What Are Salvage Vehicles? 

Salvage vehicles are vehicles that have been declared a “total loss” by an insurance carrier following a claim that resulted in damage. Your damaged vehicle has most likely been inspected by an insurance adjuster and it has been determined that the cost to repair the vehicle is greater than its current value. The total loss of your vehicle could have been the result of a collision, fire, flood, wildlife or even theft. In some cases, the damage to your vehicle may not impact its safe operation, but you may not drive the vehicle even if it is operable.     

Rules and Regulations for Salvage Vehicles in Connecticut

The state of Connecticut will be informed of the total loss declaration from your insurance carrier. According to the Department of Motor Vehicles in CT, it is illegal for you to operate your vehicle if it has been deemed a total loss by your insurance carrier, and you should remove the plates from the vehicle. If you decide you would like to continue driving your vehicle, you’re required by the DMV to pass a salvage inspection. These inspections can be performed at the DMV offices of Hamden, CT and Wethersfield, CT for an inspection fee of $88.

In most cases, an inspection takes place following repairs to your vehicle. If your vehicle passes the salvage inspection, you will be required to have the vehicle retitled with a “salvage title” prior to driving on the road. It’s also important to remember that you are required to bring salvage vehicles to the inspection on a flatbed trailer or car carrier, as you aren’t permitted to drive or tow your car again until it passes inspection and can be retitled.

Registering a Car with a Salvage Title

Keep in mind that if your damaged vehicle has been titled “salvage parts only” or “salvage unrepairable,” it cannot be re-titled under any circumstances according to the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles. Also, if your vehicle fails a salvage inspection, you no longer have the option to have it retitled with a salvage title and legally drive it in CT. If your vehicle does pass the salvage inspection, you have the option to re-register your vehicle and have it retitled “rebuilt” without the salvage brand on the title. You can re-register your vehicle with the old plates or obtain new plates. It is important to keep in mind that once you have received an offer from your insurance carrier for your vehicle after it has been determined to be a total loss, you will most likely have a limited time for deciding to accept the offer or to repair your vehicle.           

Pros and Cons of Owning Salvage Vehicles

As a way of recovering the costs associated with a total loss claim, many insurance carriers will often sell a vehicle that is a “total loss” to a salvage yard owner or auto body repair shop. In some cases, the vehicle is scrapped and used for parts; but many times the vehicle is repaired and resold. If you decide to keep your “total loss” vehicle, or buy a vehicle with a salvage title, there are some things you should know:

Pros of Owning a Salvage Vehicle– The cost to repair or buy a vehicle that has been deemed “salvage” may be significantly cheaper than buying a    vehicle with a clear title. Also, depending on the situation, the vehicle you purchase or maintain possession of could have minimal damage, which makes your decision that much more valuable.    

Cons of Owning a Salvage Vehicle– You may have overlooked some damage on the vehicle that may cause problems later. Also, it may be determined later that the cost to repair new-found damage may be more than it would have been to purchase a vehicle with a clear title. Perhaps the largest hurdle related to owning a salvage vehicle is obtaining auto insurance, since most insurance carriers will view a salvage titled vehicle as a greater financial risk. Also, if you purchase a vehicle with a salvage title and are involved in a loss that “totals” the vehicle, the settlement will likely be less than that of a vehicle that has a clear title.

Is Owning a “Total Loss” Vehicle Right for You?

Once a vehicle’s title has been branded with a “salvage” designation, that designation will remain permanently on record even if the vehicle is retitled later as “rebuilt.” So, is owning a salvage vehicle right for you? Your decision should depend on how much you know about the vehicle and the details surrounding the salvage title. Also, your financial situation and your comfort level with risking future problems from undetected damage may be a determining factor in your decision.

Questions about insuring your salvage vehicle or purchasing new auto insurance coverage or a home policy? Get in touch with a licensed insurance professional today by calling Plymouth Rock Assurance. We’ve been providing expert coverage and claims advice to our policyholders for decades. You can also read more information about affordable companies near you and know the important factors to consider when comparing companies and getting quotes.

Call 855-993-4470, get a quote online, or find a local agent to find out more about salvage vehicles in Connecticut from Plymouth Rock or to get a quote, visit our Contact Us page.