Can I Sell My Salvaged Title Car to a Dealer?

Can I Sell My Salvaged Title Car to a Dealer?
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A dealer may or may not want to purchase a salvage-titled vehicle. Some dealers may work with buyers to accept a salvage car if the customer plans to trade it toward another purchase. However, many dealers have no interest in purchasing a salvage car because they cannot resell it to make a profit.


Some automobile dealers will purchase your vehicle that has a salvage title but typically only if you're using it as a trade-in for an automobile that a dealer has for sale. It you want to sell it outright, however, and do not mind that a dealer typically offers much less than someone to whom you sell your vehicle directly, the dealer may be willing to make you an offer.

Trade Vs. Sell

Contact dealers to determine if any would take a salvage vehicle, but be clear on your intentions. Many dealers aren't interested in buying a vehicle from a customer unless he purchases a vehicle from the lot. Some dealers may make an exception depending on the car and the amount of money you want for it.

If you're willing to accept a lower price, the dealer may purchase the car from you. If you want to trade your car in toward another purchase, the dealer is likely to offer more money in efforts to earn your business.

Understanding the Wholesale Value

A dealer will offer less for your salvage-titled vehicle than you can obtain on your own by selling privately. Wholesale value, compared to private or retail value, warrants the lowest amount of money for a vehicle owner. Because the vehicle has a salvage title, its wholesale value will be even less.

Many dealers cannot sell salvage-title vehicles because of risk and liability issues for resale. In most cases, the dealer will have to sell the car to a wholesaler, so taking the car off your hands likely proves more of a courtesy than a worthwhile sale for you.

Finding a Buyer

As long as your vehicle is drivable and in decent condition, you may have a chance of selling it to a dealership. If you plan to trade the car, check with dealers you would purchase from to find out if any would accept your car for trade. If you simply want to sell the car to a dealer to get rid of it and are prepared to accept a low offer, call around to find out if any dealers would be interested in the purchase. If you are unsuccessful, ask dealers in your area for the phone numbers of wholesalers, who are more likely to purchase a salvage vehicle.

Selling the Vehicle Privately

If you don't plan to purchase another vehicle, selling your salvage car privately will likely warrant you more money. Before selling the car, gather paperwork that explains the type and amount of damage that the car sustained. Advertise the car for sale and note that it has a salvage title.

Some buyers will shy away from your car sale because of the title, but some buyers prefer a deal if the car was properly repaired. If your vehicle is not drivable, consider selling the car to a junkyard instead.