Salvage-title vehicles: an affordable alternative or a dangerous scam?
By Nick Sciara
These days, most of us are looking for ways to save cash; and when it comes to used cars, a 5%-below-market price sticker spells music to budget-conscious ears. Many salvage-title cars carry such a discount, and eager shoppers often find themselves seduced by the prospect of scoring a quality model at a bargain price. But according to Fox Business News, Consumer Reports estimates most salvage-title vehicles to be worth a mere 50% of their Blue Book value – and that’s the best-case scenario.
More often than not, salvage cars – that is, cars that have sustained damage due to weather, accidents or theft and are deemed more costly to repair than to replace – are cheap for a reason. And while some such vehicles are structurally sound, many more are unsafe and simply tidied up to fool potential buyers into a fraudulent sale – with very few resources available to help consumers tell the difference. If you’re considering a salvage-title purchase, you may face a host of financing, insurance, resale and safety confirmation hurtles: and throughout it all, a trusted professional mechanic is the single greatest asset you can have to help sort the proverbial wheat from the chaff.
Quality, custom inspections from San Diego’s leading family-owned auto center
It’s true that, in some cases, a bad hail storm or nasty fender-bender will prompt insurance companies to total cosmetically-damaged vehicles that, beneath the surface, remain just as good as new. These are the types of salvage-title cars worth buying: but in order to find out whether your pick is a keeper, be sure to get a second opinion before you purchase from the pros at San Diego’s own FTS Auto.
Family owned and operated with two convenient San Diego locations, FTS Auto is dedicated to keeping local drivers safe on the road. Our experienced technicians are the perfect go-to guys when it comes time to inspect a potential salvage-title purchase: unlike dealership mechanics, we service a wide variety of auto makes and models and can provide a thorough, complete and informed overview of just about any car on the lot.
Keep in mind that we can’t handle every stage of the game for you — even if your car is safe and sound, you’ll still need a vehicle history report (try Carfax or Autocheck) and consultations with your insurance company, local DMV and the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System in order to clarify relevant sale policies, fraudulent titles and coverage details. However, before you launch into a sea of paperwork and complex details, give us a call: cars are our business and customer safety is our top priority. Learn more about FTS Auto online: ftsauto.com.
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