Car Guides

Should I buy a car with a salvage title?

The Car Doctor answers automotive questions from readers.

Behind the Wheel-Used Cars
Buyers can take some simple steps to ensure they're not buying a problematic car that could cost them thousands in repairs and maintenance. Scott Jacobs/Courtesy of Edmunds via AP

I’m thinking about buying a car with a salvage title. Should I?

Q. I recently looked at a car for sale with a salvage title described as “storm-damage.” From looking at the picture, the damage doesn’t look like anything more than dents from hail. Should I buy a car with a salvage title?

A. Be very careful buying a car with a salvage title. Let’s face it; the insurance company wouldn’t have totaled the car for just a few dents. My guess is this car could have come from one of the states that got flooded during the hurricane. Unless this car is a very good deal and you are extremely handy, I would look for another vehicle.

Advertisement:

John Paul is AAA Northeast’s Car Doctor. He has over 40 years of experience in the automotive business and is an ASE certified master technician. Email your car question to [email protected]