Salvage title?

I know that everyone says to avoid cars with one but I’ve found the car I want and it’s got one.
I googled the VIN and found pics of the car before it was repaired. Just wondering if anyone has any insight as to what they think about the damage.
It’s being sold for $8990 and is completely repaired, I’d obviously have it looked over by a mechanic with alignment/body knowledge. But wondering if it’s even worth it to pay someone to check it out based on these before pics? The seller says nothing is wrong with it now, airbags and seatbelts are original.

First, the car was not put back together well enough to make it act like an undamaged car. There is always the chance of a fire because of a short circuit. You could be out thousands when you have to fix the four failures you will have in the next year. Quit while you’re still walking around with money.

Want an honest answer?
Way overpriced for the age and Salvage Title.

That car should have never been repaired and been consigned to the salvage yard instead of the DMV for a fresh title.

That thing has been hit hard. The “seller says” and reality may be 2 different things.

Keep looking.
The damage is easily significant enough to have totally twisted the unibody out of wampus and never to be right again AND to have introduced serious overstressing to the chassis and/or drivetrain components. Anything could be hiding in there, including drivetrain parts ready to come apart, tranny damage, fuel system damage, brake damage, and just about anything else. This would be a very high risk purchase. I’d bet that the reason it’s for sale is because of accident related hidden problems.


Just out of curiosity . . .

Is the seller the same person that bought the damaged Mazda, fixed it, and now wants to sell, at a profit?

In any case, I’d walk away from this one

And please steer clear of cars with “dirty” titles

Nope. I’d pass on this one. Too much damage. Even if the car is somehow mechanically sound there will be a never ending parade of squeaks and rattles and doors and trunk that don’t work just right.

the price is waaaay too high. too risky, as others have explained

I’d never buy a car with a salvage title except really cheap with the intention of getting whatever miles I could out if it before it was scrapper-bound. But even with that, I’d never buy a car with that much damage. If a car worth only $5000 needs even a moderate amount of bodywork it’s likely to be totaled. That car I might buy because the damage might not be that serious and some of the cosmetic problems could be ignored. That describes a Civic we used to own. Miles were low, and it was absolutely repairable (it was rear-ended, at fairly low speed), but there were too many body panels involved to make it worth fixing (per insurer’s assessment, natch.) Thry admitted it was a close call. My partner dearly loved that car and cobsidered repairing it, but the disadvantages of a salvagr title were too great for him. I kind of hope someone else did take it on and ended up with a nice 1994 Civic EX with only about 70k miles. And a salvage title. Can’t have everything. My brother, coincidentally, bought a salvage-title 1980 Civic years earlier and got a good five years of reliable driving out of it before he needed a bigger vehicle for a job. It never had any unusual problems and was absurdly cheap to run.

The seller says they do not have any of the info on the salvage and that they only knew it was hit on the passenger quarter panel. I found the above info by googling the VIN.
Here’s the CL post.

And his responses to my questions:

Did you own it when it was declared salvage?
No I bought it in the current condition

Do you have the paperwork for what happened and/or the repairs after the
Al I know is that the front, doors hood, front bumper, airbag system and
seat belts are the originals. I was told that the car was hit on the
passenger side quarter panel.

Why are you selling it?
I bought a newer convertible.

Do you have a current smog?
I am 120 % it will pass it only has 32,000 original miles. I will give it to

Is there anything wrong with it?

Sellers lie. It’s that simple. Even if he’s telling the truth it’s too expensive by thousands.

If the car had never been damaged so badly, it would have a value of $9300 if it is the has Miata. With the salvage title, the price should be a lot less. If you figure it should sell for 20% less than a car with a normal title! that is about $1500 less than the asking price. If you really want it, have it inspected by a mechanic you trust who can evaluate the alignment. Negotiate a price before you do the evaluation. Your mechanic will charge you $100 or maybe more considering the car’s history (extra inspections may be needed). Start $2000 under and expect to land $1500 under current asking price. If you can’t land anywhere near that price, forget it. Make sure to agree that the purchase is contingent on the inspection.

It is still a big risk. I f the cost savings make the risk worth it to you, go for it. But don’t do anything without expert advice on the car’s safety.

I think jt is being generous with his value assessment. I don t understand why you would want to negotiate a price before having a mechanical evaluation either

LOL, the answers to the questions you asked the seller sound like they describe and entirely different car and an entirely different accident than the one in the photos. Clearly the seller is being less than candid. If you decide to buy this car, I fear you’ll regret it. I hope you reconsider and look elsewhere.

50% discount is the ‘rule of thumb’ I’ve heard for salvage title cars…

Usually insurance co will not let u have collision coverage on salvage car. Or they may only provide Limited coverage based on reduced value. Can u get a loan on a salvage car? Pay cash? If u buy it for 1/2 of undamaged value and only carry liability than u could swing it.

@wesw, there is no sense in paying for an inspection if they seller is unwilling to drop the price dramatically. And of course the buyer is free to walk away if there is anything wrong. The price would be contingent on a clean evaluation. Otherwise, why negotiate at all?


“50% discount is the ‘rule of thumb’ I’ve heard for salvage title cars…”

That’s also what I heard

Unfortunately, the sellers of these bad title cars apparently haven’t heard that

In most cases, sellers of these vehicles . . . after they are repaired . . . seem to think they are worth nearly as much as the same car with a clean car, that was never damaged

I think there are simply too many people overpaying for these bad title cars

That is what is keeping the price up

Once people start lowballing them or search elsewhere, the prices will come down

That is my opinion

If you guys say 50%, I’ll go along. All the more reason to negotiate first if you are willing to take high risks.

If you proceed with this debacle I think that you will very quickly come to regret it. A blind man can see the suspension has been buckled under and on a hit that hard it’s not likely any buckling stopped with the suspension.

Looks like that wreck was photographed at an insurance pool facility judging by the background.
That’s a storage and resale facility where builder cars are sold. The cars are rebuilt and then resold; often with a song and dance about minor the reason was for the salvage title.

That seller knows more than they’re letting on. They’re just glossing things over so as to unload the car.