Salvage lots and auto yards are good places to look for repairable vehicles for sale, though the buyer needs to exercise caution when searching through the lot's inventory. Some cars are in better condition than others and require much more work and money to return to a drivable condition.
Anyone looking to purchase a car with a salvage title needs to understand the full damage to the car in order to assess whether or not repairing it for resale is a viable option. Even if the extent of the damage is minimal, repaired salvage cars carry a great deal of stigma in the auto world.
When a car gets into an accident, it is up to the insurance company to assess the degree of damage to the vehicle and the potential cost of repairs. If the agency finds that the estimated cost of repairs to the vehicle exceeds a percent of its total resale value, it declares the vehicle as a "total loss" and issues a certificate of salvage to the car. In most cases, insurance companies prefer to pay the driver to purchase a new vehicle rather than spend money trying to repair a vehicle. These totaled cars are generally sold to salvage lots and used for their scrap metal. The working parts are typically sold.