Salvage title


I’m looking at another car, 2001 Audi A4

It has a ‘salvage’ title, which is a term I’ve not heard before.

What are the implications of the salvage title?

The dealer said he has had it checked out and sees no signs of accidents (of course, I could have it check out myself). He said he thinks it ‘salvaged’ because it looks like the paint on the hood had acid poured on it. He is getting the hood repainted.

2001 AUDI Quattro Turbo Wagon, 80K. Salvage, runs great, auto. $5,995.



although i am not an insurance professional, i believe the salvage title means the car was totalled out and paid off by an insurance company. this typically means that the car was sold for “parts only”. i would be VERY leary of buying such a car. it may have underlying body, structural, or hidden damage issues which would come to light (of course) after you drive it for a while.

on second thought, it could have had flood damage, which may (on the outside look fine) but again, after a while, you never know what rust out issues and electrical problems you may get.

i would stay away from this deal, (and dealer) if you cant get an honest answer from him regarding the history of this car.

if you MUST, get the VIN number and run a CARFAX report on it. it will cost you some money, but it would go a long way to confirm or put to rest any thoughts of whether you should buy it or not. just a warning though, i have heard of CARFAX reports being unreliable and not complete as of the day they are printed. i think this has to do with the delay between reporting damages, and CARFAX updating their database.


is it an S4?
I did a search on and the s4 turbo, like the one you describe, runs about $15k private party, so the pricing would be about right.
Salvage title can mean many things to many people, but it usually means it had more damage done to it than it cost. Take it to a mechanic that specializes in these kind of cars and pay him for a used car inspection, usually costs around $100. Most cars, if done right, will run as good as new with little problems, the salvage title is just a stigma.


Salvage can mean a lot of things, and just about NONE of them are good. A vehicle with a salvage title could be a recovered theft, it could be a flood car (VERY bad), it could be two wrecks welded together into one car, or it could have been repaired after a heavy crash. For whatever reason, an insurance company has considered such a vehicle to be a total loss.

To me the words “salvage title” mean “keep looking.” I would not buy a car with a salvage title, no matter what it looked like. Too risky.


That car was not issued a Salvage Title because acid may have been spilled on the hood. This is an '01 model vehicle and it would have taken a serious whack to total this car; especially if that title was issued in the first year or two of the vehicle being on the road.

I would avoid the car and any dealer who claims a badly painted or ruined hood has anything to do with the title. It’s more likely that just about everything around the hood was also replaced.


I don’t know about your state, but in WI I was told by a junk dealer that once a car is deemed ‘salvage’ it can never be re-issued a title or see the road again. Maybe a good policy for a good reason.