Salvaged Vehicles in Georgia
A salvaged vehicle is one that has been damaged so badly that it is considered unsafe to drive, or a “total loss” by the insurance company and not worth fixing. This is usually defined as the damages being 75% or more of the total value of the car. If your car has been wrecked, its disposal or sale must still be recorded by the DDS, and you will have to obtain a salvaged title before officially getting rid of it. If you decide to keep the vehicle even after it has been wrecked, you will need to fill out a Total Loss Claim Payment form with your insurance company, and then make arrangements to have it rebuilt to being roadworthy again.
Rebuilding or Resurrecting a Georgia Salvaged Vehicle
Many people still choose to keep salvaged vehicles for sentimental or novelty reasons, and may even choose to have them rebuilt or resurrected by a licensed rebuilder. If you choose to rebuild your salvaged vehicle and have it retitled as “rebuilt”, you must have it inspected for safety by a state-approved inspection station. You can either have the inspection done at home, or have the vehicle towed to their location. Since the car is not considered safe to drive until it has been inspected, it is forbidden to drive the vehicle directly to the inspection station. In addition to whatever the inspection station charges, you will pay an inspection fee on top of a title fee to the DDS.
Consequences of Owning and Operating a Georgia Salvaged Vehicle
Salvaged vehicles, even if rebuilt, have a considerably lower resale value than their original-condition counterparts. You can expect to get only 30-50% of the typical resale value, even if it appears to now be in excellent condition. This is because there are too many unknown variables of what might be wrong with it, even if it has been properly inspected. Additionally, many insurance companies will not pay off on a vehicle which is totaled a second time. You are taking a major loss if anything happens to your salvaged/rebuilt car. They are also notoriously difficult to obtain financing for, as they are seen as major risks.
Although it is entirely possible to rebuild a salvaged vehicle to safe conditions again (or find a great deal by buying a salvaged title at a low price), it’s generally advised against doing so. If you do not know much about salvaged cars and rebuilding, the best option is simply to sell your wrecked car for parts and scraps, thereby cutting your losses. You should also be on the lookout for anyone who attempts to sell a vehicle with a salvaged title without disclosing its nature to you, as this practice is common in some places.