Salvaged and Rebuilt Vehicles in Illinois
When a car is damaged in an accident, your first thought is usually to repair it, as the cost of a replacement vehicle is often enormously high compared to the cost of a few broken parts and some scratched paint. There are times, however, when damage done to a vehicle is so extensive that it would actually cost more money to fix it than it would to replace it. If that happens, you may need to apply for a salvage title.
What is a Salvaged Vehicle?
The state of Illinois has stricter regulations on salvaged vehicles than most other states. A car is considered “salvaged” in Illinois when the damage done to it totals 1/3 or more of its market value. At this point, it must be retitled as such before it can be sold or repaired.
How Do I Apply for a Salvage Title?
After it has been determined that your car is indeed salvaged, you will need to apply at the Secretary of State’s office for a salvage retitling. Without obtaining a salvage title for your vehicle, you will not legally be allowed to transfer ownership or discard of it. This is to ensure that complete records are maintained with the Secretary of State’s office and thus prevent the possibility of illegal and unsafe usage.
Rebuilding a Salvaged Vehicle
Although a salvaged vehicle may not be registered or driven, it some cases it is possible to rebuild them and make them roadworthy once more. However, this is not a simple task, and must only be performed by someone with the expertise to completely repair any potential hazards in the wrecked vehicle. Before it can be retitled as a rebuilt vehicle, it will have to be inspected by a state-approved inspection facility, where experts will examine individual parts for quality and verify that they have not been stolen or improperly installed. There will be inspection and retitling fees for this process. It’s also important to note, however, that salvaged cars older than nine years cannot be resold (in the interest of keeping potentially unsafe cars off the road).
Additional Information about Salvaged Vehicles
Don’t let the label scare you: not all salvaged vehicles are complete losses. Many of them can easily be restored to drivable conditions in the right hands. Though some unscrupulous buyers will attempt to sell salvaged vehicles under false pretenses to make a quick buck, those who practice full disclosure can actually provide great deals to keen buyers. Make sure to exercise due diligence and have a salvaged or rebuilt vehicle checked out so you don’t end up overpaying for a worthless piece of scrap.