3 Reasons Why Salvage Cars Might Be A Better Choice Than New or Used Cars

3 Reasons Why Salvage Cars Might Be A Better Choice Than New or Used Cars

For most folks out there, only two broad options exist when planning to buy a new car – brand new, or used (either from a dealer or private sale). Both appeal to a wide segment of car buyers and have some notable strengths, as well as some key flaws. 

In contrast, salvage cars are often seen as more of a niche segment aimed at professionals in the auto repair and auto parts business. But that perception is slowly changing, thanks to increased interest from regular car buyers. 

Why would anyone consider buying cars that have been written off by insurance companies? And more importantly, could those reasons apply to you as well? Let’s try to answer these important questions one by one, by exploring how salvage cars might be a better choice than new/used cars. 

Finding the best value on a budget

The advantages of buying a new car are pretty obvious. You get the latest tech and features, the option of financing, and the best thing is – everything under warranty. Nothing beats the feeling of riding a brand new car, fresh off the factory (or dealership) floor, period. 

But hidden behind all that new car fragrance and shine is an ugly side, one that has been getting worse with each passing year – value for money. With a new car in 2019, it simply isn’t there, in terms of what you get per dollar spent. 

Conventional wisdom holds that a new car will lose 30% of its value within one year, 10% of that the moment you drive it off the dealer’s lot! And to make things much, much worse, car prices have increased much faster than the average salary in the last decade.

If you are on a budget and need the absolute best value in terms of money, a new car is a really bad option. This is especially true if you want a second car for the family or new driver car for your kid/s. Used cars are much better for this. 

But used cars cannot hold a candle to salvage cars when it comes to the asking price. If you are on a really tight budget in this economy, used car prices may pinch your wallet. The best option in this context could be a salvage car in decent running condition. 

And contrary to common perception, it is not that hard to find a decent quality car at a salvage auction. 

Looking for a specific year/model

What if you are not in the market for the latest model Corolla or F-Series? Car manufacturers have dozens of discontinued models, many of them which are quite rare to come by even on the used car lots. 

And we are not even talking about the classic cars from the 1950s and ‘60s here. Even the 1990s have their share of unicorns – like the Mitsubishi GTO, the Dodge Dakota, the rare ‘92 Ford Taurus SHO, the list goes on. 

Used car dealerships usually stock the popular selling models as they are easy to repair and flip. Private listings are a better option, but they carry a lot of risk to your money and your person if you are dealing with total strangers. 

Taking all these things into consideration, heading to a salvage car auction is a much safer option with a higher chance of success. There is no telling what you will encounter at these auctions. And the best thing is you can often snap them up for a song. 

Learning DIY Auto Repair Skills

Becoming an expert in the garage is both easy and challenging at the same time. Easy in the sense that all you need is your garage, a car, and a set of tools. But it is a long and difficult journey where you will make a lot of mistakes. 

You don’t want to make a guinea pig out of your daily driver for this! Even a used car in decent nick would be a waste of money for such a DIY project. A salvage car is the perfect “cadaver” to try your surgical skills. 

This is why salvage car auctions attract a lot of budding gearheads. You will also get to become a part of this community once you start attending salvage auto auctions in your neighbourhood. Socialising is always useful as you get new sources for hard to find parts and cars even. 

Plus, you can always harvest it for parts if things don’t go according to plan. This is one reason why salvage cars are better than new/used cars. If things don’t go according to plan, there is always an easy, relatively painless way out (to the scrapyard!).


It would be a blatant lie to state that salvage cars are for everybody – they are not. You have to be comfortable taking a fair amount of risk when buying one. Being on a tight budget helps make it easier! 

But the price is just one factor when buying a car. In certain special circumstances, salvage cars are better than new/used cars. As always, it all hinges on how comfortable or eager you are about getting your hands dirty and covered in grease.