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Can a Dealership Sell a Car With a Salvage Title

Can a Dealership Sell a Car With a Salvage Title

Yes, a car dealer can legally sell a car with a salvage title in most states as long as they properly disclose the salvage title status to the buyer.

However, there are strict legal requirements dealers must follow regarding salvage title disclosures to avoid misrepresenting the vehicle’s condition and history to the buyer.

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Dealer Obligations for Disclosing Salvage Titles

When selling a salvage title vehicle, dealers must:

  • Clearly disclose the salvage title status verbally and in writing before completing the sale
  • Provide a written disclosure statement detailing the vehicle’s salvage history that the buyer must sign
  • Not engage in any deceptive practices to hide or misrepresent the vehicle’s salvage status
  • Ensure the vehicle has passed all required salvage vehicle inspections and received a “rebuilt” title from the state

Failing to properly disclose a vehicle’s salvage title status can result in fines up to $2,000 for the dealer in some states, in addition to other penalties.

Dealers can also be sued by the buyer for fraud if they deliberately misrepresent or hide salvage history.

Risks of Buying a Salvage Title Vehicle

While dealers can legally sell rebuilt salvage vehicles, there are risks buyers should be aware of:

  • Potential safety issues if the vehicle was not properly repaired after the damage that caused the salvage title
  • Difficulty getting insurance coverage or financing for a salvage title vehicle
  • Lower resale value compared to clean title vehicles

Buyers should always get a vehicle history report and have any used vehicle inspected by a mechanic before purchasing, especially for salvage title vehicles or rebuilt title vehicles.

Tip: Requesting repair documentation and reviewing the vehicle’s title history across states can also help identify potential issues.

The Bottom Line

Car dealers can sell vehicles with salvage titles but must follow strict disclosure requirements to avoid legal issues.

Use caution when buying a salvage title car or any vehicle with a branded title, and do thorough research before making a purchase.

Consulting your state’s specific laws regarding salvage titles is also recommended.


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Picture of Steve Momot - Author

Steve Momot - Author

Steve, a seasoned expert in the automotive industry, formerly held a car dealer license in Florida. With extensive experience spanning across car trading and mechanical work, he founded Autohitch. His mission? To guide both buyers and sellers through the intricate maze of car purchasing, ensuring a seamless and informed experience. Outside of the automotive world, Steve has a passion for fishing and capturing the beauty of nature through photography.


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