Need advice about whether or not to buy a salvaged vehicle

lexus
volvo
es300
s70

#1

Ok, here is the situation: My grandmother got in an accident the other day and the front of her car got a little smashed and the passenger airbag deployed. The damage was estimated ~10,000, a couple thousand over the value of the car (8 year old Volvo S70) so it is a salvage. My grandma does not want this car anymore and is willing to give it to me for the buyback value of $1,800. The car was in great condition, my grandma drives like a grandma and took excellent care of it! The accident did not do any damage to the engine or other primary structures, the only damage is on the front edge of the hood and the front bumper and lights.



Should I go forth with this, does anyone anticipate any problems? She said something about the DMV needing to inspect it for safety? Here is what I want to do: buy the car back for 1,800 put a dashboard cover over the area where the airbag blew (stupid volvo design by the way, the airbag just blew a hole through the dashboard, and is an additional 2,000 to replace!!! plus cost of airbag)

The cost of fixing the front edge of hood and front bumper, lights was around 5,000-6,000, insurance estimate though. I think I can take it to my local body shop, that does really cheap repairs and get it done for 2-3,000. So basically this car would cost me around 5,000. Is it worth it? I think it is, but anyone have any advice. I was thinking of getting an estimate for repair costs by my local body shop and seeing what they say, I also don’t mind if it doesn’t look a hundred percent like original. I am mainly concerned with engine condition, brakes, etc…



I had a similar situation with my 10 year old lexus, ended up getting a check for 4,500. I bought it back for 900, paid 2000 to fix it and kept the rest of the cash.



Thanks for reading, ask any questions, I will respond, really appreciate it thanks!


#2

You don’t say what the mileage is.

I think you can get a more reliable car for 5 grand than a totaled Volvo.

I also think you’d be crazy to skip fixing the airbag. Either fix it 100% or junk it. Don’t halfass it.


#3

her car got a little smashed and the passenger airbag deployed. The damage was estimated ~10,000

$10,000 is more than what I would call a little smashed . Unless you know someone who is willing to do all the work for free, I don’t believe it is worth it.


#4

You’ll end up paying as much for a vehicle with a salvage title, that you would had spent had you just bought another 8 year old Volvo S70. Sounds pretty foolish to me.


#5

Do you live in an area that requires State Inspections?? That airbag light has to work properly…With no airbags and a salvage title, the car will have zero resale value…

I can almost guarantee you the “crush zone”, the whole front structure of the car, started to collapse during the collision. Walk away…


#6

Your strategy might have worked for the Lexus, but I don’t think so for the Volvo. The reason is the Lexus is a better car and much more reliable to begin with than the Volvo. Even without the accident the Volvo will require more expensive repairs more frequently than the Lexus and just about any other car, with the possible exception of a Land Rover.

Grandma is smart to let it go, you should take your lead from her.


#7

I totaled my 2001 Mercury Sable in 2007. I rear-ended a truck so there was extensive front end damage (air bags did not deploy though). A family friend happens to be a mechanic at a Ford dealership and he fixed it up for waaaay less than what the insurance company estimated and he didn’t cut corners. It was done right. I’ve been driving it ever since and it now has 136000 miles. I’ve never had problems, no repairs since (just general maintenance things). One thing to watch out for though, besides engine components, would be a bent frame. In my opinion, if you can do it right, there’s nothing wrong with a salvage/rebuilt vehicle, but then again, I have no experience with Volvos, just Fords…


#8

I would not take the car unless you can fix it, including the air bag and dash, for less than the trade-in value of a comparable but undamaged S70. Don’t guess that your outo body shop can do the job for less. Ask them for an estimate.


#9

I wouldn’t want an 8 y.o. Volvo if it had never been in an accident.
Let it go.