Salvage title



I have a 1997 Honda civic in good condition. It has a salvage title from when it was rebuilt from a wreck. What is a good way to get an idea of the value? With a 10 year old car is anyone going to care about the salvage title? It was rebuilt when it had only 9,000 miles on it now it has 133,000 and is still running pretty well.


I believe you must declare any former salvage condition regardless of age.

It will matter to the person buying it.

Reality will likely prevail and you’ll sell it for the salvage cost or less at this age.


There was a lengthy discussion about this a little while ago. Try the “search” feature.

Personally, I think that by the time it gets that old, the condition of the car is far more important and the salvage title is no longer a realistic concern. There’s two exceptions, one being that a used car lot isn’t going to want a car with a salvage title, so trading it in would be difficult and then also apparently in some states it can be a pain in the butt to register a car with a salvage title.

That’s not to say that someone you’re selling it to won’t try to use the salvage title to get your price down-- and of course, your car is only worth what someone’s willing to pay for it. I’d say try to sell it for a normal price. Don’t mention the salvage title in the ad, but do volunteer the information before anyone actually comes out and looks at it. Be honest about it and the condition and I don’t think it should put anyone off.


Sorry, but if you get 1/2 book value you did good. If you have pictures of the car before it was repaired and they support your feelings the car is sound, that might help a little. If the pictures are nasty, don’t show them…Are the air-bags functional?? Does the airbag light come on with the key, then go off after a few seconds? If not, you better point that out too…


Of course it the salvage title will be disclosed…no pictures. I am wanting to list it in the paper and I am trying to assess a fair value. Air bags are there - I checked.


The vehicle actually is 11 years old now and the Salvage Title stigma will hurt the value no matter how solid the car is.
Expect wholesale or about half of the dealer trade-in value IMHO. Expect does not necessarily mean you will get; it takes the right buyer at the right time.

The fact the vehicle was a total with only 9k miles on the clock tells me it must have been whacked pretty good and that’s exactly what most peoples’ first thought would be - Wiped.


ok4450 You are obviously right about the damage being severe to total a nearly new car. Otherwise, it would have just been fixed by the insurancwe company.

In my extensive experience with rebuilders, a lot of people really don’t seem to care, as long as I can show that the dameage was not extensive. A door or fender replaced is not a big deal. I usually get within 20% of “book” value. Many times I get full book. I take before and after pics of all my “builders”.

Titling a rebuilt car is not usually a problem, UNLESS the car was declared NOT REBUILDABLE by the insurance company. For the life of me, I don’t understand how they determine what’s is rebuildable and what isn’t. I have seen cars that would be fairly easy fixes that got “junk” titles, and I’ve seen some that would be impossible to rebuild that did not get the non-repairable moniker. It makes no sense.

SOME banks won’t loan money on former salvage titled cars. Others have no problem, but may want to see the car in question to be sure it’s been properly fixed. Your buyer will need to be sure his bank has no problem if he’s financing the car.


Personally, I don’t have that big a problem with a rebuilder but then again, I have the ability to go over them pretty well before purchase and sort of know what to look for.
My last Subaru was on a Salvage Title from about the 130k miles mark until I sold it at 295k and it was never a problem.

The average person who may not be mechanically inclined may hesitate a bit the minute they hear the word salvage though; and the car could be perfectly fine in spite of that.
The trick is trying to convince them of that; especially on a vehicle that may have been totalled in the 1st year of its life.
The perception, right or wrong, is going to be “OH JEEZ! Ten grand worth of damage!”

I agree with you completely that sometimes the determination of a total is a bit skewed.