Author Topic: is buying salvage/rebuilt cars (titles) mustachian?  (Read 2062 times)

mrtimo

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is buying salvage/rebuilt cars (titles) mustachian?
« on: July 01, 2014, 06:02:10 PM »
It seems like "good" deals can be had on cars with rebuilt or salvage titles. I bought a 2004 corolla with 87k miles for $4000 in Dec. of 2012.

I'm considering buying a Subaru forester 2012 2.5x with 40k miles for 12k. I'm moving to Spokane, WA - where these cars seem to be popular. I have not seen the car myself, but if it checks out, what are the views of the mustachians on these types of titles?


okashira

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Re: is buying salvage/rebuilt cars (titles) mustachian?
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2014, 06:05:54 PM »
I'd say keep the Corolla. Much more mustachain then a 12K 4x4 semi_SUV that gets much worse fuel mileage.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2014, 06:09:28 PM by okashira »

DollarBill

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Re: is buying salvage/rebuilt cars (titles) mustachian?
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2014, 06:14:00 PM »
I've never came across one but I would buy one depending on what the damage was. Would never buy a flood car. Some of the newer car can get salvaged with some minor damage. If the frame was bent it could eat up tires. I also say this because I've been a mechanic for 20 yrs, I don't think it's for everyone.

Rural

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Re: is buying salvage/rebuilt cars (titles) mustachian?
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2014, 06:31:04 PM »
We absolutely cleaned up with one (dealer had illegally hidden it, turned up on a Carfax check, suddenly the price dropped another $600 -- from $2200 to $1600). But we both know cars and both can work on them. I drove that car for over 100k miles, then got rear-ended at a red light by an idiot in an F250 and got an insurance payout of more than we'd spent originally, while we kept the car for parts (bought another one).


But the trick is knowing cars and being able to work on them yourself. That said, I just ran an Edmunds appraisal for a Forester n average condition with those miles, and you're not getting much of a discount for that salvage title -- $2000 off the average price from and individual, and a little under $3k off dealer price. That $12k you quote is the trade-in value. That's not nearly enough discount for a salvage title.


Also, check the laws on salvage titles where you're going. If the dealer had not rehabbed the one we bought, we would have been screwed with the laws here.

Mr. Frugalwoods

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Re: is buying salvage/rebuilt cars (titles) mustachian?
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2014, 06:52:29 PM »
Most insurance companies are only going to write a liability policy on a salvage title'd vehicle.  I'm assuming that's not a problem for you, since we all know comprehensive coverage is for suckers.

More importantly, make sure you have the mechanical knowledge necessary to figure out if the car was flooded.  Modern car electronics never really come back from being submerged.  There are a variety of tricks here (google "how to know if a car was flooded") but there are two big ones:

Does the upholstery appear to be newer than the car?  Rarely will a collision result in a major reupholstery job.

Is there telltale rust/corrosion in weird spots?  Think places like the brackets that hold the dash together, or under the screws that attach the seats to the frame.  Basically, show up with some tools and demand to start taking it apart.  The more the seller sweats, the deeper you need to dig.

mrtimo

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Re: is buying salvage/rebuilt cars (titles) mustachian?
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2014, 11:38:56 PM »
Thanks! Good info here.