How to Sell a Salvage Car in Connecticut is an independent publisher. You will find affiliate links which means we may earn a commission if you purchase through these links. It doesn't cost you anything & it helps us keep the site running.

The time has come for you to sell your salvage car. We created a simple and easy guide to help you sell your salvage car in Connecticut. Let’s get started because time is money!

Table of Contents

What is a Salvaged Car in Connecticut?

Each state has its definition of a salvaged car. In Connecticut, a salvaged car is a car that an auto insurance company has deemed a total loss, or salvage. The term “salvage” is stamped on the car’s title, making it illegal to operate on roads and highways.

The registration on a salvage car will be canceled, and the auto insurance company will send the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles (CT DMV) a copy of the salvage title. You will need to remove the license plate(s) from the vehicle. However, you can transfer the salvage car’s registration and license plate(s) to another vehicle you own.

Understanding Your Car’s Actual Cash Value

Although your car has been deemed a salvage, it still has value. Your car’s actual cash value (ACV) is the equivalent of the replacement cost of the car minus its depreciation. Even though the ACV reflects the accounting value of a car, it does not, however, necessarily reflect the economic value of the item. This means the car can be more or less value than its actual cash value when you sell it.

How is a Car’s Actual Cash Value Determined?

Understanding your car’s ACV can be frustrating, so we’ll break down the numbers for you. Let’s say the purchase price of a car is $250,000, the life expectancy of the car is 10 years, and the current life of the car is 3 years.

Determining your car’s ACV involves these 4 steps:

  • Determine the purchase price of your car

The purchase price of the car in this example is $250,000.

  • Estimate the expected life of your car

The expected life of your car is the number of years the vehicle is expected to have value. In this example, the car’s expected life is 10 years.

  • Calculate the current life of your car

The current life of your car is the number of years the car has been used since it was purchased. For this example, the current life of the car is 3 years.

  • Calculate the actual cash value of your car

The last step in this process is to calculate the actual cash value of the car using the following formula:

ACV = purchase price x (expected life – current life) ÷ expected life

Using our example, the ACV of the car is $250,000 x (10-3) ÷ 10 = $175,000

Actual Cash Value vs Replacement Cost

The ACV is essential when you’re buying any kind of auto insurance. As an auto insurance policyholder, you would likely prefer to be paid the replacement cost of the car instead of its actual cash value.

For example, if your vehicle was destroyed in an accident, being paid the replacement cost allows you to purchase a new car of the same type. However, the ACV would probably not be enough for you to purchase a car of the same type because it takes depreciation into account.

Make sure you read the terms of an auto insurance policy before signing it. If the auto insurance company tells you they will only pay for the ACV, make sure this is a risk you can accept.

How Do You Sell a Salvage Car in Connecticut?

Selling a salvage car in Connecticut is similar to selling any other vehicle. However, you can’t transfer ownership of a salvage car using a CT DMV duplicate title form. You will have to obtain a duplicate title marked “Salvage” and sign this title over to the buyer.

You need to make sure you have the car’s title. If you have lost the title, no worries. You can apply for a replacement CT car title by completing a duplicate vehicle title and submitting it to your local CT DMV branch.

Transferring a Salvage Car Title in Connecticut

If you don’t want to wait for your duplicate CT car title to be processed, you can hand the buyer a completed Application for Replacement Certificate of Title and Ownership Transfer in Absence of Title (Form H-6B). However, the car’s buyer must live in Connecticut. If the car’s buyer lives outside of Connecticut, you need to apply for a duplicate CT car title. Make sure you remove the license plate(s) from your vehicle before giving it to the buyer. You must return the plates to the CT DMV along with the car’s registration certificate.

Failure to cancel your plates will be assessed as property tax on the vehicle. However, don’t cancel the auto insurance until after you cancel the registration. As the seller of the car, you are responsible for providing the buyer with the following:

  • The vehicle’s title (make sure you fill in the reverse side along with your signature)
  • A bill of sale (Form H-31)


            A bill of sale that includes the following:

  • Your name and address
  • The seller’s name and address
  • The vehicle’s make, model, year, color, and vehicle identification number (VIN)
  • The vehicle’s purchase price and date
  • Your signature

It’s important to keep copies of the bill of sale and assigned title. You will also be required to remove the license plate(s) from the car or apply to transfer the plates to a different car you own. You can also return the plates and the registration certificate to the CT DMV with a request for them to be canceled. After you cancel the registration, you can cancel the insurance on the vehicle.

Why is a Bill of Sale Needed?

The purpose of a bill of sale is for record-keeping when you’re selling your vehicle privately. You can create a bill of sale of your own as long as it includes the following information:

  • Vehicle information (make, model, year, vehicle identification number (VIN), and current odometer reading)
  • Buyer information (name, address, and signature)
  • Seller information (name, address, and signature)
  • Selling price and date sold

Are There Salvaged Vehicle Restrictions in Connecticut?

When your auto insurance company declares your vehicle a total loss, you can’t operate the vehicle on ANY road, and the CT DMV will cancel your car’s registration. Your auto insurance company will send the car’s title stamped “Salvage” to the CT DMV. You are required to remove the car’s license plate(s). You are allowed to transfer the registration and license plate(s) to a different car you own.

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

No. You can’t sell a salvaged car without the car’s title in Connecticut. You are required to have the car’s title to sell the vehicle to another individual or a junkyard.

Why is the Car’s Title Important?

The car’s title also referred to as a certificate of title, is an essential, 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 Connecticut?

The car’s registration, like the car’s title, is a legal document that proves ownership of the vehicle. In most situations, the car’s registration card is not required to sell a salvage vehicle. However, you are required to have the car’s title to sell a vehicle in Connecticut.

How to Get a Connecticut Salvage Car Title

Although you are NOT required to complete an application process for a CT salvage car title, you must submit a formal request to the CT DMV to title and register a rebuilt motor vehicle. If you keep your motor vehicle once it has been branded salvage, and you repair it, you are eligible to apply for a Connecticut rebuilt car title.

Connecticut Salvage Car Inspections and Emissions Testing

Before you can retitle and register your salvage vehicle, it must pass an inspection and emissions test. The Connecticut salvage car inspection is the most essential part of getting your salvage car back on the road. Once the necessary repairs are made to your salvage vehicle, you must do the following:

  • Purchase and complete an inspection form ($88) – You can request an inspection form online by clicking here. This form must be validated (with the payment) before you can have your car inspected.
  • Payment for the $10 administration fee when you register your vehicle if your car has never been registered in CT or it is at least 10 years old.
  • Have all receipts, invoices, and/or bills of sale for the major components used to repair the car. All documents must show the following:
    • Vehicle identification numbers (VIN) for the original vehicle(s) from which the parts came
    • Original owner’s name and address
  • Obtain an original copy of the auto insurance appraisal
  • Complete a Salvage Vehicle Repair Report (Form K-186)
  • Attach the required photos listed on the Salvage Inspection Information Sheets (Form B-256) – You may be required to have the person who repaired your vehicle complete this form, if you are not the individual who made the repairs. You can contact your Connecticut inspection station for more information.
  • Have a franchise dealer/repairer or a certified airbag technician complete the Inflatable Restraint System Air Bag Certification Statement (Form B-303). This form is required for all salvaged vehicles, whether or not the airbag system was deployed.

Getting Your Vehicle Inspected

Now you’re ready to have your car inspected. Be advised that you are required to bring the above-listed documents and fees to the inspection. You are also required to have your vehicle taken to the inspection on a flatbed trailer or car carrier.

You can’t drive or tow your vehicle to the inspection site unless you are a dealer/repairer employee AND the vehicle has dealer repair plates AND the dealer owns the vehicle.

The following office conducts inspections:

Wethersfield: Monday – Friday (8 AM – 12 PM)

You must have your salvage vehicle in line no later than 11 AM.

Connecticut Emissions Test

Your vehicle must also pass an emissions test at an approved emissions testing center unless it is an exempt vehicle. Emissions tests in Connecticut are administered through a network of privately owned automotive service facilities that are located throughout CT. Each facility has an exterior sign with its official test center number and will provide designated emissions testing parking and a waiting area where you can view the test and review program information.

All CT emissions test centers are open Monday – Friday from 8 AM to 5 PM, and Saturday from 8 AM to 1 PM. You can schedule an appointment for a test or have your car taken to a test center. Be advised that not all emissions test centers offer advance appointment scheduling. Some emissions testing centers may offer extended hours at their discretion, so make sure you can the specific testing center you plan on using for more information.

There is a $20 fee for the emissions test. All testing centers accept cash as a form of payment. However, some testing centers may also accept credit cards and checks. Contact your testing center to ensure you have the correct payment form before your scheduled emissions test.

If you need help finding a CT emissions center, or you have questions or concerns about emissions tests, you can contact the emissions hotline at 1-877- 4myctvip (877-469-2884). This hotline is available Monday – Saturday from 8 AM to 6 PM.

There are two types of participating centers, which include:

  • Full-service: these test centers can perform all eligible vehicles regardless of fuel type or model year.
  • OBD Plus: these test centers can perform all emissions testing requirements except for those for diesel-powered vehicles from the model year 1996 or older.

What Are the Major Components of a Vehicle?

In Connecticut, a car’s major components include the following:

  • Cowls
  • Transmission
  • Frames
  • Engines
  • Doors
  • Trunk lids
  • Front and rear fenders
  • Quarter panels

Why Are Car Inspections and Emissions Tests Performed?

Connecticut car inspections are performed to ensure your car was not repaired with stolen parts and that the vehicle itself is not stolen. Emissions tests are performed to ensure your car is roadworthy after the necessary repairs were made.

Connecticut Vehicle Safety Inspection Failures

If your vehicle fails inspection, you are required to have your vehicle repaired and retested within 60 days of the initial test. You receive 1 retest free of charge. Although you can make your car’s necessary repairs, the CT DMV recommends you have a Certified Emissions Repair facility repair your car.

Emissions Inspection Extensions

If you are not able to have your vehicle tested by 30 days after the due date, you may be eligible for an extension. You may qualify for an extension if one or more of the following applies:

  • Your vehicle is out of state (you can still have your vehicle tested if you’re located in a compliant state. Click here to view the qualifying states.)
  • You’re attending an out-of-state school
  • You’re military personnel and on active duty out-of-state
  • Your vehicle is under repair due to an accident

How Do You Register a Salvaged Car in Connecticut?

It’s not possible to register a salvaged car in Connecticut. If you plan on driving your salvage car again, you must make the necessary repairs, pass the vehicle safety inspection, and re-register and title the car.

Connecticut Vehicle Registration Fees

The vehicle registration fees in CT vary depending on the type of vehicle you own. Standard CT vehicle restriction fees include the following:

  • Passenger vehicle: $120 for 3 years
  • Commercial vehicle: $47 for 1 year (prices vary depending on the weight of the vehicle)
  • Electric vehicles: $120 for 3 years

You may also be required to pay additional fees, such as the following:

  • Federal Clean Air Act fee: $15
  • Passport to the Parks fee: $15 per year
  • Greenhouse Gas Reduction fee: $15 (one-time fee if you’re registering a vehicle with a Certificate of Origin)
  • Late fee: $10
  • Contractor or municipality per transaction processing fee: Up to $8
  • New residents of CT will be required to pay the following:
    • Emissions test fee: $20
    • VIN inspection fee: $10 (vehicles that are exempt from emissions tests)

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

A salvage title car has sustained extreme damage and must be repaired before it can be deemed roadworthy again. If you plan on driving a salvage car again, you must make the required repairs and have the car inspected by a certified inspector, and pass an emissions test. Cars with a rebuilt car title have been repaired and passed the inspection and emissions test, which means they are roadworthy once again.

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

If your car has a CT salvage title, it still has life left and can be driven after the necessary repairs are made and your car passes an inspection and emissions test. If your car has a CT junk title, the only thing you can do with this car is to sell it to a junkyard because cars with junk titles can’t be driven again. Before you ask, making repairs to a junk title car won’t matter because once a car is given a junk title, it can’t be changed, which means your car will always have a junk title.

Who Buys Salvage Cars Near Me in Connecticut?

Knowing the location of different salvage yards in Connecticut will help you on your journey to selling your car. We’ve listed a handful of reputable salvage yards located throughout the state of Connecticut to help get you started.

East Cost Auto Salvage, Inc.
733 Killingworth Rd.
Higganum, CT 06441
(860) 345-4591
Monday – Friday (8 AM – 5 PM)
Saturday and Sunday (Closed)

A&B Auto Salvage and Scrap Metal
54 Wrobel Pl.
East Hartford, CT 06108
(860) 528-2124
Monday – Friday (8 AM – 4 PM)
Saturday (8 AM – Midnight)
Sunday (Closed)

Ding’s Auto Sales and Salvage
99 Little Pitch Rd.
Litchfield, CT 06759
(860) 567-5539
Monday – Friday (8 AM – 5 PM)
Saturday and Sunday (Closed)

Nichols Auto Parts, Inc.
46 Meadow Rd.
Clinton, CT 06413
(860) 669-2808
Monday – Friday (7: 30 AM – 5 PM)
Saturday (7:30 AM – 12 PM)
Sunday (Closed)

When Can I Get Auto Insurance for My Salvage Car in Connecticut?

Unfortunately, obtaining an auto insurance policy for a salvage car isn’t possible in Connecticut. Like most instances with salvage cars, the car must be roadworthy before you can purchase auto insurance. If you want to keep your salvage car and drive it, you’ll have to get it repaired and it must pass an inspection and emissions test. After you’ve completed these steps, you can apply for a rebuilt car title and insure your car.

Can I Salvage My Car Without a Title in Connecticut?

No. Connecticut is one state that requires you to have the car’s title to sell it. If you no longer have the car’s title, you can fill out and submit a Request for a Duplicate Certificate of Title Application (Form H-6B).

Will a Rebuilt Connecticut Title Affect My Car’s Value?

Yes. A rebuilt car title indicates your car has 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. However, there is light at the end of the tunnel. With a rebuilt car title, your car is roadworthy and can be driven again.

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

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to get the most for your money. We all do! To maximize the amount of money you receive from selling your salvage car in Connecticut, there are different methods you can use.

Selling Your Salvage Car in a Private Sale

A private sale occurs when you are selling your car to another individual and not a company, such as a dealership. If you don’t mind playing the waiting game and are not in a rush to sell your car, this selling method may be your ideal situation. If you’re willing to take your time to find the best price a buyer is willing to pay, you may want to consider selling your car in a private sale.

Selling Your Salvage Car to a Salvage Yard or Junkyard

Selling your car to a salvage yard or junkyard is another available option. If you want to get rid of your salvage car as quickly as possible, selling your car to a salvage yard or junkyard is your best bet. Unlike selling your car in a private sale, you’re selling your car to a company, and salvage yards and junkyards pay cash the same day. Some junkyards will tow your car free of charge. You also don’t have to worry about the stress of filling out a lot of paperwork and submitting it to the CT DMV.

Selling Your Salvage Car for Parts

Parting out a car (selling a car for parts) is an attractive option for getting the most for your money. When you part out your car, a mechanic can help you pick which of your car’s parts are the most valuable. However, this process can be long and drawn out because it’s specific. You have to wait for someone to need the car parts you’re selling, which can be the only downside to this selling option.

Selling Your Salvage Car As-Is

Selling a salvage car as-is is another way to sell your car quickly. You don’t have to worry about multiple CT DMV visits and paying expensive repair costs. You also don’t have to worry about passing a vehicle inspection, an emissions test, or applying for a rebuilt car title. All of these responsibilities will be the new car owner’s, which is a big weight lifted from your shoulders.

The Woes of Selling a Salvage Car

Everything isn’t rainbows and sunshine, not all of the time at least. One thing about selling a salvage car, even with a rebuilt car title, a lot of buyers are weary of purchasing a car that was previously damaged. For this reason, try to advertise your salvage car to mechanics and DIY masters who are looking for a side project.

The Importance of Disclosing Information

As the car’s seller, you are required by Connecticut law to disclose all information about your salvage car. You must tell the buyer that your car is a salvage and the damage it sustained. Being transparent in this situation will help you gain the trust of potential car buyers, thus helping you sell your car quickly. Don’t forget that you must have the car’s title to sell the car.

Being upfront about your car’s current condition is essential for avoiding unnecessary 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.

If you’ve made repairs to the car, great! Make sure the buyer knows you’ve made the necessary repairs and have the receipts as proof of the repairs. Having this information documented and ready to present helps you sell your salvage car quickly without too many hassles and frustration.

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

If you decide to keep your car once it’s been branded as a salvage, and you made the necessary repairs, you can apply for a rebuilt car title once the car passes an inspection and emissions test.

To apply for a Connecticut rebuilt title, you need to do the following:

  • Take the vehicle to the Wethersfield or Hamden, CT branch with a car carrier or flatbed trailer
  • Apply for a vehicle inspection in person by completing the following steps:
    • Fill out the Salvage Vehicle Repair Report (Form K-186) and attach different photos of the vehicle once it’s been rebuilt
    • Submit the required documents and payments for the parts that were used to repair your vehicle
    • Provide your original auto insurance declaration of damage that is required to brand a car a “Salvage”
    • Pay all applicable vehicle inspection fees
  • Submit a request for a new Connecticut car title and car registration with the CT DMV
    • Meet the applicable title and registration requirements (you must submit proof of identity, and ownership of the vehicle, and fill out the car title and registration application)
    • Pay the CT titling and registration fees (you can use your old vehicle plates or apply for new ones)

After you apply for your Connecticut rebuilt/restored salvage title, you will receive a title certificate that will be branded “rebuilt.” Once you pay the registration costs, you can drive your vehicle again. Congratulations!

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

Once you submit the rebuilt title application, you should receive the title in the mail within 90 days. This may seem like a long time, but the CT DMV needs to review and verify the information provided on the application, plus put the new information regarding your car in the DMV system.

You’re a rockstar! You just learned the different ways to sell your salvage car in Connecticut.