If you have always thought that salvage cars are meant to be parted out before being crushed into cubes of metal for recycling, then think again. Buying salvage cars is a viable option if you are well informed on choosing one that can be made roadworthy, affordably. However, the first thing that you need to know is that in New York, and most other states for that matter, driving a vehicle with a “salvage” title is illegal. You need to get it approved for a “rebuilt” or “reconditioned” title by the DMV, before it can be made roadworthy.

A salvaged or “totaled” car is one who damage would cost more in repairs than the car's worth. The New York DMV's regulation is that the owner must get a car titled as salvaged if an accident or any other cause led to damage that will cost more than 75% of its retail value in repairs. The purpose of categorizing it as salvage is to serve as an indication to future buyers of the car about its condition.

What are the salvage vehicle types inspected by the DMV?

If you are looking to buy a salvaged vehicle in New York, it is important to know the type of vehicles that are inspected in the state. With this information, you will find it easier to sort through New York salvage cars to get one that's repairable.

A salvage vehicle that's been recovered after theft or a rebuild is examined by the New York DMV for giving a new title. However, the DMV does not examine or provide title certification for a rebuilt vehicle with an out-of-state certificate. The vehicles with a Salvage Certificate (MV-907A) are also not given the “rebuilt” or “reconditioned” title if they are labeled as one of the following:

  • 'Non-rebuildable'
  • 'Scrapped'
  • 'Parts only'
  • 'Destroyed'
  • 'Non-repairable'

As per the state's DMV, these vehicles are not roadworthy in New York. If it comes to the knowledge of the DMV that a vehicle registered recently has salvage history, the regulatory authority will notify the customer to have their vehicle go through the appropriate process. The owner of such a vehicle can register the vehicle only after it has gone through the salvage examination process. Registration follows the vehicle's certification as salvage.

Go online for convenience

Depending on local car dealers for buying a salvaged car is a thing of the past. Nowadays, you can use the convenient option of going online and registering on a salvage auction site. These sites make it easy to buy salvage titled cars in New York or any other state in the country. You will just need to pay a refundable security deposit to start bidding on cars. If your bid is the highest, the reps of the online auction try to win the car at the live auction.