Are Accident Cars Worth Buying?
Used car market is full of accident cars. Every year 1 million of 2.5 million accident cars get back on the road. But many of such vehicles become non-roadworthy at least for a certain perid before being repaied and re-titled. Such cars are totaled out by insurance companies and are assigned a salvage title which means that the cost of repairing the damage exceeds 70% of its market value before the accident. After being repaired such vehicles get re-titled with a Rebuilt / Reconstructed / Revived title of a normal title with a Salvage brand on it, depends on the state. Such a branded title serves as a notificaion about a major issue in the history of the vehicle, like severe damage, and in this way protects used car shoppers from unknowingly buying a damaged vehicle.
However, quite often being informed about the branded title is not enough. For instance, the vehicle might get tolaed out due to hail damage or even due to a minor damage becuase of its devaluation due to age. However, there might be other major accidents in the past you wouldn't be aware of.
There are also cases when the salvage / total loss history gets is "washed clean" by unfair dealers. As a result, thousands of unlucky used car buyers don't know that their car was in a severe accident and get a patched up and polished salvage or even junk car. The difference between a salvage and a junk car is the the former one is repairable, the latter is not. This happens with the buyers that don't do VIN at all or use the vehicle history reports provided by the seller that includes only the information that precedes the date of the major accident. Otherwise, a branded title from another state will be seein on the history report even if the current title is clean.
That is why your should always run VIN number check yourself.
What Is So Bad About Accident Cars?
Unfortunately, overpaying is not the worst thing about buying an accident car. Driving such a car can be mortally dangerous because its safety can be affected in many ways. For example, you can have just anything in the airbag compartments instead of functioning airbags. Cans, paper, towels are reported to be found instead of the airbags in the cars of airbag scam victims...That is why it is so important to run VIN check and get the vehicle history report yourself. Don't compromise your safety, run VIN number check to know what you are buying!
Is Driving Accident Cars Safe?
When you are consciously buying an properly repaired accident car from a reliable dealer or person, if you know that the mechanic who repaired it is trustworthy, it can be save. But if you fell victim to a car fraud and unknowingly bought a salvage accident car or a car with a washed title, driving it can be mortally dangerous or even illegal, if a salvage vehicle was not repaired and pass a mandatory inspection to get a roadworthy title (generally known as rebuilt) at the DMV. And even if a repaired salvage vehicle got an roadworthy status, in many state the only purpose of the inspection is to verify the vehicle and the legal origin of the parts used in repairing the vehicle or order to prevent the spread of stoled parts or parts from stoler vehicles in the aftermarket. So, quite often the inspection does not warrant or even check the safety of the vehicle. Or the hight quality or repair works. You don't know who repaired that car, if he has done his job properly and what expenses you may have to go into later on. Below are just a few issues you may get stuck with if you buy an accident vehicle.
An accident car could be involved into a fatal airbag fraud if the one or several airbags deployed during the accident. There were reported cases when repaired vehicle had anything in the airbag compartment - beer cans, peanut paper, paper towels or the the old airbag deployed during the crash and stuffed back. Anything, but NOT a properly installed new airbag. Needless to explain all the risks of driving such a vehicle.
Accident cars can be literally assembled from parts of wrecked vehicles. You may come across a clipped car where the front and back come from different vehicles, so it can simply fall into 2 pieces at full speed. Would you retain peace of mind driving that Frankenstein's creature? Not, really...
Not as bad as a clipped car, vehicles with frame damage are lesst rigid and give you weaker protection in case of an accident.
How to avoid buying accident cars?
The most simple and quick check is getting a VIN history report. It costs just a few dollars, the amount incomparable with those thousands you are planning to spend on that pig in a poke. And just a small fraction on the amount you will pay to the mechanic who will inspect that used vehicle for you. An accident car may be full of other tricks, such as odometer rollback or [water or flood damage]VIN number scams or it can be a lemon, although any of the latter issues is pretty bad by itself. Only if the vehicle history report doesn't reveal anything suspicious, it makes sense to retrieve the information about the seller, ask an experienced technician to inspect the car, etc. We hope this information helps you avoid unwanted accident cars.