What Is a Salvage Car, Anyway?

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Copart has been selling salvage cars since 1982, so we know a few things about the topic. Today, though, we wanted to take some time and clear up some common misconceptions about salvage vehicles. This is our first installment in a series we’re calling: Savage Salvage.

It’s probably best to start at the beginning, so let’s tackle some of the most common questions we get about our salvage inventory: What is a salvage car? Will it run? Why would someone buy a salvage car? This should give you a general introduction to salvage vehicles and why bidding on one may be the right choice for you.

What Is a Salvage Car?

A salvage car is a vehicle that has been deemed too damaged to be driven on the road. This could be due to various degrees of damage (such as an accident), neglect or other factors like extensive weather. Because a variety of factors are involved in this classification, you’ll probably notice that there are many different types of salvage cars available. Some may even look almost perfect on the outside. The important thing to note, though, is not all salvage cars are irreparable. In the right hands, a salvage car can get back to running condition, or be used for parts in another vehicle. 

Will a Salvage Car Run?

Copart does have some salvage cars that “run.”(We call them “Run and Drive” vehicles.) However, there is a huge difference in running and being ready for the road. Some salvage cars that can turn on and move might be in good condition internally but may be missing exterior components that make them street legal or safe. Because of this, we always encourage Copart Members to bring a method of transportation for the vehicles they win in our auto auctions.

Why Would Someone Buy a Salvage Car?

In the answer to the first question, we briefly mentioned that not all salvage cars are irreparable. However, this requires some skill. Salvage-titled vehicles are ideal for individuals looking for a fixer-upper, auto recyclers looking for parts, body shop owners and other business professionals as well. These groups of people are usually talented individuals who know cars inside and out and have developed advanced skills over time. We understand not everyone will be on their level of expertise, which is why we feature all kinds of vehicles in various conditions in our auto auctions

Think you might be interested in a salvage vehicle? View Copart’s salvage car inventory and start bidding on vehicles today.

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