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Selling your salvage car won’t be the highlight of your life, but it may make your day to know you got the job done and don’t have to worry about it anymore. If you’re keeping your car and giving it a complete makeover by rebuilding it, we can help you do that too!

Table of Contents

What is a Salvaged Car in Utah?

The Utah Division of Motor Vehicles (UT DMV) defines a salvage car as a vehicle damaged by flood, collision, or other occurrences to the point that the cost of repairing the car for safe operation exceeds the car’s fair market value.

A salvage car in Utah can be a vehicle declared salvage by an auto insurance company or other state or jurisdiction but not precluded from further registration and titling under Utah Code Title 41, Chapter 1a, Part 10, Section 1001. Rebuilt or restored vehicles are also salvaged vehicles, but they have been repaired and restored to safe operation.

Utah vehicles that have been salvaged, rebuilt, or restored will be issued a different Utah car title and referred to as a “branded” car title. A salvage UT title will read “salvage”. If the car has been rebuilt, the car’s title will read “rebuilt” or “restored”.

If you plan on selling your car, you are required by Utah law to provide the buyer with a disclosure statement.

Understanding Your Car’s Actual Cash Value and How It’s Determined

Think your salvage car doesn’t have value? It does! Here’s where we get technical and throw a little math into this situation. It will help in the long run. We’re talking about the car’s actual cash value (ACV). The ACV is the equivalent of your car’s replacement cost minus its depreciation. Although the ACV reflects the car’s accounting value, it doesn’t necessarily reflect the economic value of the car, which means your car can be more or less of value than its ACV when you sell it.

How is My Car’s ACV Determined?

Now it’s time for a bit of math. You can use the following equation to calculate your car’s ACV.

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

Generally speaking, the life expectancy of a car is 11 years. The current life of your car is your car’s age. For example, if your car is a year model 2020, and the current year is 2023, the current life of your car would be 3 years.

What is the Difference Between the Actual Cash Value and the Replacement Cost

Your car’s actual cash value becomes an essential number when you’re getting a UT auto insurance policy. As the primary policyholder, you have a decision to make. If your vehicle is damaged in an accident, you have the option of being paid the replacement cost of the car or the car’s actual cash value.

Which option do you choose? Well, if you want to be able to replace your car with a new car of the same type, you’ll want to choose to be paid the replacement cost of the car. If you choose to be paid the car’s actual cash value, you won’t have enough funds to purchase a new car of the same type because depreciation is taken into account.

Before you rush to obtain auto insurance in Utah, you need to consider a few different factors. First, you need to read the fine print of the policy and understand the terms the auto insurance company would want you to agree to. If the auto insurance company says they ONLY pay the car’s ACV, make sure you’re okay with the terms before signing your name. Signing your name on the line means you agree to the terms of the auto insurance policy, and you might have difficulty changing it down the line.

How Do You Sell a Salvage Car in Utah?

To sell your salvage car in Utah, you must first remove the license plates. Failure to do so could leave you liable for parking or traffic violations that occur while your license plates are on the car. You must give the buyer the signed car title, current registration, and current safety and emissions certificates.

Next, you must report the vehicle as sold to the Utah DMV. You can do so online by using Utah’s Motor Vehicle Portal (MVP), by mail, or by fax. You must mail a written notification that includes the car’s year, make, plate, or vehicle identification number (VIN), and your signature. You can send your written notification to the following address:

Division of Motor Vehicles
P.O. Box 30412
Salt Lake City, UT 84130

You can also contact the UT DMV by phone at 1(800) DMV-UTAH.

Is a Bill of Sale Required to Sell a Salvage Car in Utah?

Yes. You must have a bill of sale to sell your salvage car in a private sale. A private car sale is between two individuals and not a company, such as a dealership, junkyard, or scrapyard. Having the required documentation helps you in the long run with selling your salvage car. Being prepared helps avoid delays and possible penalties and fees.

Why is a Bill of Sale Needed to Sell a Salvage Car in Utah?

The purpose of a UT bill of sale is for record-keeping when you’re selling your vehicle privately, which means you’re selling it to another individual. You can create a bill of sale of your own, but it must have 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 Utah

In Utah, salvage cars have strict rules because they are deemed unsafe. Since these cars are deemed unsafe, they can’t legally be operated on roads and highways. Cars that have a salvage title can be rebuilt or restored and possibly driven again. However, the car must pass Utah’s safety vehicle inspection. Salvage cars can’t be insured, but if they are rebuilt and pass inspection, you can obtain auto insurance because the car will have a salvage rebuilt car title.

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

Without the car’s title, you won’t be able to sell the salvage car. Regardless if the car has had the necessary repairs, without the title, the sale transaction can’t be completed. If you’ve misplaced your car’s original title, you can complete an Application for Utah Duplicate Title (Form TC-123). You must submit this form to your local UT DMV branch.

Why is the Car’s Title Important?

Your car’s title is an essential legal document proving vehicle ownership title includes different information, such as the following:

  • 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 “salvage” title can be removed if you repair the vehicle to Utah’s safety standards. At this time, you will be eligible to apply for a salvage UT rebuilt car 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. In Utah, you would be looking for signatures from the DMV.

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

The car’s registration is similar to the car’s title. Both the car’s title and registration card are legal documents that prove the legal ownership of a vehicle. However, in most scenarios, whether you’re selling your car privately or otherwise, you don’t need the car’s registration card to sell a car, salvage or not. Keep in mind that you must have the car’s title to sell it.

How to Get a Utah Salvage Car Title

To receive a UT salvage car title, you must surrender your car title to the UT DMV and apply for a salvage car title within 10 days of the total loss settlement if you have auto insurance or 10 days of the car sustaining damage if you self-insure your vehicle.

To apply for a UT salvage car title, you must visit your local UT DMV branch with the following:

  • A completed Vehicle Application for Utah Title (Form TC-656) – make sure you mark the appropriate brand, such as salvage or non-repairable.
  • The car’s current title
  • Payment for the $6 title fee

If you need help or have questions or concerns about getting your Utah salvage car title, call the UT DMV at (800) 368-8824.

Utah Salvage Rebuilt Car Inspections

After you rebuilt your salvaged car, it’s time to get your car inspected. A state-certified vehicle inspector must inspect your car. You can call the UT Highway Patrol at (801) 965-4889 for inspection station locations and specific safety inspection requirements.

Make sure you have the following when you go to your UT vehicle safety inspection:

  • All bills of sale, receipts, and/or invoices for the parts you used to repair the car (make sure you include the seller’s name and contact information as well as the make, model, year, and vehicle identification number (VIN) of the car from which the parts came).
  • A vehicle damage disclosure statement (you may have to get this form at the safety inspection station). This disclosure statement should include the following information:
    • Details about the vehicle’s damage
    • A description of all repairs and how they were made
    • A signature stating the vehicle description is correct

When your vehicle passes inspection, the certified inspection will give you all the necessary paperwork to prove you completed the UT safety inspection. Don’t lose this paperwork because you’ll need it to apply for your UT rebuilt car title. Be advised that your salvage vehicle may also need to pass a UT smog check.

What Major Vehicle Components Are Checked During a UT Vehicle Inspection?

During your UT vehicle inspection, your rebuilt salvage car’s major components will be checked. The following are the components that will be checked during a UT vehicle inspection:

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

Why Are Car Inspections Performed in Utah?

Utah car inspections are essential. Since salvage cars are deemed unroadworthy, Utah inspectors want to make sure that you and other drivers are safe on the road. Part of safety is ensuring your vehicle can safely be operated on roads and highways. Car inspections in Utah are designed to make sure your car was not repaired with stolen parts and that you are the legal owner of the vehicle.

Utah Vehicle Safety Inspection Failures

If your vehicle fails the UT vehicle safety inspection, don’t panic. Failing this vehicle inspection could mean that some or all of the parts of the vehicle are malfunctioning. In this scenario, you’ll need to have the necessary repairs made and have your car re-inspected. Treat this situation as a time-sensitive matter. Get your car repaired and re-inspected as soon as possible.

How Do You Register a Salvaged Car in Utah?

Salvaged cars can’t be registered in Utah. You can, however, repair your car, pass the vehicle inspection, and get a rebuilt salvage title. After you take these steps, you can register your salvaged car in the state of Utah.

Utah Vehicle Registration Fees

The Utah DMV charges age-based uniform fees and a 1% or 1.5% uniform fee.

Age-Based Uniform Fees

This fee is based on a vehicle’s age and applies to the following:

  • Passenger vehicles
  • Motorcycles
  • Off-highway vehicles (OHV), such as snowmobiles and all-terrain vehicles (ATVS).

1% or 1.5% Uniform Fee

This fee is based on a vehicle’s taxable value multiplied by either 1% or 1.5%. The 1.5% uniform fee applies to commercial trailers, heavy-duty, and medium-duty trucks. The 1% uniform fee applies to motor homes.

The UT DMV determines a vehicle’s taxable value by its percent good factor, calculated by the UT Tax Commission and based on a particular model’s depreciation rate. It may also include the original manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP).

The MSRP is then multiplied by the percent good factor that provides your car’s taxable value. Depending on the vehicle’s type, its taxable value is multiplied by either 1% or 1.5%.

Registration Renewal Fees by Vehicle

Passenger Vehicles

  • Less than 3 years old: $150
  • 3 to less than 6 years old: $110
  • 6 to less than 9 years old: $80
  • 9 to less than 12 years old: $50
  • At least 12 years old: $10

You can check the complete list of UT vehicle fees here.

What’s the Different Between a Utah Salvage Title and a Rebuilt Car Title?

That’s an excellent question! Cars with a Utah salvage title are not roadworthy at this time due to damages the car sustained because of an accident or other mishap that causes the car’s damages to exceed at least 75% of the car’s value. A Utah rebuilt car title is a car that was once a salvage but has been repaired and meets Utah’s safety standards, passed inspection, and has a rebuilt car title, allowing the car to be roadworthy and driven again.

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

The only factor salvage car titles and junk car titles have in common is the damage the cars sustained. Cars that have either a salvage or junk title have extensive damage that makes them unroadworthy, which means these cars are not safe to drive.

However, a salvage title car can be repaired and deemed roadworthy whereas a car with a junk title can NOT be repaired and can NOT have the title changed. The only thing you can do with a junk car is sell it to a junkyard. Selling a junk car is illegal. It is not unlawful to sell a car with a salvage title as long as you disclose the car’s current condition to potential buyers.

Who Buys Salvage Cars Near Me in Utah?

There are different salvage yards in Utah. You should choose a scrap yard that is local to you to avoid paying excessive towing fees. Since your car is a salvage, you can’t legally operate the vehicle on roads or highways, even if the car is functional, so your salvage car must be towed to the scrap yard. We’ve listed a few Utah scrap yards to help you get started.

Above All Salvage
2481 W. 580 N.
Cedar City, UT 84721
(435) 586-6523
Monday – Friday (9 AM – 5 PM)
Saturday (10 AM – 4 PM)
Sunday (Closed)

Country Auto Salvage
760 W. 1300th S.
Aurora, UT 84620
(435) 529-3211
Monday – Saturday (8 AM – 5 PM)
Sunday (open 24 hours)

Utah Auto Wrecking of Saint George
477 Industrial Rd.
Saint George, UT 84770
(435) 652-3862
Open 24 hours

How Long Do I Have to Wait to Get a Utah Auto Insurance for My Salvage Car?

Salvage cars can’t be registered because they are considered unroadworthy, and without being registered, you can’t obtain an auto insurance policy for the salvage car. To get an auto insurance policy for your car, you must rebuild/repair the car. The car must pass the Utah vehicle safety inspection, and you need to apply for a rebuilt car title. Once you’ve taken these steps, you can insure your car.

Can I Salvage My Car Without a Title in Utah?

Without the car’s title, you won’t be able to sell or salvage your car in Utah. The good news is you can apply for a duplicate car title by completing and submitting an Application for Utah Duplicate Title (Form TC-123).

How Does a Utah Rebuilt Salvage Title Affect My Car’s Value?

Having a rebuilt car title decreases your car’s value, but your car still has value. You may notice that cars of the same make and model have a higher value than your car. This is because these cars probably have a clean title. A clean title is the type of title cars that have not been in an accident have. Although you rebuilt your vehicle, the car is rebuilt from parts of other cars and previously had a salvage car title, which decreases your car’s value.

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

Getting the most money for your salvage car in Utah depends on the time, money, and effort you’re willing to put into selling your car.

Selling Your Salvage Car to Another Individual

When you’re selling your salvage car to another person, this is known as a private sale because it doesn’t involve a business, such as a dealership or a scrap yard. Selling your car in a private sale is a good option if you don’t mind taking your time to find your ideal buyer, which is a person who will value and appreciate your car. If you choose to use this selling method, it may take a while to find the right person.

Selling Your Salvage Car to a Salvage Yard or Junkyard

If you want to sell your salvage car to a salvage yard or junkyard, this is an option! It’s a great option if you want to be done with the selling process altogether. Be advised that you won’t necessarily receive the highest price, but you will have cash in hand the same day you sell your car.

You may even be able to sell your vehicle online. You will have to schedule a pickup date for your car. Most scrap yards will tow your car from its location to their facility free of charge, but check with the scrap yard to understand their terms and conditions.

Selling Your Salvage Car for Parts

You can also sell your salvage car’s parts, which is known as “parting out” your car. If you choose to use this selling method, you will sell the valuable parts of your salvage car. You can hire a mechanic to help you identify the car’s valuable parts and remove them. This selling option can be time-consuming, so make sure you’re willing to put in the effort or spend the money set aside to have a mechanic do it for you.

Selling Your Salvage Car As-Is

Selling your salvage car as-is is the best option if you don’t want to put any time or effort into repairing the car to sell, which is legal in Utah. This selling method may take a while because someone willing to make the necessary repairs has to be interested in making the repairs and completing the required process to get the retitled and back on the road. The good news for you is that once you sell your car, you are no longer liable for the car.

Common Difficulties of Selling a Salvage Car in Utah

Selling your salvage car may not be the walk in the park you were hoping it would be but don’t get discouraged. You may be surprised at how many people are interested in buying salvage cars. However, you have to do your part by disclosing that your car is a salvage and providing proof of any repairs that have been made or an invoice from a mechanic about the repairs that need to be made. Mechanics and DIY gurus are always looking for a side project.

The Importance of Disclosing Information When Selling a Salvage Car in Utah

In Utah, as the seller of a salvage car, you are required by law to disclose the current condition of your car. Regardless of the selling method you choose, all potential buyers must be aware that you’re selling a salvage car and any other information you have regarding the car.

When you’re writing the car’s description, include the good and bad features of the car. Being honest with potential buyers starts with the car’s description. Let buyers know exactly what they’re in for when they purchase your car, such as repairs that need to be made and other factors. Make sure you have the proper paperwork proving every point you make in the car’s description.

While potential buyers understand that your car has a salvage title, the more details you provide, the better. Buyers want to know what they’re getting into, such as the time and effort they’ll need to put into the car to obtain a rebuilt car title and make it fully operable again.

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

Once your car passes the UT vehicle safety inspection, you are eligible to apply for a UT rebuilt car title. You will need to provide the following at your local UT DMV branch:

  • A completed Vehicle Application for Utah Title (Form TC-656)
  • The car’s salvage title
  • The paperwork you received from the safety inspector to prove your rebuilt car passed the UT vehicle inspection
  • Payment for the $6 title fee

If you have the above-mentioned paperwork, the UT DMV will issue your UT rebuilt car title, and you can drive your car again. Congratulations! If you have any questions or concerns about obtaining a UT rebuilt car title, call the UT DMV at (800) 368-8824.

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

It takes about 1 week to receive your Utah rebuilt car title, which isn’t as long in other states. During this time, the UT DMV will review and verify the provided information and enter it into the DMV system. Now that you know how to sell your salvage car in Utah, we’ll send you on your way!