is important to be aware of the challenges you may face in doing so.

  • The car’s value will be lower than a car with a clean title
  • You must disclose the salvage title to potential buyers

In most states, it is legally required to disclose to the buyer that a car has a salvage title. Failure to disclose this information can result in legal consequences for the seller.

The specific requirements for disclosure vary from state to state, but in general, sellers must disclose salvage title in writing, usually in a bill of sale.

can you sell a car without a title

How Much a Salvage Car Worth?

In general, salvage cars are worth 20% to 50% less than their equivalent clean-titled counterparts.

Factors that affect the value of a salvage car:

  • Make and model
  • Year
  • Extent of damage
  • Current market conditions
  • Local demand

To estimate the selling price of your car, you should explore online listings, check online car valuation tools, and compare offers from online car-buying companies.

1. Explore Online Listings

You can check the estimated market value of your salvage car by visiting popular car-selling websites and looking for listings of vehicles similar to yours.

Compare these vehicles based on criteria such as make, model, year, mileage, overall condition, and the extent of damage.

Most popular car listing websites:

2. Check Online Car Valuation Tools

Car valuation platforms assess a vehicle’s market value by collecting data from sources like dealership and private sales, auction outcomes, and wholesale pricing records.

Input details such as the make, model, year, mileage, condition, and any unique features of your car. These platforms typically offer a straightforward questionnaire, and the process is usually completed within minutes.

The valuation tool then takes into account factors such as the car’s depreciation, local market trends, and overall market conditions.

Best car valuation tools:

3. Compare Online Offers

Comparing offers from online car-buying companies for your salvage car is the best way to determine its potential fast sale value.

Online car-buying companies typically purchase cars regardless of their condition and extent of damage. This includes vehicles with flood or fire damage, cars missing parts, non-running vehicles, and more.

How it works:

  1. Provide basic car details: make, model, trim
  2. Add your zip code, car’s mileage
  3. Share the type of Title (clean, salvage or rebuilt)
  4. Describe the condition (tires, battery, engine, body damage)
  5. Get the offer (within a few minutes)

Best online car-buying sites:

By comparing multiple offers, you can evaluate them against the possible benefits of a private sale, aiding in your decision about whether the additional effort involved in selling a salvage car privately is justified.

How Long Does it Take to Sell Salvage Car?

Selling a car privately normally takes about 52 days, but the duration can be considerably longer for a salvage car.

The primary challenge in selling a salvaged car privately is finding a buyer willing to take on the risk and effort of parting out or rebuilding the vehicle. Even with a reduced price, this can be time-consuming.

However, if your objective is to sell quickly and efficiently, selling a car online can be accomplished in just 48 hours.

best place to sell car online

Tips for Selling a Salvage Car

Selling a salvage car involves various strategies and approaches to ensure a successful and profitable transaction.

Here are tips for a smooth process:

  • Disclose the Salvage Title and the extent of damage to the buyer.
  • Sign the Bill of Sale, and notarize it if required by your state.
  • Sell “As it is” by adding a note on the bill of sale.
  • Provide service records to demonstrate your car’s maintenance history.
  • Get vehicle inspection to show estimated repair costs to buyers.
  • Do not drive on public roads (even during a test drive) to avoid getting a fine.

The Best Way To Sell Salvage Car

The best way to sell a salvage car is to sell it online to companies like Peddle, Wheelzy and CarBrain.

Benefits of selling a salvage car online:

  • Instant offer: you can get an offer for your salvage car within a few minutes. Offers usually last 7 days.
  • Quick turnaround time: the whole process, from accepting the offer to getting paid, usually takes up to 48 hours.
  • Secure way to sell: selling your car to accredited online companies is a safer way to get paid and take care of the paperwork compared with selling privately.
  • No paperwork hassle: online companies usually take care of the paperwork for you. You only need to provide the car’s Title.
  • No additional fee: there is no platform, selling or other fees. Everything, including picking up the car from your location, is free.
  • Quick payment: you will get paid at the time of the car’s pickup. Usually, companies pay by check or cash.

Peddle Summary

  • Sell used, damaged or junk car nationwide
  • Free towing within 48 hours after offer
  • Receive payment upon car collection
  • Get free online quote – offer valid 7 days
  • Instant quote available on (855) 925 4302
  • No obligation to accept the offer

Wheelzy Summary

  • Wheelzy stores are open 7 days a week
  • Get offer in minutes – (855) 510-1108
  • Free towing of your car from your location
  • Instant payment via cash or check

CarBrain Summary

  • Call for a free quote – (844) 407-2200
  • Get cash for your car in under 48 hours
  • CarBrain buys cars in over 7 conditions
  • Up to 7 days to accept CarBrain’s offer

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Michael Becker


About the author:

Michael Becker is a car enthusiast and expert who has been working in the automotive industry for over 15 years. He started his career as a salesperson at a local dealership, where he learned the ins and outs of the car market. Then he moved on to flipping cars for a profit.

Michael has also helped many of his relatives and friends to sell their cars, using his knowledge and skills to get them the best deals. He will guide you through the process and help you avoid the common pitfalls.

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