What does "title: salvage" mean for a car on Craigslist?

I'm looking for a reliable car and shopped around craigslist and found a newer car, pics look good, low mileage, but for title it said salvage.

I'm guessing this means it's been damaged? Could it have been damaged and repaired and now in running condition? Is this worth trusting at all?

I decided to text the guy and he said it was in a fender bender 2 years ago. I asked if there was any damage done to it and all he said was I don't think there are any problems. It's been driven since the accident..

Obviously I do not trust THIS guy. But should "Salvage" be a red flag raising dealbreaker if I see it for any car? Or can they sometimes be good cars?

And I'm talking about low-maintenance and reliable. Not a fixer-upper.

After typing this out I can guess the answer is stay away from salvage cars. But I already typed it out, so I'd like to hear your opinions.

Never buy a salvaged car. Unknown problems will plague your ownership experience.

Salvage means the insurance company declared it totaled. The damage was close to or more than 2/3 of the value of the car. With a salvage title the car is worth 50% or less than the blue book value of a non salvaged car.

The term "fender bender" can mean anything from a ding to crushed. All sellers play down what is wrong with a car.

If the price is good taking into account the 50% you will lose reselling it with a salvage title it might be worth buying. Have a mechanic you trust check it out, I recommend that with all used cars.

It means SERIOUS DAMAGE. It reduces the value by 30-40%.

When you go to sell it or trade it you will be lucky to get 50%.

Salvage means the insurance company declared it totaled. The damage was close to or more than 2/3 of the value of the car. With a salvage title the car is worth 50% or less than the blue book value of a non salvaged car.

The term "fender bender" can mean anything from a ding to crushed. All sellers play down what is wrong with a car.

If the price is good taking into account the 50% you will lose reselling it with a salvage title it might be worth buying. Have a mechanic you trust check it out, I recommend that with all used cars.

You have to be careful with this guy. I don't know for sure, but he might be downplaying the extent of the damage. For a car to be salvaged, it had to be declared a total loss (aka totaled), just like what the other answer described. Then, somebody fixed the car to make it look like what it is now.

The problem with salvaged vehicles is that as a buyer, you don't know how good of a job that repair was. I suspect that this car was involved in more than just minor incident and what caused it to be declared totaled was more than just a ding or a dent. It is more likely that this car took some serious damage in an incident.

I think it is wiser to avoid buying a car with a salvage title, since you do lose more of its value and I heard it is harder to get a salvage title insured.

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