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We’re sure you’ve heard the saying that “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” Well, that goes for cars too. Salvage cars require a lot of repairs to be deemed safe and legal to drive. If you don’t have the time or money or simply don’t want to put in the effort to make your car official again, we get it. No judgment here. We’ll help you sell your salvage car in Colorado.

What is a Salvaged Car in Colorado?

The Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles (CO DMV) defines salvaged vehicles as cars with a cost of repair exceeding fair retail value once it’s been damaged due to the following:

  • Collision
  • Fire
  • Flood
  • Trespass
  • Accident
  • Other occurrences that EXCLUDE hail storms

Your auto insurance company will likely inform you of your vehicle’s worth after one of the above occurrences, and whether it has been deemed a total loss. You can contact your auto insurance company, or your local CO DMV branch for more information.

Getting Familiar With Your Car’s Actual Cash Value

What is a car’s actual cash value? The actual cash value (ACV) of your car is its pre-collision value that is calculated by your auto insurance company. This is the amount your auto insurance company pays if your car is stolen or totaled after your deduction is subtracted.

How is a Car’s Actual Cash Value Determined?

Insurance companies consider the following factors when determining the value of a car:

  • Age
  • Mileage
  • Past accidents
  • Unrepaired weather issues

The car’s ACV will likely be less than what you paid for the car, even if the car is only a few years old. The car’s fair market value, what your car would have been worth before it was damaged, may also be mentioned.

How Do You Sell a Salvage Car in Colorado?

Since you’re planning on selling your salvaged car, whether you’re selling it to an interested buyer or a junkyard, you must visit your local CO DMV and do the following:

  • Fill out an Application for Salvage Title or Nonrepairable Title (Form DR 2410) – a witness is also required to sign this form.
  • Pay all applicable county-specific fees (based on your car’s weight, year or manufacture, and original taxable value)

The office should issue your CO salvage title. Your next step will be to register your salvage vehicle.

Are There Salvaged Vehicle Restrictions in Colorado?

Like most states, salvaged vehicles can’t be legally operated in Colorado. However, salvaged cars can be repaired and inspected to ensure they meet Colorado’s safety standards and driven again. You will not be able to register a salvaged car in Colorado.

Can You Sell a Salvaged Car Without the Title in Colorado?

You can’t sell a salvage car without a title, because the car’s title proves ownership. The title is required to retitle and register the car in the new owner’s name. However, there are a few exceptions. If you purchased a vehicle from Canada, or a registration card was used as proof of ownership.

If you have misplaced the car’s title, you need to apply for a Colorado duplicate car title before you can sell the salvaged car. Also, as the car’s seller, in Colorado, you are NOT required to provide the buyer with a registration certificate.

Why is the Car’s Title an Essential Document?

The car’s title also referred to as a certificate of title, is an essential document. A car title is a legal document that provides proof of vehicle ownership. On the title, you will find the name(s) of the car owner(s) and the following information:

  • Year, make, and model of the vehicle (may include the body type of the vehicle)
  • Vehicle color
  • Odometer reading
  • The date on which the odometer reading was done
  • Owner or owners of the vehicle
  • Owner’s address
  • The date on which the title was issued

A car’s title can also include the following:

  • Title number
  • The vehicle’s weight
  • The number of cylinders in the engine
  • The engine number
  • The type of fuel used in the car
  • The license plate number

Some states will require information regarding flood damage or a “salvage” label will be included on the car’s title. The car’s title should have the signature of one or multiple state officials who are in charge of motor vehicles or revenue collection, such as the Division of Motor Vehicles or Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), Department of Transportation (DOT), Motor Vehicle Division (MVD), and similar motor vehicle departments.

Can You Sell a Salvaged Car Without the Car’s Registration in Colorado?

You can sell a salvaged car without the car’s registration certificate in Colorado. The car’s registration is a legal document, like the car’s title, that establishes ownership. In most scenarios, you can use the car’s registration card as proof of ownership if you don’t have the car’s title.

How to Get a Salvage Car Title in Colorado

To receive a salvage car title in Colorado, you need to apply for a salvage car title by completing a Salvage Certificate of Title Application (Form DR 2410). Apply in person at your local CO DMV branch and pay all applicable fees.

Colorado Rebuilt Safety Inspection Requirements

Once you obtain the car’s salvage title and rebuild the car, a safety inspection must be performed. This vehicle safety inspection checks to ensure the following:

  • The lights work
  • The tires and wheels are operating correctly
  • All mirrors are in place and function properly
  • The vehicle can keep up with the flow of traffic
  • The parts are permanently attached
  • The seats are attached properly
  • There is no torn or jagged metal

The current price for a vehicle safety inspection is $20. You must also have a police officer complete the verification of the vehicle identification number (VIN). The VIN verification process ensures your vehicle, as well as any parts used to construct your vehicle, are legal.

If your vehicle passes inspection, the car will receive a “rebuilt from salvage’ stamp, and you will be issued a rebuilt from salvage title, which allows the car to be registered and insured.

Why is a Vehicle Safety Inspection Performed?

The purpose of a Colorado vehicle safety inspection is to verify your ownership of the car and to determine if any of the parts used to rebuild the car are stolen. This procedure is also essential for ensuring that the vehicle is suitable for operating on state roads, known as being roadworthy.

What Documents Do You Need to Take to a Colorado Vehicle Safety Inspection?

You must submit all vehicle ownership documents. If you have them, you need to have the vehicle’s title and registration, and a state-issued credential, such as your ID or driver’s license. You will also need to bring the vehicle with you to the vehicle inspection, so make sure you plan to have your car towed to and from the inspection station.

Colorado Vehicle Safety Inspection Failures

The vehicle inspection station may fail your car if it has inoperable parts, is unsafe to inspect, or has fluid issues. Reasons your car may be deemed unsafe or inoperable are as follows:

  • Alignment issues that make it unsafe on the dynamometer
  • Dashboard warning lights of an equipment malfunction or low fluid levels
  • Inoperable driver door
  • Ineffective brakes
  • An overheating engine
  • Fluid leaks
  • Transmission issues that cause faulty shifting

Be advised that this is NOT a complete list of things that can cause you to fail a Colorado vehicle safety inspection. Each inspection station will determine independently whether a car is unfit to be inspected for any reason.

How Do You Register a Salvaged Car in Colorado?

You can’t register a salvaged car in Colorado. If you plan on driving your salvage car again, you must make the necessary repairs, pass the vehicle safety inspection, and then re-register and title the car.

Colorado Vehicle Registration Fees

The fees for titling and registering a salvage vehicle in Colorado are specific to each situation, and take into account various factors, such as your:

  • Residing county
  • License plate type
  • The vehicle:
    • Weight
    • Year of manufacture
    • Original taxable value

Be advised that there is a $50 fee for a Colorado VIN inspection. You can contact your local DMV branch if you have any questions or concerns regarding the fees you are required to pay.

How is a Colorado Salvage Title Different from a Colorado Rebuilt Car Title?

Cars with a Colorado salvage title can’t legally be driven on roads and highways. A salvage title is assigned to vehicles with severe damage that is at least 70% of the car’s value. A Colorado rebuilt car title allows a salvage cars that have been repaired to be legally operated on roads and highways. Also, cars that have a salvage rebuilt title can be titled and registered in Colorado.

How is a Colorado Salvage Title Different from a Colorado Junk Title?

Knowing the difference between a CO salvage title and a CO junk title can help you in the long run, especially if you’re trying to sell your car.

Cars that have a salvage title can be repaired or rebuilt and legally operated on roads and highways. However, the car must pass a vehicle safety inspection. Cars that have junk titles do not have this option. Any vehicle that has a junk title can NOT be repaired and can’t be registered or titled. You can only sell a junk car to licensed scrap yards or junkyards, NOT an individual.

Who Buys Salvage Cars Near Me in Colorado?

You have a lot of options when it comes to salvage yards in Colorado. Since you can’t legally operate a salvage car and have to have it towed, it’s best to find a salvage yard near you. We’ve listed a handful of salvage yards in Colorado to help you on your salvage journey.

Anderson’s Sales & Salvage Inc.
1490 E 8th St.
Greeley, CO 80631
(970) 352-7797
Monday – Wednesday and Friday (7 AM – 4 PM)
Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday (Closed)

Tom’s Auto Salvage
300 N Vision Ln.
Pueblo, CO 81001
(719) 248-2986
Monday – Friday (9 AM – 5 PM)
Saturday (9 AM – 5 PM)
Sunday (Closed)

Colorado Junk Cars
7470 Cherry St.
Commerce City, CO 80022
(720) 279-0229
Monday – Friday and Saturday (7 AM – 7 PM)
Sunday (Closed)

Jeff’s Towing and Auto Salvage
1821 W. Harvard Ave.
Englewood, CO 80110
(303) 936-0307
Monday – Friday and Saturday (7 AM – 7 PM)
Sunday (Closed)

Can You Insure a Salvage Title Car in Colorado?

You can’t insure a salvage title car because they are considered unroadworthy and unsafe to drive, and because of this, you will not be able to obtain auto insurance. You can, however, rebuild the car and pass the vehicle safety inspection to obtain a Colorado rebuilt car title.

Can I Salvage My Car Without a Title in Colorado?

In Colorado, you can’t sell a salvage car, or any car without the car’s title. If you lost the car’s title, you can apply for a Colorado duplicate car title by filling out and submitting a Salvage Certification of Title Application (Form DR 2410).

Will a Rebuilt Title Affect My Car’s Value?

Yes. A rebuilt car title indicates your car sustained extensive damage and was repaired. Because of the damages, even though you rebuilt your car, will still be worth less than cars that have not sustained significant damages.

How Can I Get the Most Money for My Salvage Car in Colorado?

Everyone wants to get the most for their money. There are different ways you can maximize the funds from selling your salvage car. However, some methods require more time, money, and effort than others.

Selling Your Salvage Car in a Private Sale

Selling your salvage car in a private sale, which means you’re selling your car to another individual, can be a long and drawn-out process. However, this option may be for you if you’re not interested in a quick sale. Selling your car in a private sale is a great way to find your ideal buyer. Maybe your car has sentimental value, and you want to make sure the car goes to someone who shares the same love of cars.

Selling Your Salvage Car to a Salvage Yard or Junkyard

Another option is to sell your salvage car to a scrap yard or junkyard. Make sure you have the car’s title before going to the salvage yard or junkyard. You will also need to have your car towed to the junkyard. Some junkyards provide a towing service free of charge. This is a great option if you want to sell your salvage car quickly and receive your funds. Junkyards pay a fixed rate for your car and you don’t have to hassle with too much paper.

Selling Your Salvage Car for Parts

Selling your salvage car for its parts is known as “parting out” your car. This is a process where you sell the parts of the car that are valuable. Parting out your car is a way to get the most money for your car, but it can be a long process. You must assess the car’s parts and determine which parts are valuable. A mechanic can help you with this process.

Selling Your Salvage Car As-Is

If you want to get rid of your salvage car as quickly as possible, you may want to consider selling your car as-is. When you sell your car as-is, you don’t have to worry about repairing your car or the car passing the Colorado vehicle safety inspection. These responsibilities will be on the new car owner. Once you sign the car over, the car will no longer be your problem.

The Woes of Selling a Salvage Car

One factor a lot of people who are selling a salvage car forget to consider is the time it can take to sell the car. Since the car has a salvage title, a lot of buyers will be hesitant to give the car a second look because of the repairs they will need to make, inspections, fees, and other factors that must take place before the car will be legal to drive. It’s likely your ideal salvage car buyer will be someone who is looking for a DIY project.

The Importance of Disclosing Information

You are required by Colorado law to disclose that your car is a salvage and any damages the car has. When you’re writing the car’s description, regardless of the platform you’re using to sell your car, make sure you disclose that your car is a salvage, that you have the title, and other information that applies to selling your car, such as you parting out the car, selling it as is, or you’re selling a car that has a rebuilt salvage title.

Being upfront about your car’s current condition is essential for avoiding penalties and fees. You can also disclose the functions that work on the car. If you’ve had the car inspected by a mechanic, you can include the repairs that need to be made in the selling description. You need to establish trust with the buyer and also provide peace of mind.

If you have made repairs to the car, make sure you have receipts for any work done and information on the parts used to reconstruct the car. Having this information documented and ready to present can help you sell your salvage car quickly.

How Do You Apply for a Rebuilt Car Title in Colorado?

A Colorado rebuilt car title certifies that a previously totaled (salvage) car, determined by an auto insurance company, has been restored to roadworthy condition. If you don’t currently have a salvage title for the car, you will need to apply for one. Applications for rebuilt car titles are filed with the Colorado motor vehicle office. Once you make the necessary repairs to the car and pass the CO vehicle safety inspection, you will be eligible to apply for a CO rebuilt car title.

To apply for a Colorado rebuilt car title, you need to bring the following to your county’s DMV branch:

  • The car’s salvage title with a Rebuilt from Salvage Disclosure Form that is completed and signed
  • Secure and verifiable identification (SVID)
  • Salvage Title Statement of Fact (Form DR-2424)
  • Certified VIN Inspection (Form DR-2704) – provided by a Certified VIN Inspector
  • Secure Motor Vehicle Bill of Sale (Form DR-2173) – provided through a state-approved vendor
  • Form DR-2173 (this form must be purchased via a dealership’s association
  • Receipts for all major components

The Certified VIN inspector will complete the DR-2704 and DR-2424 forms. You may be asked to provide invoices and receipts for the parts and services used to make your car operable. Your VIN inspection fee must be paid by check or cash.

How Long Does it Take to Receive a Rebuilt Title in Colorado?

You should allow 2-6 weeks after submitting your Colorado rebuilt car title application to receive the official title in the mail. Be advised that the title will be sent to the address you provided on the application. Same-day service may be available but check with the CO DMV branch to check if this is an option.

You just learned the different ways to sell your salvage car in Colorado.