4090 Main Avenue Fargo, ND 58103 701-277-5770


Q. What does “branded title” mean?

A.     The title carries a permanent notation, or "brand". It can not be removed.

Q. What is a salvage title?

A.     It notes that an insurance company has declared a vehicle as a total loss (totaled).

Q. What happens after the insurance company declares the vehicle a “total loss”, or “salvage”?

A.     Generally, the insurance company takes possession of the vehicle, and sells it at auction. The original title is returned, and a salvage title is issued.

Q. What happens when the vehicle is repaired?

A.     It must be inspected by a DOT vehicle repair facility, and a Certificate of Vehicle Inspection is required. This certifies the vehicle was repaired to a level comparable to one that has not been damaged. Including frame inspection (chassis) and wheel alignment. When licensed, a new "previously salvaged" title will be issued.

Q. What if the vehicle is beyond repair?

A.     It may be branded “junk”, “un-repairable”, “non-rebuildable” , “a dismantler” or similar. These vehicles can not be titled or registered.

Q. What are the common loss types declared salvage?

A.     Most common are collision with an object or other vehicle, fire, theft, vandalism, and water/flood. Some run and drive, others don’t. Some have had one, or more airbags deployed. Others may have frame damage. In North Dakota, hail damage is considered cosmetic only, not salvage.

Q. Why buy a vehicle that’s been repaired but has a salvage title?

A.     To SAVE MONEY! The difference between a salvage and clean title can often be 20-30%. This makes a big difference when shopping for an affordable car. Shoppers who understand this can obtain very good bargains.

Q. What should I look for in a salvage vehicle?

A.     Ask for pictures of the damage before it was repaired. Salvage titles are often issued for vehicles that can easily be repaired. Some have no damage whatsoever. Avoid vehicles that have frame damage, or airbags deployed. Look for cars that had light damage, or only cosmetic damage. For example, a car or small SUV with three damaged panels (hood, bumper cover, fender) is often considered totaled. If used parts of the same color are used, it’s a simple repair to bolt and unbolt the parts. The “repaired” parts are OEM quality, and have an OEM finish.

Q. Does a salvage title have to be disclosed? 

 A.     Yes, as a dealer or a private party seller, a salvage title must be disclosed at time of sale.

Q. Does a salvage title affect resale value?  

A.     Yes, just as the car is bought at a discount, a discount will be expected by a new buyer of a salvage title. The older the vehicle becomes, the smaller the discount.

Q. Should I have an independent inspection performed?

A.     Salvage vehicles that have been repaired have to pass a DOT inspection to prove their road worthiness. An inspection is no more or less required. It's always a good idea to have a trusted mechanic perform an inspection on any used vehicle. Salvage vehicles are no exception. The inspection will be at your expense.

Q. Is it difficult to get insurance on a salvage vehicle? 

A.     It's been our experience working with many insurance companies that salvage vehicles are no harder, or expensive to insure than non-salvage vehicles.

Q. Is it difficult to get financing for a salvage vehicle? 

A.     It can be a little harder to finance a salvage vehicle. Some banks requires a higher credit score. Some will charge a slightly higher interest rate. Other banks simply won't finance them. Why? Because all salvage vehicles are painted with the same broad brush. Vehicles that have had major damage are more likely to require major repairs. If the borrower can't afford those repairs, it leads to a higher risk of repossession.


All City Auto Center only buys and repairs salvage vehicles that are easily repaired -- NO frame damage, NO airbags deployed. We always have pictures of the damage before repair available, and we'll share any and all repairs that we performed. Buy with confidence.