Transport & Car Blog

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A guide to buying a salvage car

  Thursday, 25 September 2014

At ASM, we work to provide modern motorists to help them manage their driving finances.  Car salvage auctions are one of the main services that we offer, and we’re going to use today to take a look at how any driver can benefit from them.

So, what is a salvaged car?

Put simply, a salvaged car is one that an insurance company no longer considers fit for use on the road, in its current state.  If the total damage exceeds a certain percentage of the value of the car (ranging from 75-90 percent), it will be declared a ‘total loss’ by the insurance company and sold to us.

So, why would I want to buy a salvaged car?

In a word, the price.  Salvaged cars can be bought at a tiny fraction of the cost of other used cars.  What’s more, many insurance firms will ‘total’ a car for reasons other than major defects in the structure or mechanics.  As a result, salvaged cars can offer outstanding value for money, with the buyer paying far less (including for the cost of repairs) than they would for the same vehicle in the used market.  Salvaged cars can be a complete bargain.

Check out our online auction here

I’m in! What should I look out for when buying a salvage vehicle?

Here are our tips on finding the right vehicle to suit your needs:

  • Obtain full details of the vehicle.  All salvaged cars are damaged in some way.  However, damage can vary substantially.  You should learn your categories for rating vehicle damage.  ‘A’ damage is terrible, ‘B’ is bad and ‘C’ and ‘D’ designated workable damage. (The latter two are less common in salvage lots).   
  • Try and inspect the car. Generally speaking, a pre-purchase inspection can pay for itself.  Always ask if you can view the car up-front.  Know what you’re actually bidding on.
  • Look out for theft recovery vehicles.  One category that you should look out for is theft recovery.  If a stolen car isn’t recovered within three weeks, then the insurance company will pay the original owner and write the car off as a complete loss.  However, if the car is then found it will often still be written off as salvaged!
  • Buy from a reputable dealer.  A company like ASM has years of experience in helping our customers get their hands on the highest quality salvaged vehicles available.  The last thing you want is to purchase a vehicle from a less-than-stellar firm.

To find out more, get in touch with ASM Auto Recycling today, and we’ll be happy to help you further.

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