Subaru Outback Forums banner
  • Hey everyone! Enter your ride HERE to be a part of this month's Ride of the Month Challenge!

1 - 20 of 38 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
87 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Doing some window shopping right now and wondering about savage title cars. Seller says it was a minor accident insurance didn't want to repair and no odometer issues. Seller also has pics of the damage and the car looks like new in pics.

Thoughts? Check all panel VINs to confirm what the seller states? Get a Carfax?
 

·
Registered
2005 LL Bean
Joined
·
138 Posts
Doing some window shopping right now and wondering about savage title cars. Seller says it was a minor accident insurance didn't want to repair and no odometer issues. Seller also has pics of the damage and the car looks like new in pics.

Thoughts? Check all panel VINs to confirm what the seller states? Get a Carfax?
The price would have be very, very good for me to consider it. What year/model? If the damage was minor, it wouldn't have been salvaged. These cars tend to list on the higher side, so I'd think there would have to be significant damage to total it.

I would definitely get a carfax (online, not paper, so you can avoid photo-shopped ones, it does happen) From my understanding, it's straight up economics (80% of the value of the car to be total loss) not a choice by the insurer. Sounds fishy. However, there can be cosmetic damage that can get expensive and if you can do the work yourself and get used parts.....
 

·
Registered
Somebody Else's XT
Joined
·
14,447 Posts
With good opportunities for inspection (seller will let you take it to a garage, put it up on a lift etc) then sure, I'd consider a salvage car. Also call your insurance agent, make sure they're cool with it. Sometimes they want more to insure one with that history.

I wouldn't want one coming from a dealer lot with no paper trail, or where I had to travel a long way just to see it etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,802 Posts
More and more are showing up given the high value prices being put on used cars these days. I always just point out that if a car has a salvage title then the damage far exceeded its value and wasn't worth the trouble for the insurance company.

For a super cheap price and just to have a beater for local stuff might be worth it.
 

·
Registered
2004 Outback Wagon, 2.5, 4EAT, All weather package.
Joined
·
1,036 Posts
That depends... you looking at a white 2011 3.6 Limited? If so, I may know the history of that car and the former owner. Check to see if it was traded in at a BMW dealership in Pittsburgh at any point in its life LOL.

It really depends on the vehicle. On a car this new I probably would avoid it. We own a '95 Astro that has a salvage title because it was wrecked about 10-12 years ago and was repaired. Can hardly tell, vehicle drives straight down the road no issues... but it was also a $900 beater, so it wasn't a major concern.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,802 Posts
More and more are showing up given the high value prices being put on used cars these days. I always just point out that if a car has a salvage title then the damage far exceeded its value and wasn't worth the trouble for the insurance company.

For a super cheap price and just to have a beater for local stuff might be worth it.
 

·
Registered
'11 outback 2.5i premium '12 impreza sport limited
Joined
·
3,814 Posts
only time i would ever buy a salvage title was if it was destined to be a dedicated track car or something other than a vehicle that will see street use. you're asking for a lot of trouble...
 

·
Registered
Car: 2008 Tribeca, 2010 LGT, Sold: 2005 XT Limited
Joined
·
2,926 Posts
Be aware it can be hard to resell it.

If it's an older car, the damage doesn't have to be too extensive to total it. If it's a newer car, then it takes a lot to total it. I think of it this way - If the insurance company thought it was too expensive to fix right, then who fixed it wrong to make it worth reselling?

Tom
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,802 Posts
Be aware it can be hard to resell it.

If it's an older car, the damage doesn't have to be too extensive to total it. If it's a newer car, then it takes a lot to total it. I think of it this way - If the insurance company thought it was too expensive to fix right, then who fixed it wrong to make it worth reselling?

Tom
What he said ^
Though an old car not worth much to start with the damage could have been very minor in most cases.
 

·
Registered
2013 Outback 2.5i Premium 6MT
Joined
·
34 Posts
My beater trash hauling truck has a salvage title and I had no qualms about buying it. It was dirt cheap, rebranded 50k miles before I got to it and I drive maybe 100 miles a month in it. I don't think I'd go anywhere near a salvage title for something I'd be driving everyday, but that's just me.
 

·
Registered
'12 Outback 3.6R Limited
Joined
·
185 Posts
Not in a modern car. Too much to go wrong. Maybe if I knew the mechanic/body guy who worked on it, and knew they did good work. But just a random salvage title? No.

It is definitely a risk some people are willing to take though. It could be just a lot of comestic damage that was fixed by a competent person. It could also have been structural damage that was not fixed correctly, and then wiring wasn't done right when putting everything back together.
 

·
Registered
2007 Subaru Outback L.L. Bean
Joined
·
173 Posts
Hi there!

Retail cost for parts, and labor rates are very expensive. That means it doesn't take extensive damage to total one, depending on age/value/etc. If you're rebuilding the car yourself, and you have access to the tools, equipment, and parts to do the job right then you can have a quality salvage titled car for good money. Yes, that's a lot of qualifiers.

I've bought, fixed, and sold several salvage title cars. Depending on how it was damaged, it can be a good deal. My mother's '96 Lumina was a salvage title car because of hail damage. Dad and I do paint and bodywork, so it wasn't a big deal to fix. It was never wrecked.

My sister's Olds Alero came out of a Florida car lot from hurricane damage. The story is that the insurance adjuster came onto the car lot, started adding up damage until they hit a threshold, then totaled everything on the lot. Her car was inside for detailing when the storm hit. It had some damage from being hit be debris but not wrecked.

My ex-wife's '07 Malibu was hit lightly in the front. Dad and I fixed the damage with all new parts. I bought it for $4700, and had it on the road, including taxes and fees, for $8200. It listed for close to $11k at the time. That car was originally a rental car, as far as I can tell, and with 24,000 miles on it was due to be replaced by the rental car company anyway so I suspect they just wrote it off.

The most expensive part of fixing that Malibu was replacing the driver's side air bag (passenger air bag did not deploy), both front seat belts (they permanently lock in a collision as a safety feature but afterwards they must be replaced), the airbag controller (it cannot be re-used after a wreck, I assume to preserve black box data?). We did put it on a frame machine to make sure things were in the right place. They pulled the bumper horns at bit for us to get them back in spec. but it was otherwise in good shape.

The common thread here is that all of the salvage cars I've touched, I've been involved in their repair.

Personally I would be very cautious about buying a salvage car that had already been repaired unless I knew a lot about either the shop fixing it, or the extent of the repairs. If it was a light wreck, or something like hail damage, then that's not a big deal. If it was rolled, fire, or flood damaged, I'd walk away.
 

·
Registered
'11 Outback 2.5i CVT - '06 Forester X 5MT
Joined
·
1,765 Posts
I would consider buying one with a salvaged title that had no work done to it. Then you can assess the true damage and make sure it's fixed right. I'd be leary of the one you listed, simply because it's already been repaired. Pictures can be worth 1000 words, but they can still hide quite a bit.

Now if the car was priced at $800, I'd probably jump on it. But for that price I just don't think the risks outweigh the benefits.
 

·
Registered
2012 Outback 2.5 i Premium
Joined
·
474 Posts
If you're doing the work yourself and have no intention of selling it down the road then there isn't a whole lot of risk with buying a salvage title. It will take a lot of work and money to get it running but as long as you're not paying for any labor it can be cost effective.
 

·
Meh.
I has wagons.
Joined
·
12,326 Posts
For a "play in the woods/off-road/track" vehicle? Sure, as long as the price was right.

For a daily driver? Nope.
 

·
Registered
85BRAT97SVX03Baja5mtHonda's
Joined
·
2,170 Posts
its what i do
purchased this salvaged here


fixed it and sold it

this was my parents when they bought it, and it has been fixed and DD since

awaiting when the doors were located

And this one is my Dad's, it is NOT salvaged. He bought it like this

and fixed it, again good title

And this was mine i bought salvaged like this with 798 miles, also had some rear damage

and i fixed it and sold it

I bought this last fall, CLEAN title but wrecked

and still work in progress, not done yet

And my brother bought this with CLEAN title

And he finally found the correct color code door and we installed the door last night it is a work in progress too


and there are many more i have done or helped fix. When i was 15 (24 years ago) I bought a '79 Monte Carlo that a tractor pulling a plow hit the back left end. It looked like the disc essentially can opened the whole back side. fixed it and drove it for like 5 years then sold it.

I am not a professional body man, I do this as a amateur, on the side. I spend time to find correct colored replacement panels for the most part.
As you can see by the variety of my pics, some of the ones that got salvaged were less damaged than the ones that titles stayed clean. Remember, when you buy a clean title car, it may have been badly damaged, and vice versa, a salvage may have been almost nothing.

I prefer front wrecked. Can get matching panels and come-along the rails to get stuff to fit. No paint work needed, I do not paint. My brother and parents, have more money and can afford to pay a painter on their cars.
 

·
Registered
85BRAT97SVX03Baja5mtHonda's
Joined
·
2,170 Posts
oh and this is one my brother purchased, it has a salvage, he has since fixed it and it is his summer car.


Most of the cars pictured would have been scrapped and taken off the road. I wish more people would try and save them it is not that hard to save them and make them a driver again.
I stay away from stuff that gets into the roof line, or rocker panel, B Pillar.
When i buy these, most are at auction, going off pictures. Look for REAL Clean cars, except the damage, if the picture shows a clean engine compartment, clean carpet, interior, etc, and the car has low miles, go for it.
 
1 - 20 of 38 Posts
Top