What is the Law About Warranty on Salvaged Cars?

April 13, 2023 - 10:24 am - 3 min read

The Basics of Salvaged Cars

In the United States, a vehicle is considered “salvaged” or “totaled” if the insurance company deems the cost of repairing the car to be higher than its actual value. This typically happens after the car has been in an accident or sustained significant damage in some other way. Salvaged cars don’t necessarily have to be unsafe to drive, but they do require a lot of repairs and special considerations to get back on the road.

Salvaged cars can be sold at auction or through private sale to individuals or dealerships. However, the laws regarding the sale and warranty of salvaged vehicles are complex and vary by state.

Laws Regarding Warranty on Salvaged Cars

In general, there is no federal law governing the sale or warranty of salvaged cars. Instead, each state has its own regulations about how these types of vehicles can be sold and what warranties are required.

Some states require that a seller provide a warranty on any vehicle they sell, including salvaged cars. In these states, a seller may be required to provide a warranty of up to 90 days or a certain number of miles. Other states, however, have no such requirement and leave it up to the buyer to assume all risks associated with buying a salvaged car.

What to Expect When Buying a Salvaged Car

When buying a salvaged car, it’s important to do your research and know what you’re getting into. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

– Salvaged cars typically sell for much less than comparable vehicles that haven’t been salvaged. This is because there is a higher risk associated with buying and owning a salvaged car.

– You may have trouble getting financing for a salvaged car, as lenders may see them as high-risk investments.

– Before buying a salvaged car, make sure to get a detailed vehicle history report. This will show you whether the car has sustained any damage or been in any accidents. You can also research the car’s VIN number to see if it has been reported stolen or has any liens against it.

– When inspecting a salvaged car, look for signs of previous damage or repair work. Some red flags to watch out for include mismatched paint, uneven gaps between body panels, and rust or corrosion.

– Finally, be prepared to spend extra money on repairs and maintenance for a salvaged car. These vehicles often require significant work to get back on the road, and you may need to invest in new parts or hire a mechanic to help with repairs.


Buying a salvaged car can be a smart financial decision for some buyers. However, it’s important to be aware of the risks associated with these types of vehicles and to take extra precautions when buying and owning them. By doing your research and being prepared for the cost and effort involved, you can make an informed decision about whether a salvaged car is right for you.


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