Salvage Title

A vehicle has a salvage title when an insurance company takes ownership of it at the end of an insurance claim when the damaged vehicle is declared a total loss, or it would cost more to repair the vehicle than it is worth. A vehicle can also be given a salvage title if it was stolen and recovered after the insurance claim was completed and the owner was paid by the insurance company. Vehicles with salvage titles are known as salvage cars.

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What Is a Salvage Title?

Salvage TitleSalvage title cars can’t be driven on the road. In order to become road-legal again, salvage cars must be repaired and, then, inspected by the state. Once the state deems the vehicle road-worthy, the salvage title can be converted into a rebuilt title, also known as a title with salvage history. The car and title are then road-legal, but the title will always have a note, or a title brand, showing the vehicle was previously a salvage car.

Salvage Title Cars

Title brands are marks, stamps or notes on a title showing the title history of a vehicle. In the case of salvage titles and rebuilt titles, these title brands can be general or specifically denote the type of damage and reason for which the car received its salvage title. A title with no brands is said to be a clear title, clean title or normal title. Common title brands include:

  • Salvage
  • Junk
  • Totaled
  • Lemon (Warranty Return)
  • Flood (Water Damage)
  • Rebuilt
  • Remanufactured
  • Theft
  • Fleet
  • Non-USA
  • Fire
  • Abandoned

What is my salvage car worth?

What is my salvage car worthCalculating the value of your salvage car requires taking into account quite a large number of variables. Year, make, model, trim and mileage are just the start. As the car still has a salvage title, it isn’t drivable. This generally means the car is heavily damaged, so damaged that the insurance company declared it a total loss. Therefore, the extent of damage needs to be taken into account. This is best done using a repair estimate. You can also click the button below to see how much your salvage car is worth.

How Much is Your Salvage Car Worth

Before an accident, a used car’s value is fairly readily available. In insurance circles, that value is known as its ACV or actual cash value. ACV is calculated by subtracting the dollar amount of depreciation from replacement cost of the car. By taking a vehicle’s ACV and subtracting the cost of repairs to be performed, you get the salvage value. The salvage value is a starting point of calculating what your salvage car is worth.

What does "salvage title" mean?

Starting with the salvage value, you then make additions to or subtractions from that amount for things like damage type, vehicle rarity, location, vehicle demand and whether the damage is mechanical, cosmetic or both. The exact same car with the exact same repair estimate will be worth more if it has mechanical damage than if it has fire damage.

If the salvage car is a theft-recovery with no damage, it will be worth more than a damaged vehicle. If after a close inspection, you find that the theft-recovery car doesn’t need any repair, you can have it inspected and made road-legal faster and for less cost.

How to Sell a Car with a Salvage Title

Selling a car with a salvage title isn’t easy if you try to go through the usual channels of listing a car online, trading it in or selling it to a dealership. Most people don’t want to go through the hassle of buying a salvage car.

You can fix the car and have it inspected. Then, you can sell the rebuilt car. After all of that expense, time and hassle, you’ll have a car that is salable, but you will still have to take up to 50-percent off of the car’s value with no damage history.

The best bet is to sell your salvage car to a buyer who specializes in buying damaged and salvage vehicles. will give you a no-obligation, guaranteed offer for your car, no matter if it has a salvage title, clean title or rebuilt title. Just click the get an offer button and you can be paid for your car in as little as 24 to 48 hours. At, we buy cars in less-than-perfect condition, nationwide.

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2010 Toyota Corolla

Mileage: 85700 Location: Miami, FL 33167

2009 Nissan Altima

Mileage: 180000 Location: Port Saint Lucie, FL 34986

2008 Honda Accord

Mileage: 177000 Location: Fort Mill, SC 29707

2004 Ford Explorer Sport Trac

Mileage: 145000 Location: Friendswood, TX 77546

2007 Lexus RX 350

Mileage: 129000 Location: Bedford, NH 03110

2007 Honda Civic

Mileage: 140000 Location: Forestburg, TX 76119

2003 Chevrolet Silverado

Mileage: 150000 Location: Colorado Springs, CO 80909

2010 Dodge Charger

Mileage: 100000 Location: Evans, GA 30809

2006 Jeep Grand Cherokee

Mileage: 135000 Location: West Warwick, RI 2893

2006 Ford F150

Mileage: 117000 Location: Madera, CA 93637

2009 Toyota Matrix

Mileage: 125000 Location: Harbor Springs, MI 49740

2010 Nissan Versa

Mileage: 140000 Location: Huntsville, AL 35802

2004 Toyota Corolla

Mileage: 96000 Location: San Jose, CA 95135

2010 Toyota Camry

Mileage: 154000 Location: Cincinnati, OH 45224

2002 Lexus RX 300

Mileage: 150000 Location: Morrisville, NC 27560

2008 Saturn VUE

Mileage: 120000 Location: Hiram, GA 30141

2003 Toyota Highlander

Mileage: 140000 Location: Santa Monica, CA 90402

2004 Chevrolet Malibu

Mileage: 80000 Location: Seattle, WA 98126

2013 Hyundai Sonata

Mileage: 42000 Location: Franklin, WI 53132

2001 BMW 330i

Mileage: 224000 Location: Pinson, AL 35126

Want to Sell Your Car?

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Who is DamagedCars?

DamagedCars buys cars in less-than-perfect condition. We make the process easy and convenient by picking up your car without any charge to you. DamagedCars has over seven years of buying salvage cars, junk cars and even late-model cars, trucks, ...

What kind of cars does DamagedCars buy?

DamagedCars will purchase damaged vehicles of any type, including vehicles with physical or mechanical damage as well as junk cars.

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