574-202-2222 Cars@BuyRockAuto.com

Defining Salvaged and Rebuilt Vehicles


There are several categories for the vehicles in our inventory. On the Coming Soon page, these are vehicles that have been bought and coming into our facility.  Once here, the vehicles are moved to the In Process page.  They are left in that category until new pics and inspections have been done.  Once done, they are moved into their correct categories.  Sometimes, it is decided to change it into a REBUILT title because it will help out customers to buy easier.  Our customers do like to do the work themselves too, so those great deals are there also.

What is a Salvaged Title?

Salvage definition: In North America, a salvage title is a form of vehicle title branding, which notes that the vehicle has been damaged and/or deemed a total loss by an insurance company that paid a claim on it. The criteria for determining when a salvage title is issued differ considerably by each state, province or territory.

When is a vehicle in a Salvage category?

Because a salvage title can be issued to a vehicle with easily repairable problems or no damage whatsoever, the low cost of the salvaged vehicle is appealing to some hobbyists and investors.  Many people are confused about the actual repair cost that insurance companies use to deem the vehicle a salvage title. Skeptical shoppers automatically assume that 50-70% repair to value ratio of a vehicle would suggest that the vehicle is completely totaled and beyond reasonable repair. This is not always true and the shoppers who understand this are the ones who can obtain very good bargains. Although it is true that salvage titles are typically issued to vehicles when the repair costs exceed 50-70% of the vehicle value, this percentage needs to be considered in detail before assumptions are made.  In the US, motorcycles and cars which carry a salvage title may not be registered and driven on public roads in most states, but can be moved to status REBUILT.

What are Rebuilt Vehicles?

Rebuilt definition: A vehicle that has been previously branded as salvage but has been rebuilt/repaired and reinspected. These vehicles are driveable but the rebuilt brand remains on the vehicle’s title/registration documents permanently. Some jurisdictions require that rebuilt vehicles imported across provincial or state lines be reinspected before being allowed to retain the rebuilt title, which is the case in Indiana.

When a vehicle is in a Rebuilt category

Instead of sending a vehicle to auto heaven, someone who knows how to rebuild a title will replace the non-working parts and give the vehicle a makeover to remove scratches, dents, chipped paint, and other aesthetic issues. Once the car has been restored to health, the owner can apply to get the car a rebuilt title. To be granted the title, the vehicle has to undergo a state inspection to make sure it’s fit for the road. As with any conventional vehicle, the requirements that salvage cars must meet to pass inspection vary depending on the state. If the car passes its legal inspection, the title status rebuild is deemed complete, and the vehicle can either be driven again by the original owner or sold to another person.