Selling a salvage car in Arizona isn’t exactly an exciting event, but it’s something that needs to be done, and we’re here to help. Continue reading to learn the steps you need to take to sell your salvage car in Arizona.
In Arizona, a salvaged car is defined as a vehicle that has sustained extensive damage due to a wreck, water, or theft, that is uneconomical to repair. In most situations like these, an auto insurance company deems the car a salvage, but the car’s owner or the company financing the car can also declare the car a salvage.
With the help of the Arizona Motor Vehicle Division (AZ MVD), your auto insurance company, financial institution, or leasing company, there are different ways you can deal with your salvaged car. Your auto insurance company may retain the car as part of your total loss settlement or you can restore it to meet the Arizona inspection requirements and apply for a restored Arizona Salvage Certificate of Title.
There will be a lot of talk about your salvage car’s actual cash value (ACV). Your salvage car’s actual cash value is the car’s fair market value, the price your vehicle would sell for on the open market. Once you purchase a car, whether new or used and drive it off the dealership lot, the car is no longer worth the price it was when you purchased it minutes ago.
Selling a salvage car in Arizona is similar to selling any other car. You must do the following:
- Provide a sold notice to the AZ MVD
- Sign the back of the title
- Remove your license plate from the car and contact your local AZ MVD branch to transfer it to a different vehicle that you won, or destroy it by selling it to a junkyard or scrap yard
- Provide the car’s buyer with the car’s title and any lien release information, if applicable
Within 30 days of completing this process, you need to request a registration credit. You can find out more information by visiting the AZ MVD site.
Be advised that you are required by law to provide the car’s buyer with information regarding the car, such as the car’s history and odometer reading. You will also need to provide details of how the car sustained its damages and of course, that the car is a salvage vehicle.
You can accept a full or partial settlement for your salvage car in Arizona. Depending on your auto insurance company’s policies and the settlement itself, you can let your auto insurance company retain ownership of the salvage car as part of a total loss settlement. If you accept a total loss settlement, this means you accept the full settlement option. In this instance, you are required to provide your auto insurance company with proof of lien satisfaction, if applicable.
Another option you have is to keep the vehicle, which means you accept a partial settlement. If you choose to keep the vehicle, you can sell it or rebuild the vehicle. If you’re selling the vehicle, Arizona law requires you to inform the buyer that the car is a salvage. You can also sell it to a salvage yard or junkyard. If you’re going to rebuild the car, you must apply for an Arizona Restored Salvage Certificate of Title.
It is illegal to operate salvage vehicles in Arizona because they are deemed unroadworthy. Since these cars are not safe to drive, you can’t register them or obtain auto insurance. If you’re interested in keeping your salvage car, you’ll have to rebuild the car to meet Arizona’s safety standards and have an inspection performed.
Yes! However, if you’re selling a salvaged car without its Arizona car title, you need to make sure you inform the car’s buyer that the car is a salvage and you don’t have the title.
The car’s title is an important document because it is proof through the AZ MVD that you are the legal owner of the car and have the right to sell the vehicle. Without the car’s title, you may be able to use the car’s registration card as proof of ownership documentation.
Also, if you’ve lost the car’s title, you can apply for an Arizona duplicate car title by completing an Arizona Title and Registration Application (Form 96-0236). On the form, make sure you check the “title only” and “duplicate” options, so the AZ MVD knows that you are requesting a duplicate car title. You will also be required to provide an accurate odometer reading.
Yes. You can sell your salvaged vehicle without the car’s registration in Arizona. Like the car’s title, the registration card is a document that can be used as proof of legal ownership of the vehicle. Since you don’t have the car’s registration card, you can use the car’s title as proof of ownership.
If your vehicle qualifies as a salvage, you need to apply for an AZ salvage certificate with the Arizona MVD. First, you must contact the MVD and confirm which documents are required to obtain the salvage title.
Once you complete this step, you must complete a Title and Registration Application (Form 96-0236) and take it to your local AZ MVD branch. If your auto insurance company is keeping your car as part of your settlement, they will be liable for obtaining the title and registration application. You are required to assign the original car title over to the auto insurance company.
Your restored salvage car must pass an Arizona Level 3 vehicle inspection before you can title it and register it with the AZ MVD. You can schedule your rebuilt salvage vehicle inspection through your local AZ MVD.
A Level 3 vehicle inspection is an essential, intense inspection that is required for salvage vehicle vehicles. The certified inspection officer will check that all equipment used to repair the car is in good condition, in working order, and meets Arizona’s road requirements.
Before going to your vehicle inspection appointment, you need to make sure you have the following documents:
- The car’s title to prove ownership of the vehicle
- Receipts, invoices, and bills of sale for all components used to rebuild the vehicle. (information regarding the parts must include a description of the vehicle(s) from which the parts originated, including the vehicle identification number (VIN), model, make, and year).
- The seller’s name, signature, address, and either the seller’s address or driver’s license number (if purchased from a private party). If purchased from a company, you must have the tax identification number.
- The title number(s)
- A valid driver’s license (if you don’t have a valid driver’s license, the AZ MVD may accept a different form of identification. Click here for more details.
- Payment of $50 for the inspection fee
Contact the AZ MVD to determine if you are required to bring the car’s original title, if applicable, or have the car’s salvage title.
An Arizona Level 3 inspection is required for salvage vehicles to reduce auto theft by verifying the car’s essential components, such as the front-end and rear-end assemblies, the transmission, and the engine.
If you choose to keep your salvaged car and apply for a title and register it in Arizona, you must first rebuild the car to Arizona’s standards. You can rebuild the car on your own or hire a mechanic. Regardless of the route you take, the reconstructed car must pass an inspection before the AZ Department of Transportation will issue a rebuilt title and register the car.
Once you rebuilt the car, you need to apply for an Arizona Restored Salvage Certificate of Title and register your car in person at your local AZ MVD branch. You can take care of the car’s inspection, titling, and registration at the same time.
You need to make sure you have the following:
- A completed Arizona Title and Registration Application (Form 96-0236)
- The original salvaged title
- All required vehicle inspection documents
- The emissions compliance certificate (if applicable)
- Payment for all applicable fees
When you apply for an Arizona salvage car certificate or rebuilt car title, you will be required to pay all applicable fees. Make sure you are prepared to pay the following Arizona fees:
- Inspection: $50
- Title: $4
- Registration: $8
- Vehicle license tax (VLT): 60% of the vehicle manufacturer’s base retail price reduced by 16.25% for each 1 year that has passed since the car’s initial registration.
- Air-quality research fee: $1.50
A salvage title is for cars that have been in an accident or damaged after a natural event, such as a hurricane. Salvage cars have sustained extensive damage to the point the repairs exceed their value. An auto insurance company may deem flood vehicles and vehicles that have been in fires a total loss in the aftermath. Due to the car’s damages, they are deemed unsafe to operate, making them unroadworthy.
A rebuilt car title on the other hand is a salvage car that has been repaired/rebuilt to the state of Arizona’s safety standards, which means the car passed the salvage vehicle inspection and can once again be legally driven on roads and highways.
This is a common question that gets asked a lot because the two are often confused. A salvage title car is for cars that have been deemed unroadworthy because of multiple malfunctioning parts and extensive damage. However, a salvage car can be rebuilt to be functional again. A junk car, however, can’t be repaired, meaning the car has reached the end of its life, and will never be roadworthy again. We’ll also point out that a junk car can’t legally be operated on roads or highways.
There are tons of salvage yards to choose from in the state of Arizona. Although we won’t list all the salvage yards located across this state, we’ll list a handful of salvage yards that have excellent reviews to get you started.
Pull N Save Glendale
6841 W Northern Ave.
Glendale, AZ 85303
Monday – Friday (7:30 AM – 5:30 PM)
Saturday and Sunday (7:30 AM – 5:30 PM)
Frank’s Auto & Truck Salvage
3625 S. Meridian Rd.
Apache Junction, AZ 85120
Monday – Thursday (8 AM – 5 PM)
Friday (8 AM – 4 PM)
Saturday and Sunday (Closed)
Desert Valley Auto Parts
22213 N. 21st Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85027
Monday – Friday (7 AM – 4 PM)
Saturday (8 AM – 2 PM)
ABC Auto Wrecking Used Auto Parts
4302 E. Illinois St.
Tucson, AZ 85714
Monday – Friday (9 AM – 5 PM)
Saturday (9 AM – 2:30 PM)
You can’t obtain auto insurance for a salvage car in Arizona because, at this point, the car is not roadworthy. To obtain auto insurance, you must rebuild the car to Arizona’s safety standards and have the car inspected. After completing these steps, you can proceed with getting the car insured and completing any other paperwork that is required.
Yes. You can salvage your car without the car’s title in Arizona. However, you will need to find a junkyard that will scrap your car or a scrap recycling company that will recycle your car without the car’s title. Allowing a car to be junked without the car’s title depends on the junkyard.
You may be able to use the car’s registration card as proof of ownership documentation. You can also apply for an Arizona duplicate car title by completing an Arizona Title and Registration Application (Form 96-0236) and checking the appropriate boxes to receive your duplicate car title.
Selling a car in Arizona can be frustrating and overwhelming at times. However, you are required to follow the necessary steps to ensure you don’t have any problems down the road. We’ve included a few more tips to help you sell your salvage car in Arizona.
Another awesome question! Yes. Cars with a rebuilt car title will always be worth less money than the same model vehicle that has a clean car title. A vehicle that has a clean car title has never been involved in an accident that is severe enough to be deemed a total loss by an auto insurance company. Even cars with a rebuilt title are repaired to the highest standard, which means they will always have an accident history, which brings down their cash value.
If you’re attempting to sell a car that has a rebuilt title, you will receive less money than you would if the car had a clean title. Be advised that potential buyers will have questions about the car’s condition. Being transparent about your salvage car’s condition is better for attracting the right buyer.
In most scenarios like these, the amount of money you receive for an untitled car will depend on how you sell it. If you’re selling your car in a private sale (to another individual), the process will likely be slow and you won’t make as much money as you may have hoped.
On the other hand, junk car buyers will pay a fixed rate for your car. However, the process of receiving your funds will be quicker than selling your car in a private sale. Parting out your car will often get you the most money for your car, but this is also a slow and long process.
When you sell your car as-is, you don’t make any steps to rebuild or repair the car to be operable again. Selling your car as-is often gives people to finally get the car sold. However, selling your salvage car using this method can delay the selling process.
Getting your salvage car sold will take time because of the salvage label that’s attached to the car. One of the best things you can do in this situation is to be upfront and honest about the car’s damage and other issues the car may be having. Don’t forget to include highlights about the good qualities of the car. It may seem weird that a salvage car has good qualities, but it’s true! Even though the car is a salvage, it’s not considered a junk car, which means there are still good qualities. Including good things about the car in the description could help you sell your car faster.
Listen up because this is important! You are required by Arizona state law to disclose ALL information regarding your salvage car. Information you need to include is making sure potential buyers understand that your car is a salvage.
It’s also a good idea to show any receipts you have that prove any work has been performed on the car if you’re selling a rebuilt salvage title car. You should also have the car’s title. If you don’t have the car title, you can use the car’s registration card to prove to buyers that you are the car’s legal owner and have the right to sell the car. Make sure you disclose the damage the car sustained. If you can provide a date(s) when the damage occurred, that will help earn potential buyers’ trust.
Be advised that there are lemon laws that protect buyers if they purchase a car that is not in operable order, or as described, which means big trouble for you as the car’s seller if you don’t disclose the above information. You can obtain a complete car history by getting a CARFAX report, which will help you sell your salvage car quickly.
If you decide to keep your salvage car and apply for a title and registration, you need to first rebuild the car to Arizona’s standards. Whether you make the repairs on your own or hire a mechanic/certified rebuilder, the car must pass an Arizona inspection before the AZ Department of Transportation (AZ DOT) will give you a rebuilt title and register the car.
Once you’ve rebuilt your salvage vehicle, you can apply for an Arizona Restored Salvage Certificate of Title and register the car in person at your local AZ MVD branch by providing the following:
- A completed Title and Registration Application (Form 96-0236)
- The original salvage car title
- Vehicle inspection documents (ALL forms must be included)
- The emissions compliance certificate (if applicable)
You can have your rebuilt salvage car inspected, titled, and registered at the same time!
Of course, you’re ready to get back on the road! It will take the AZ MVD at least 3 weeks and a maximum of 6 weeks to get you squared away with your rebuilt car title. Look at it this way, the quicker you get your car repaired and pass AZ’s safety inspection, the sooner you can apply for a rebuilt car title.
You must pay registration fees in Arizona. The following are fees you can expect to pay when you register your salvage rebuilt car in Arizona:
- $32 public safety fee
- $1.50 air quality research fee
- $4 title fee (one-time fee, only applicable to newly registered vehicles)
- $8 registration fee
- $5 for license plates
- $15 90-day registration fee
- $1 3-day permit
- Vehicle License Tax
All AZ residents who operate a motor vehicle must obtain auto insurance. Arizona’s auto insurance laws are similar to many other states. The AZ laws are as follows:
- Proof of an active auto insurance policy: All Arizona drivers must have an active auto insurance policy and keep proof of auto insurance documentation in their vehicle(s) at all times.
- Proof of financial responsibility: AZ drivers who do not want to purchase auto insurance can choose to prove financial responsibility with a $40,000 deposit, as long as they have a valid certificate from the AZ Office of Treasurer validating the deposit.
- Minimum auto insurance requirements: every driver in AZ is required to have at least 25/50/15 auto insurance coverage to align with the state’s minimum requirements, per the AZ DOT regulation(s). Operating a vehicle without the minimum required auto insurance coverage is illegal and has different consequences.
- Failure to produce proof of auto insurance: Failing to provide sufficient proof of an active AZ auto insurance policy or proof of financial responsibility by request of a law enforcement officer is considered a civil traffic violation.
You’re done! You now know the ins and outs of selling a salvage car in Arizona. Congratulations!