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  1. #1

    Default How much does a rebuilt salvage title affect value

    Several years ago I took on a salvage car project. It was a 2010 Mustang GT convertible that I bought from a salvage dealer. The airbags did not deploy and there was no frame damage although I did have to replace the radiator support. It only has 20k miles on it and looks and drives beautiful. I have pictures documenting the repair as well as all receipts. It passed the salvage inspection with no issues at all. It is a 5sp car and has custom Roush "Mat-it-Mango" paint as well as suede seats with matching orange stitching and 19" track pack wheels from a 2015 GT. I kept all modifications as tasteful as I could.

    I'm toying with the idea of selling it to take on another project but have no idea what the actual value might be. If it happens that the car really isn't worth much I really don't mind keeping it for a very long time.

    Any feedback?
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  2. #2

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    Some pictures of the damage from when I got it.
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  3. #3
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    Just by paperwork aka salvage title, I would expect the maximum value to drop in half. I don’t think that is fair is this type of situation or in many others. Years ago we expected accident repairs and deemed it ok if done right and no damage existed after the repairs. These days we act like a car will never get a dent or ding. Just because we can track paper better, the car should not suffer in value by much.

    I can see if a car is totaled due to repair exceeding its value but a simple thing like an air bag popping can total a car these days.

    For these I would look to transfer the title to a state that does not track the salvage title. Good luck with the sale. As with any sale, it’s all about finding the buyer who has to have the car at the current selling price.
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  4. #4
    FEP Senior Member 83GTJIM's Avatar
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    As a buyer, documentation would be a key for me. The more the better. I want to know that the person repairing the car is super attentive to details. Generally speaking I think you can expect a 30% decrease in value for the salvage history, however that might be high in your case because the damage was so light. Car looks great and mileage is very attractive. Let us know how it goes.
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  5. #5

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    With these newer cars you can repair the salvage vehicles and drive them for a while until they depreciate to about what you have into them. Back when I first got the car in good condition it would have been worth about $26-$30k I figured. Maybe low $20's after the repair. That was about 5 years ago. I have about $15k into the car and repairs so I figure if I could sell it for what I have into it then I wouldn't be out any money on it and drove a newer mustang for 5 years for free.
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  6. #6
    FEP Super Member bwguardian's Avatar
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    20%, but you have documentation of what appears minimal damage.
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  7. #7
    FEP Senior Member 83GTJIM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregpro50 View Post
    With these newer cars you can repair the salvage vehicles and drive them for a while until they depreciate to about what you have into them. Back when I first got the car in good condition it would have been worth about $26-$30k I figured. Maybe low $20's after the repair. That was about 5 years ago. I have about $15k into the car and repairs so I figure if I could sell it for what I have into it then I wouldn't be out any money on it and drove a newer mustang for 5 years for free.
    Yep. That's exactly the way I figure it. I enjoy making the repairs and driving the cars and then after a while I want to move on and do it again. Here is a little BMW convertible I picked up for the wife. Bought it for $2000 and she loves driving it. These cars have bolt in radiator supports so repairs were pretty easy.
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    Last edited by 83GTJIM; 12-11-2017 at 01:10 PM.
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    "Saved" 25k mi 83 GT - http://vb.foureyedpride.com/showthre...ght=Wrecked+GT
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  8. #8
    FEP Senior Member Matt J's Avatar
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    Insurance companies don't total cars based on the car being repairable or not, they determine realistically how much it will cost to fix it, and then add to it what they can realistically get for it as salvage in its current state. If the total exceeds the actual cash value of the car, they total it. It's a simple business transaction, they'll choose the option that costs less. That car would bring a great deal of salvage value, even if it wasn't repaired, the wheels, interior, engine and transmission, sheet metal panels, even the glass are worth a lot of money as parts. This high salvage value will lead to it being totalled a bit easier. That said, that was a fair amount of damage, as the car was also worth decent money retail-wise a few when it was wrecked, so it definitely needed some significant repairing.

    If it answers your question, I'd never buy a used car with a salvage title on it, even if the repairs are done well. If you're looking to drive it and have fun, it doesn't matter, but the resale is going to take a big hit, I'd agree with the 50% number.

    That's a nice car, enjoy driving it!

  9. #9

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    Most banks won't give loans out on rebuilt or restore titled vehicles.
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  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Haystack View Post
    Most banks won't give loans out on rebuilt or restore titled vehicles.
    That's the problem I see. Would reduce the number of potential buyers buy a lot.

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  11. #11
    FEP Power Member Hemlock's Avatar
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    Consumer Reports calculates that a salvage-title car is worth 50 percent of its Kelley Blue Book value, at best.

    Consumer Reports is pretty much the industry standard for most people. I run for the hills from a salvage title if I think I might resell the car down the road. JMO

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  12. #12
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    Last fall I looked for a replacement vehicle for my wife and found a guy that rebuilds cars here in Alberta. Seems like a somewhat strict procedure to go through with the in-progress and final inspections with the province. He had all of the pictures documenting the damage and the repairs that he had other businesses mainly do. His prices weren't half that's for sure but it was his business and the cars looked and presented well. Like many he buys from auctions and has a small selling lot at his property.

    I ended up not buying. If it were for me, I would have considered it. For my wife, I thought not after I got an eye roll and the you're not serious look haha.

    Like Greg though, if I purchased and redid a salvage car or redid my own salvage, of course I would know my workmanship and expect more money. Unfortunately it's a fickle market.

  13. #13
    FEP Power Member wgt500's Avatar
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    You have great documentation of the "light" damage, which I feel will be very important to potential buyers. I've done a dozen or so rebuilds over the years and always figure about a 33% hit to average retail value. My problem is that after I get the cars done we usually drive em until they die. Just finished a 2011 Ranger 4.0L 4x4 Sport last spring (light rt. frt. damage)....love the truck and have no plans of selling it
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  14. #14
    FEP Member Dadsccat's Avatar
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    As a dealer, I can say that salvage has a significant impact on the value of the vehicle. It really boils down to the buyer and the desirability of the car. If its a very common car then common sense dictates it needs to be quite a bit cheaper for the average buyer to consider it over a clean titled like vehicle. A rare, desirable, specialty car will hold more value with a proper repair if there are not many comparables. It's not just the repair extent and quality that matters. The potential buyer needs to consider the impact the branding will have if they try and resell the car. It may have been repaired perfectly but the label will scare many. As the car ages it will not have as much impact on the value as overall condition will. A very clean, low mileage, well maintained 10 year old branded car may be very attractive as a driver to a potential buyer, although most likely not as a collectible.
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  15. #15

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    I rebuilt a 2012 mustang that was a lightly damaged car. I too made a bunch of very tasteful mods and the car was rebuilt the right way.

    When I went to sell it this year I only got 60% of retail value and even then it was a very tough sell.

    Even worse for you is that as a 2010 you still have the 3v motor.

    A lot of banks will not finance that car and some insurance companies will charge very high rates. You almost need a cash buyer who is absolutely in love with the car.

    Another tough thing is that the market is flooded with 2011+ cars right now.

    My advice is to put it up for sale and be very very patient.

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  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by gregpro50 View Post
    With these newer cars you can repair the salvage vehicles and drive them for a while until they depreciate to about what you have into them. Back when I first got the car in good condition it would have been worth about $26-$30k I figured. Maybe low $20's after the repair. That was about 5 years ago. I have about $15k into the car and repairs so I figure if I could sell it for what I have into it then I wouldn't be out any money on it and drove a newer mustang for 5 years for free.
    I hate to tell you but it would be a miracle if you got 15k for that car. That's just about full retail for a clean title no issue car.

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  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by wgt500 View Post
    You have great documentation of the "light" damage, which I feel will be very important to potential buyers. I've done a dozen or so rebuilds over the years and always figure about a 33% hit to average retail value. My problem is that after I get the cars done we usually drive em until they die. Just finished a 2011 Ranger 4.0L 4x4 Sport last spring (light rt. frt. damage)....love the truck and have no plans of selling it
    That's a great truck you have there. And it's pretty desirable. That branded as salvage would fare pretty well. I would be just as you and have no interest in selling that truck. I have had 3 of those.

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  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by brian.aughe View Post
    I hate to tell you but it would be a miracle if you got 15k for that car. That's just about full retail for a clean title no issue car.

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    That's the information I'm looking for. Realistically speaking, if the value of the car drops by 50% due to a salvage title then the car is worth $7,500 with full retail being $15,000?

    I mean if I saw a 20k mile GT convertible like this sitting for sale at the side of the road for $7,500 I'd buy it in a heartbeat salvage title or not.
    '79 Indy pace car T-top
    '81 Cobra
    '81 Cobra T-top
    '82 Mustang GT T-top
    '87 Corvette
    '10 Mustang GT Convertible
    '17 F250
    '17 Landrover Discovery Sport

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by gregpro50 View Post
    That's the information I'm looking for. Realistically speaking, if the value of the car drops by 50% due to a salvage title then the car is worth $7,500 with full retail being $15,000?

    I mean if I saw a 20k mile GT convertible like this sitting for sale at the side of the road for $7,500 I'd buy it in a heartbeat salvage title or not.
    Exactly, it's a tough pill to swallow but I enjoyed the hell out of my car for 4 years. One thing that will hurt the value is that the coyote cars have really dripped in price lately and we all know how near bottomless the hp potential is with those cars. To me a 3v sounds a lot better and with mild boost is really a blast to drive. Just be patient and if someone has cash set the hook in him.

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