Saturday, August 30, 2008

Salvage and rebuilt cars

Well, the other day I had to get my car a 7500 mile service and an inspection. So instead of going to the usual place, I looked up online and found some closer places that were a little cheaper. Upon going there I found it to be a little industrial center with a European cars repair center, an inspection station, an American car repair center, a Tow yard (with a fended in lot for repos and wrecked vehicles), and a body shop. All had different owers and they were one right next to the other.

I found the body shop most interesting as it was full of badly wrecked and recently new (2006 and newer luxury cars (BMW, Volvo, Porsche, Maserati and Mercedes Benz). While I waited for my car to get serviced and then inspected (what was funny here is that the inspection place was right next to the Eiuropean service center where my car was being worked on, but the owner said I would have to personally take my car over there when it was done because he and the inspection station owner did not get along). Anyways, As I walked around the body shop manager came out and we talked a little - apparently he was taking a break and had nothing better to do - neither did I as I was waiting for probably an hour or two for my car to be done.

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So we walked around his shop and I asked him about some of the vehicles in there. One was a Volvo that had obviously been hit really hard in the front. The frame was bashed in and so were the doors and even the left rear quarter and rear bumper and frame. Apparently this car got squished really bad. I asked him why this car was being fixed up as it was probably written off by the insurance company as a total wreck. He said these are his most profitable vehicles. He has an agreement with a local franchised new and used car dealer that buys these cars from customers and from salvage auctions for dirt cheap and then they haul them with a flat bed wrecker to him for repair.

The body shop man said within a few weeks they look as good as new and the used/new car dealer just sells them back to customers for big profits. According to the bodyshop guy, he also makes out very well due to this and so he recently increased his hourly labor charge 10 dollars because he could. I asked him is these cars were properly titled in the state for salvage and rebuilt. He said he had no idea what the car dealer did with them or if the eventual buyers even knew these cars were previously involved in a serious accident and deemed a total wreck by the insurance companies. He said most likely they didn't know or didn't care. Just goes to show that you need to do a used car VIN (vehicle identification number check) like Car Fax or Experian Autocheck prior to buying any used vehicle.

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Anonymous said...

I bought a car that basically ended up rusting out from the inside out. Mechanics tell me it was a definite flood car. Carfax was clean - no flood report or anything. How could this be? I bought the car in Albany, New York, not from the south.

Ezekial T. said...

I bought a used car that was a salvage rebuild and I have not had a single problem with it. I got a great discount because it was a previous salvage and the state even gave me a clear car title on it. You couldn't tell the difference if you looked at it.

Anonymous said...

You know what? I live in Atlanta Georgia and I bought a used car a few months ago. My car has always been a little funny since I bought it. Maybe it was a previously wrecked special? How can one tell if their car has been in an accident and then repaired? Are there any clues to look out for or to be aware of?