You have to be very sure that you can fix a salvage car relatively cheap, or you can afford to spend a lot of time and money on repairs, before you buy it.
Sometimes the damage can be extensive but not easy to detect, such as a bent frame, or electrical failures due to flood damage. Unless you are an expert, make sure it is closely reviewed and signed by a reputable mechanic before you buy.
A salvage title is forever
Once a vehicle is total and marked as a salvage, that mark remains on the title forever. This is true even if you return the towed car, in working order. In most states, once a salvage vehicle is back in safe operating condition, you must have it inspected and approved by the DMV in order to legally operate it on the road. The salvage title on the car will be renamed ‘rebuilt’, but everyone will know that your car was a salvage vehicle, and while this is better than having a salvage title, having a rebuilt title means a significantly lower asking price if You decide to sell the car later, no matter how much time, effort, and money you put into it.4 5
Insurance will be a big problem
Many insurance companies are wary of writing comprehensive collision policies on rebuilt vehicles, formerly with salvage title. The main reason is that if you are in an accident, it may be difficult for the insurer to determine whether the damage is due to the new accident or the one that resulted in the vehicle being rated as salvage in the first place. Also, your vehicle was once deemed unfit for road use, so the likelihood of it breaking down again, or breaking down and causing a serious accident, is higher than a vehicle you’ve never had an accident.
Some insurers just won’t write a policy for you. The ones that do will probably cost you an arm and a leg. So if you are considering fixing a salvage title car, find an insurer before investing your money. If you already have a vehicle and this would be your second or third, talk to a reputable insurance provider, it may be easier to talk to an insurance agent you already know and trust.