Home » Articles » Titles » Salvage Auction Title Vehicles Hitting The Market
So the good news is that the hurricanes that have hit Florida are largely over and a lot of rebuilding is happening. The bad news is that we’re already starting to see flood-damaged vehicles show up in the salvage auction pipelines.
A lot of these vehicles are being sold with junk titles, non-repairable titles, or certificates of destruction. And if you don’t know what you’re looking at, you can quickly get jammed up with one of these destruction-branded vehicles.
Just because the title designates the vehicle as non-repairable, don’t take that as a challenge for you to repair it anyways. If you see a vehicle with a certificate of destruction, don’t assume you can do something to save it from being destroyed. These are permanent title brands that remove these vehicles from the road. A lot of these vehicles look perfectly fine with no obvious physical damage. You might be able to see evidence of flood damage, but oftentimes they appear to be running and drivable, with maybe a few minor repairs needed.
The problem is, it doesn’t matter how minimal the repairs are. If the vehicle has been reported as non-repairable, junk, or given a certificate of destruction, the VIN is now canceled. A VIN is canceled when it is issued one of these destruction-brand titles, it also is recorded in the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) which tells every state DMV that this particular VIN is never again allowed to be issued a title.
We’re already starting to see dozens of these vehicles show up in auctions from Copart and IAA. Sometimes buyers know that they’re being sold a vehicle title with a non-repairable title brand, but sometimes they don’t know. And if you don’t know, you could get stuck with a vehicle you paid good money for that you can never put on the road. Make sure before you buy a vehicle you verify that it’s not recorded in the NMVTIS database with a certificate of destruction or non-repairable title. If it has a salvage title, you can do something with that, but not for a certificate of destruction, non-repairable, junk, or parts title brand no matter how much you fix it up.
So be aware of these vehicles as you’re navigating the used car market and insurance auctions. If you’re buying through a broken, make sure that you understand what the broker is disclosing about the vehicle so you don’t get a vehicle that’s worthless and can’t go on the road.
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