Online auto auctions are pretty popular among those people who prefer to save money and by a salvage car instead of paying in full for a new vehicle. Indeed, salvage auctions offer a lot of great lots for a reasonable price. However, not all sellers are honest when it comes to a vehicle’s history and condition.
Sometimes, individual dealers buy the cheapest salvage cars to repair them and resell at a higher price. Unfortunately, the quality of those repairs can be pretty poor, and you can simply waste your money. If you want to know how to detect cheaters and not get fooled, check out the tips we prepared for you in this article.
Detect the resellers
The first thing to check out in a lot is its loss type (the reason it was salvaged) and damage type (what part of a vehicle is damaged). If you find a car that has “All over” damage and “Collision” loss type that looks almost like a new one, this is a good reason not to bid on it. It was, probably, purchased by an individual dealer who made minor low-quality repairs and resold it. Just remember that a vehicle’s price should respond to its look, so don’t pursue a low price.
In some cases, cars can arrive at a salvage yard if they were stolen (“Theft” loss title) or if an insurance company sold them under the “Remarketing Division” title. If you choose a “Remarketing Division” car, make sure to check who’s the seller. If you recognize a well-known insurance company, then the deal is safe. If no, consider looking for another option.
Avoid flood vehicles
Salvage cars titled “Flood” continue the list of the trickiest vehicles you can find on an auction. Unlike the lots we discussed before in this article, “Flood” cars usually don’t need the repairs to look good. The damage made by water is often unseen to the eye but can cause serious damage to a vehicle’s mechanical and electric parts. So, if you don’t want to play a lottery and buy a car that can’t be repaired, just look for another option.
Order a VIN check
As soon as you find a car that suits your needs, the next step we recommend you to take is ordering a VIN check. Vehicle Identification Number is a unique value given to every car, and it contains records about its history and specifications.
You can request a VIN check report online for a reasonable price to find out what happened to a car before and decide if it worths your money. This takes just a few minutes, but instead, you will get confidence in your future purchase.
If you need a powerful combo against salvage car cheaters, consider supplement a VIN check with a live inspection. If you can’t visit an auction by yourself, request help from a specialist. With their inspection report and a VIN check report, your chances of buying a good salvage car will increase significantly leaving no chances to cheaters.