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Old 11-08-2019, 12:12 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Unless you want to go through the trouble of a very in-depth mechanic inspection I'd walk away. You will probably find a 2012 model for similar price and mileage.

Tons of cars in the sea of steel.
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Old 11-08-2019, 12:16 PM   #12 (permalink)
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The whole salvage title, insurance thing has honestly gotten out of hand. It's down to simple math, if the repairs are going to be more than the insurance company's valuation of the car they total it out. labor is getting more and more expensive and people don't want to wait and the insurer wants to cut their losses. So some of the salvage titled cars you see are purely cosmetic. And a lot of cars that could be easily repaired end up on the scrap heap. It's very sad.

But Grendel is right, a lot of states make it very difficult to get one back on the road. And if you every want a salvage car that has been repaired make sure it comes with pictures of the damage and everything the previous owner did to rebuild it, if they don't have those walk away.

If it isn't a salvage title, which dealerships don't usually touch anyway, take it to an independent shop you trust. Bumpers are there to adsorb the blow from an accident, so if there is no underlying damage and the repairs were done properly you'll be fine.

Also be aware, the resale value is going to be way down. So unless you intend to drive it till it dies you're going to have a hard time selling it later down the road.
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Old 11-08-2019, 01:01 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Honestly, if you can verify that the damage was limited to superficial bumper damage and nothing structural, AND if your insurance isn't gonna hose you, AND if it's really the only car in your range, MAYBE go for it if you can't find anything else at all that's suitable. Insurance is the biggie though and the price they charge may not be worth it.
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Old 11-08-2019, 03:05 PM   #14 (permalink)
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The only thing to remember is that there is no piece of paper besides a concours d'elegance first place that can tell you anything very specific about a used vehicle.

You need to do the due diligence.

#1 no brainer is if the car drives straight down the road when you aren't holding the steering wheel. If someone says its alignment issue have them correct it first.
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Old 11-08-2019, 08:57 PM   #15 (permalink)
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The whole salvage title, insurance thing has honestly gotten out of hand. It's down to simple math, if the repairs are going to be more than the insurance company's valuation of the car they total it out. labor is getting more and more expensive and people don't want to wait and the insurer wants to cut their losses. So some of the salvage titled cars you see are purely cosmetic. And a lot of cars that could be easily repaired end up on the scrap heap. It's very sad.

But Grendel is right, a lot of states make it very difficult to get one back on the road. And if you every want a salvage car that has been repaired make sure it comes with pictures of the damage and everything the previous owner did to rebuild it, if they don't have those walk away.

If it isn't a salvage title, which dealerships don't usually touch anyway, take it to an independent shop you trust. Bumpers are there to adsorb the blow from an accident, so if there is no underlying damage and the repairs were done properly you'll be fine.

Also be aware, the resale value is going to be way down. So unless you intend to drive it till it dies you're going to have a hard time selling it later down the road.
I agree. If you get a guy who knows cars and he/she can verify that it's been repaired well then it's likely OK. There's tons of completely workable cars out there that have been "totaled" or repaired. Heck, my 2007 Ford Ranger was in a rollover at 17k miles. Bought it from the guy's insurance company, replaced the windshield, a tail light and a topper window. (rolled in the snow) All that with tax/title/license came out to about $4500. For basically a brand new truck. I'm still driving it 11 years later. Best vehicle I've ever owned. It really is sad the number of workable vehicles out there that people pass on. It's wasteful too.

My '97 Saab 900 Sport was a rollover as well before I got it and that thing took a pounding for the time I had it. No issues besides a water pump replacement.

But I do understand why people are iffy about those cars. If there's documentation/photos and you can get a guy to look it over and OK it, then it's probably fine. But if you can't get any/either of those then walk. I had all the info when I got my rollover vehicles, so I was fine with it.
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Old 11-08-2019, 10:50 PM   #16 (permalink)
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It's one thing to get a 17k mile ranger for 4500 it's another to get it for the cost of a new car when being lied to.

What's sad is the unscrupulous sellers trying to make an extra buck by selling cars for more than their worth to unsuspecting.

But when people pass on them someone else buys them eventually.
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Old 11-09-2019, 04:02 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I bought a '76 Cutlass that spent a week under sea water during the Blizzard of '78. The car ran great.

It smelled like a wet dog every time it rained.

Stink Trees didn't help.
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Old 11-11-2019, 12:31 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I knew of someone who bought a cargo van that had a clean CarFax. At some point in the future they were doing something to it, and found sand/seashells in a location they had no reason to be, and then other evidence it had been underwater.
There is a local dealer in my area that is notorious for buying cars at auction that are wreaked and fixing them so it does not show up on car fax. I ended up with one that had a hatch, 2 doors, and a front fender replaced and didn't know it till I went to sell. The dealer I traded it to went and checked it out and the stamping on the those panels was not OEM

If the OP is buying with intent to drive into the ground then go for it if it's a good deal.

If you intend to resell it in a few years then the value is going to be diminished compared to other cars and I would pass.
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Old 11-11-2019, 07:30 PM   #19 (permalink)
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The idea would be to keep it for a while, at least 10 years. To the point that the next owner probably won't give a ****.

That being said, given that we're just in the market for SOMETHING smallish, probably Japanese and fuel-efficient, it's not exactly the only choice. We've looked at a few un-crashed vehicles that are only slightly more. I got the registration history pulled as well and it's had 3 (all private) owners since it was built in late 2013.

I think we're going to pass on this one. As it stands, we're just fine as a one-car family (I have a company service vehicle I drive weekdays, and on weekends it's rare that we need to go 2 seperate places at the same time), the biggest driver is honestly because my wife isn't super comfortable driving my truck, and because my truck isn't fantastic on gas for a 30km daily commute.

I trust the dealership in question (They're a fairly large local group with a lot of positive recommendations from people I talk to, so far I've yet to see someone with a bad experience with them), but given that we just don't know the full circumstances behind the crash and since we're not dying to get a second vehicle again we can wait.
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Old 11-11-2019, 10:03 PM   #20 (permalink)
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A salvage vehicle isnt the worst. Although I would stay away from anything with flood damage or even something you think may have.

I've worked on cars since I can remember and can decide if its right. That is a key to buying a salvage car. Making sure its correctly repaired.

One thing and its a important one. A salvage car carries NO factory warranty. The manufacturer has written it off as well. Doesnt matter if its a day old car totaled leaving the dealership. It will have no warranty.
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