Found many used cars with a Salvage Title, but No Accident or Damage Reported. The cars look good and are priced only a few hundred $ below used cars with a clean title.

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How can a Salvage Title car have no damage? Is it because the car was stolen or the owner didn't renew registration some year?

  • Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! Feb 5, 2023 at 21:35
  • NYS motor vehicle regulations state a salvage title means it cannot be registered and insurance will not underwrite it. While vehicles may seem ok, a deeper inspection may reveal hidden major problems like flood damage, resulting in severe electrical connection issues. Any repair to restore a salvage titled vehicle must be inspected by an authorized salvage inspector to ensure it meets safety requirements before issuing a new title. Once passing salvage inspection, insurance companies can decide if they will issue insurance coverage. Check your state DMV regulations of salvage titles.
    – F Dryer
    Feb 8, 2023 at 3:31
  • Does "NYS" = "New York State" @FDryer?
    – FreeMan
    Feb 8, 2023 at 18:45
  • My bad. Yes, NYS = New York State.
    – F Dryer
    Feb 9, 2023 at 3:41

1 Answer 1


This is just a little extra info on this subject. Depending on where you live "Salvage" "Reconstructed" "ReBuilt" "Branded" "Junk" "Dismantled" automobile titles in general means the vehicle has had damage (cosmetic or structurally) or needed mechanical repairs that exceeded a % of the vehicles total $ value. There are some minor points differentiating these types & how they are determined. However for simplicity they imply the same thing, i.e. "Total Loss" from an insurance company perspective meaning the $ cost to repair exceeds the "wholesale" value of the vehicle. Wholesale depending on the market,age,mileage,condition,demand etc can vary greatly but generally is 60% or less than retail or about what a dealer could buy at auction for. Almost every vehicle that has airbags deploy will fall in this category by default.

Be careful and don't put a lot of stock into vehicle history reports because not all conditions or jurisdictions require reporting information of accidents, theft, weather, mechanical or other events that would otherwise earn a vehicle one of the above title labels. Also a "Clean Title" just about anywhere only indicates the vehicle has been essentially paid for and is not under lease or loan. It is commonly and inaccurately used to mean no wrecks or major damage which is horribly misleading as the opposite can easily be true. Always have a used vehicle inspected by a trusted 3rd party. It can easily save you money and possibly your life.

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