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Selling a salvage car in Pennsylvania probably isn’t the highlight of your day, but someone has to do it! In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about selling a salvage car. It may be easier than you think.

What is a Salvaged Car in Pennsylvania?

In the state of Pennsylvania, a salvaged car is damaged to the point that the repairs cost more than the car is worth before the damage occurred, also known as the car’s fair market value. Your auto insurance company determines whether your car is a salvage, which is commonly referred to as a total loss or junked vehicle.

How Do You Sell a Salvage Car in Pennsylvania?

Selling your car to a salvage yard in Pennsylvania will be painless if you follow these steps.

Determine if Your Car is a “Total”

As we previously discussed, your auto insurance company will determine if your car is a “total loss”. If you have NOT received confirmation from your auto insurance company, your car is not considered a salvage. If you have a letter from your auto insurance company stating that your car is a “loss”, you can continue to the next step.

Obtain a Pennsylvania Salvage Certificate

To obtain a PA salvage certificate, you need to complete an Application for Nonrepairable or Salvage Certificate (Form MV-6). You can download this form and take it to your local Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PA DOT) branch. The DOT will issue you a salvage certificate, and this will be your car’s title instead of its old title.

Keep in mind that your salvage car will always be considered a salvage, even if you choose to rebuild the car. Any warranties that were valid on the vehicle before the accident will NO LONGER apply.

Repairing and Retitling the Car

You can also repair and retitle the car. Once you have the car’s salvage title, if you want to repair the car, this would be the time to do it. You can make the necessary repairs or hire a mechanic. As you probably realized, a repaired salvage car is worth more than an unrepaired salvage car.

Selling the Car

When you are selling a salvage car, you need to disclose ALL information about the car. It is ILLEGAL to not disclose essential information about the car. You can sell the car to a dealership or an individual as long as you disclose the condition of the car and the car’s salvage history.

What is a Total Loss Settlement?

When your car is severely damaged, the first step you need to take is to file a total loss claim with your auto insurance company. If and when your auto insurance company determines your car is a total loss, you can accept a full settlement or a partial settlement.

In a full settlement, your auto insurance company pays you in full for damages, less any deductibles or financial reductions per the company’s policies and your auto insurance plan. You will sign over the car’s title to your auto insurance company (after you satisfy any liens) and the vehicle will be your auto provider’s responsibility.

In a partial settlement, you will retain ownership of the vehicle and can decide whether you would like to apply for a salvage title, repair the vehicle, have it inspected, and obtain a reconstructed title, so you can legally drive the car.

You also have the option to sell the salvage car to a junkyard, recycler, or another business that dismantles totaled cars. Your auto provider pays you for partial damages and will give you a buy-back/retention letter as proof. Be advised that you will need the buy-back/retention letter if you choose to apply for a reconstructed title, so make sure you don’t lose it!

It’s important that you take the time to speak with your auto insurance provider about the implications of accepting a full settlement and a partial settlement as each has its benefits and setbacks. However, your circumstances will ultimately determine which choice is best for you.

Also, if you have a lien on your total loss vehicle, you may be required to pay the difference between the car’s fair market value and the amount you still owe on the car. The only type of insurance that covers the difference for your Guaranteed Asset Protection (GAP) coverage. You can speak to your auto insurance provider regarding GAP coverage to see if it’s right for you.

How is a Salvage Title Different from a Junk Title?

Salvage and junk titles are different and they are often confused with each other. A salvage title means a car has sustained extensive damage. However, the car can be repaired and rebuilt. A junk title, on the other hand, means a car has reached the end of its life so to speak. Junk cars can NOT be repaired, rebuilt, or legally operated. The only worth a junk car has is the value of its parts when the car is junked or scrapped.

Who Buys Salvage Cars Near Me?

There are different salvage yards in PA. Although we can’t list every salvage yard in Pennsylvania, we are going to list some of the salvage yards we found that have excellent reviews.

S&S Auto Salvage, LLC
1999 Frankstown Rd
Johnstown, PA 15902
(814) 536-2249
Monday – Friday (8:30 AM – 5 PM)
Saturday and Sunday (Closed)

Hostetter’s Salvage Yard
12475 Locust Ln
Shippensburg, PA 17257
(717) 532-8061
Monday – Friday (8 AM – 4:30 PM)
Saturday (8 AM – 11:30 AM)
Sunday (Closed)

Lebarron’s Auto Salvage Inc.
305 Zeigler Rd.
Dover, PA 17315
(717) 292-3159
Monday – Friday (8 AM – 5 PM)
Saturday (8 AM – 12 PM)
Sunday (Closed)

Wintermyer Auto Salvage
2790 Lewisberry Rd.
York Haven, PA 17370
(717) 938-2721
Tuesday – Friday (8 AM – 4:30 PM)
Saturday (8 AM – 2 PM)
Sunday and Monday (Closed)

Can You Insure a Salvage Title Car in Pennsylvania?

You can’t insure a car that has a salvage title. However, you can insure a car that once had a salvage title but has been rebuilt to Pennsylvania’s safety standards to be legally operational.

First, the salvage title car needs to be rebuilt and pass PA’s safety inspection. Next, you will need to re-register and re-title the car. After completing these steps, you can obtain auto insurance and legally operate the car on roads and highways.

Can I Salvage My Car Without a Title in Pennsylvania?

Yes. You can salvage your car without a title in Pennsylvania. Since you don’t have the car’s title, it may be best to sell your car to a scrap yard.

Depending on the car’s condition, you will be provided with an offer that can range from several hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars. You will receive your payment the same day the scrap yard picks up the car.

If you want to make more money from selling your salvage car, you can sell it as-is for parts. You can take your car to a mechanic, and they can help you “part out” the car. Having a mechanic help you through this process can help you determine which car parts are salvageable for profit.

Another option you have is selling your car as-is. There are many online marketplaces you can use to sell your car, but it’s your responsibility to make sure all potential buyers understand you don’t have the car’s title. Be advised that many buyers will be hesitant to buy a car that doesn’t have a title, even if it’s a salvage because the car could be mechanically unsound and the buyer may not be able to obtain auto insurance.

As long as you can prove that you are the legal owner of the car, by providing the car’s registration for the vehicle and your driver’s license. Be advised that the following things do NOT count as proof of ownership:

  • A bill of sale
  • Proof of auto insurance
  • Cash and bribery (scrap yards are required to report every car they obtain and scrap)

How Do You Apply for a Reconstructed Car Title in Pennsylvania?

To apply for a PA reconstructed car title, you will need to provide the following:

  • A completed:
    • Application for Reconstructed, Specially Constructed, Collectible, Modified, Flood, Recovered Theft Vehicles and Street Rods (Form MV-426B). This form needs to be completed at your enhances safety inspection.
    • Application for Correction of Vehicle Record or Verification of Vehicle Identification Number (Form MV-41). ONLY required if your car needs a replacement VIN plate.
  • The car’s salvage title
    • If the salvage title is NOT in your name, you are required to include an Application for Certificate of Title (Form MV-1), which is ONLY available at PennDOT offices.
    • A bill of sale for the vehicle
  • Photographs of the car (from the enhanced safety inspector
  • The buy-back/retention letter from your auto insurance provider that states you retained ownership of the totaled car and accepted a partial settlement.

If your car needs a replacement VIN plate, you will need to make the following payments for all applicable fees, which can include:

  • PA reconstructed title: $55
  • Sales tax (if applicable): 6% of the purchase price
  • Registration and license plates: $85
  • County taxes: Varies

Once you complete the above-listed steps, you will have your Pennsylvania reconstructed title and you can get back on the road! If you have any questions or concerns, you can call PennDOT at (717) 412-5300.

How Do You Register a Salvage Title Car in Pennsylvania?

You can’t register a salvage title car in Pennsylvania. You will need to make the necessary repairs to the car and have the car inspected to ensure it meets PA’s safety standards. Once your car meets these safety standards, you can apply with PennDOT for a rebuilt car title.

That’s it! You now know how to sell a salvage car in Pennsylvania. Congratulations!