You know the stereotype of used car dealers as snake-oil salesmen looking to foist lemons on unsuspecting buyers? Well, it's only sometimes true. But you should be doubly cautious when choosing where to buy your salvage auto. If you know a reputable local dealer, preferably whose kids are in Boy Scouts with your kids, great. If not, things get a little gray.
The bottom line? Make sure you check out both the salvage dealer and the specific car before you consider buying. Start by checking the Better Business Bureau for complaints.
If you bid on a salvage auto at one of the many online clearinghouses, be sure you don't skimp on the evaluation just because you're doing it at a distance. Keep your head in charge of your heart, and take it slow.
For more great information, check out the links below.
- Better Business Bureau. "Visit the BBB Nearest You." (June 5, 2011) http://www.bbb.org/
- CarsDirect. "Salvage Title Vehicle Risks And Rewards." (June 5, 2011) http://www.carsdirect.com/used-car-buying/salvage-title-vehicle-risks-and-rewards
- CARFAX. "Used Car Buying Tips: Detecting and Avoiding Flood Damaged Cars." (June 5, 2011) http://www.carfax.com/car_buying/flood_damage_cars.cfx
- DMV - Department of Motor Vehicles. "Search DMV by State." (June 5, 2011) http://www.dmv-department-of-motor-vehicles.com/
- Kelley Blue Book. "Get Your Used Car Price." (June 5, 2011) http://www.kbb.com/used-cars/
- NADA Guides. "Get New and Used Car Pricing." (June 5, 2011) http://www.nadaguides.com/?gclid=CNfi6_mBqakCFYTr7Qod3B4vMQ
- National Insurance Crime Bureau. "VINCheck." (June 5, 2011) https://www.nicb.org/theft_and_fraud_awareness/vincheck
- PistonHeads. "Accident/Crash Damage Categories." June 2, 2003. (June 5, 2011) http://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/topic.asp?h=0&t=42041&mid=0&nmt=Accident+%2FCrash+Damage+Catergorys
No one wants a car that's been badly damaged by a hurricane. HowStuffWorks and the guys from CarStuff explain how to avoid buying one accidentally.