10 Reasons a Car Might Have a Salvage Title


The owner hasn't had the car re-titled yet.

The designation of a salvage title for a vehicle doesn't necessarily mean it's headed for the scrap heap. Some states label salvage-titled vehicles as "repairable" or "irreparable," designating whether they can be rebuilt and re-titled, or they must be used for parts or recycled [source: QuinStreet Insurance Agency Inc.].

When a vehicle with a salvage title can be safely repaired, the licensing state will often issue a rebuilt title after the vehicle passes a safety inspection. These inspections vary widely from state to state, so it's smart to check your state's regulations before considering a salvage-to-rebuilt vehicle project.

If you're considering buying a vehicle that has a salvage title but appears to have been restored, find out why the owner didn't have it re-titled. The answer could be as simple as a misunderstanding of title laws, or it could indicate the owner is trying to hide something about the car.