Think you're a savvy car buyer? This quiz will put your knowledge to the test. Salvage titles present complications that can make or break even the most promising car deals. Click on to see how much you know about this aspect of car buying.
At what point is a car considered totaled in most states?
when the cost to repair exceeds the total cost of the car
when the cost to repair exceeds 50 percent of the car's value
when the cost to repair exceeds 75 percent of the car's value
While the exact cost-to-repair figures vary by state and insurer, a car that sustains damage costing 75 percent of its value or more is likely to be written off as totaled.
How can a vehicle identification number (VIN) help you evaluate a used car?
The VIN can tell you when and where a car was built.
The VIN can help you track the major events in a vehicle's history, such as accident repairs and sales.
The VIN is only useful for insurance and parts-identification purposes.
Thanks to the Internet, a car's VIN can quickly provide an outline of the vehicle's history. Any major events -- like sales, repairs and title changes -- will be listed by VIN and can be searched using a number of online resources.
Where can you legally purchase a salvaged vehicle?
Some states regulate this more than others.
Only at state-sanctioned salvage auctions.
Anyone can buy and sell salvage-titled vehicles.
Salvage title laws vary from state to state, and so do regulations on who can buy and sell salvage-titled vehicles. In some states, anyone can buy and sell them. In others, only licensed rebuilders can buy them at salvage vehicle sales.
What's important to consider when purchasing a salvage-titled car?
how you'll get the car home
if you'll be able to store it without violating community ordinances
both of the above
If a car is not licensed to drive, you'll need to find a way to get it home. Also, if your community has "junk car" ordinances that prevent you from storing the car at home, you'll have to find another place to work on it.