I’m not that great when it comes to working on cars but I did wreck two of my doors to my truck a year ago and then repaired them quite easily and quickly by going to a salvage yard and picking used ones up. I was thinking of seeing if I can find myself a low mileage car or truck that has minimal damage to the Frame or broken doors that can be replaced and then buy it for cheap and do the necessary body work to it myself. I found this 2020 Jeep gladiator for sale near me. It seems like I could put new door on it and it’ll be fixed. Has anyone tried this or does anyone have any input before I go ahead and put a bid on this truck ?

  • Before you do this, I suggest you watch these two videos: RDX Aspec history and What happened to it ... it should give you an idea of what really goes on at the auto auctions if you don't know what to look for and how to bid. You can find great deals, but you can also get taken to the cleaners. Jun 11, 2023 at 23:56
  • I would have thought that the best ones to repair would have already been picked out before they reach the salvage yard by the people who know what they are doing.
    – HandyHowie
    Jun 12, 2023 at 6:53
  • @HandyHowie - These cars aren't from the salvage yard. The cars he's talking about are from auto auctions, which can be hit or miss. Look up Copart.com and you can see the format of what's going on as well as the types of cars which are available. I don't know if anything like this is available in your part of the world, but it has become common here in the States. Jun 12, 2023 at 10:09
  • @Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 My mistake. I realise that vehicle beakers in the UK buy most of their cars from auctions selling insurance write-offs. I did miss his comment about putting a bid in, however. I do think that the ones that appear to be really good value may be the ones that were left by the people who know what they are doing, because they would not be worth repairing.
    – HandyHowie
    Jun 12, 2023 at 10:46
  • @HandyHowie - I think there is merit to your reasoning, which should make one warry about purchasing a vehicle this way. The thing to remember is, a large portion of the vehicles which come through the auctions are straight from the insurance companies. If they are from insurance, there is no "picking over". Insurance sells them as they get them. The auto auctions specify if they are from insurance or if they are from a seller. If from a seller, you need to pay closer attention to them (IMHO). Jun 12, 2023 at 11:39

1 Answer 1


Buying a salvage car and doing the body work yourself can be a great way to save money, but it’s important to be aware of the pros and cons before making a decision.

Some of the pros of buying a salvage car include:

  • Low Prices: The biggest perk of buying a salvage vehicle is the remarkable savings you stand to receive
  • Possible High Value: There is a fair possibility that you may find a rare model or get your hands on a vehicle that needs little to no repairs.
  • Rare Parts: You may be able to find rare parts for your vehicle

However, there are also some cons to consider:

  • The possibility of hidden damage: One of the biggest dangers of buying a car with a salvage title is that there could be hidden damage that’s not immediately apparent. This could cost you more in repairs than you would’ve spent if you’d bought a different car

  • Difficulty getting insurance coverage: It may be difficult to get insurance coverage for a salvage car

  • Challenges selling the car later on: You may face challenges when trying to sell the car later on It’s important to thoroughly inspect any salvage-titled vehicle before making a purchase. You should also check the car’s history and see when the salvage title was issued. If you decide to buy a car with a salvage title, make sure to have it Once the DMV issues a salvage title, the owner has a few options as to how to sell the vehicle: The most common way to sell a salvage vehicle is to list it online for private buyers to make an offer Certain dealers who specialize in “as is” vehicles may also be interested because they may have the means to rebuild the car and get it re-titled It’s important to be transparent with potential buyers about the car’s history and the repairs that have been made

A salvage title is issued when a vehicle is damaged and considered a total loss by the insurance company. In most states, it is illegal to drive a salvage car on public roads. However, if you successfully refurbish the damaged automobile, you can apply for a rebuilt title. This way, the vehicle will be eligible for insurance and you’ll be able to properly register, drive, and even sell it.

The main difference between a salvage title and a rebuilt title is that a salvage title refers to a vehicle once claimed by an insurance company as a total loss. On the other hand, a rebuilt title indicates that the owner fixed the vehicle, and it’s currently drivable, but it does show history that it was involved in major problems. A rebuilt title has considerable advantages over a salvage title. When you buy a used car with a rebuilt title, it’s ready to register, insure, and drive right away without much of a headache. That typically isn’t the case with a salvage title.

In terms of selling restrictions for rebuilt title cars, there are no legal restrictions on selling them. However, some buyers may be hesitant to purchase a vehicle that has been in an accident or has had significant damage. It’s important to be transparent with potential buyers about the car’s history and the repairs that have been made. Providing documentation such as repair receipts and photos of the damage before it was repaired can help build trust with potential buyers. Additionally, having the car inspected by a mechanic and providing a report of the inspection can also help reassure buyers that the car is in good condition.

Lastly it important to study in your locality how easy it is to get an inspection done that will change the salvage to rebuilt title. Maybe take a trip at the DMV and ask folks over there bout what kind of approach is being cultivated - whether this is easy or inspectors make a real fuss doing this and if there are conflicts of interest involved. As long as the title is salvaged you will not be able to reap in the full value of the car. More people you talk to in this regard a better consensus you will have. Also understanding conflicts of interest , you might want to take information coming to you with a pinch of salt from various parties.

References :

Salvage Titles 1

Salvage Vs Rebuilt Titles

Salvage Titles 2


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