When a car is damaged, and the cost to repair the damage exceeds the vehicle’s overall value, an insurance company will consider it a totaled car. If the owner decides to invest in the necessary repairs and make the vehicle drivable once again, they need to be sure they do so legally. This requires that the car be street legal, meaning it is mechanically safe, sufficiently insured, and has the proper form of salvage title.
Continue reading to learn the common forms of salvage titles, and how to sell a junk car without a title.
Salvaged titles are important because they protect future buyers from purchasing a vehicle without knowing the true underlying extent of a vehicle’s damage. A salvaged vehicle is generally branded with an official description that describes the condition of the vehicle. These official descriptions vary depending on certain factors, including the type or extent of vehicular damage and the particular state in which the vehicle is titled under.
There are 3 salvage title descriptions that are the most common in the industry include Total-Loss Vehicle, Rebuilt Title, and Inoperable or Non-Repairable. Within these common title brands include vehicles with flood damage and fire damage.
❶ Total-Loss Vehicle
This title description describes a vehicle that has sustained damage and could be repaired; however, the cost to repair the damage would be more than a predetermined amount of the total economic value of the vehicle. The predetermined amount varies from state to state, but usually ranges between 60 and 100 percent.
❷ Rebuilt Title
A rebuilt title is designated for vehicles that were previously branded a total loss, but then repaired back to a drivable condition. If repaired, the vehicle must pass a vigorous structural safety inspection before it can be legally operated. These are also known as “reconstructed” and “refurbished” titles. The moniker varies among jurisdiction.
When a vehicle experiences a high level of damage, and the damage makes it impossible to repair, it is given a non-repairable title. These are also known as “inoperable” and “irreparable” titles. Cars with an inoperable title cannot be repaired and legally driven. They can only be used for parts and scrap metal applications.
Need to Sell a Salvaged Car Without a Title?
Sometimes car titles get lost or even stolen, and other times they are never transferred over to the new owner. Regardless of why your title is missing, there are still ways to sell your car without it. Although having a car title can make the process easier, selling a vehicle without a title only requires a few extra steps. Many will have success declaring their car title lost or stolen, while others live in states that have procedures in place for car owners who want to sell a vehicle to a private party without a title. A highly recommended method is to sell your vehicle to an Indianapolis junk car buyer who will do business without a car title. This is also the easier way to go since many salvage yards will tow your vehicle to their lot for free.