Blog by Gary Serrata
Question about a salvage title
Gary Serrata
Gary Serrata
26 Dec 2020

Question about a salvage title

A guy on Craigslist is selling a 02 Honda VTX 1800 with about 16,000 miles for $3300. It seemed like an ok deal but he mentioned in the post that it has a "rebuilt" title due to the bike being stolen and recovered. Apparently the bike is in good shape.

What I've read online indicates that a salvage title should knock like 50% off the cost of a bike which would make a more appropriate price for this bike somewhere in the $2,000-$2,500 range. I'm also a bit worried as people report that some insurance companies won't cover a bike with a salvage title. Reading about rebuilt vs salvage titles shows they seem pretty similar.

Does anyone have experience with this or recommendations?

2 1.7K
  • Rene Arellano 30 Dec 2020
    Usually salvage is a specific title mark that makes it not roadworthy when it's been totalled out by an insurance company. You have to go to the effort to get it fixed and inspected and then they issue a rebuilt title (that's how it works in Ohio).

    And yeah, a rebuilt title should reduce the price some, but it depends a lot on what was damaged. Being stolen, it might not knock it that much as the damage could have all been cosmetic.

    Just call your insurance company. Mine has no issues insuring a rebuilt bike (my daily driver is rebuilt title after an accident), but some won't give full collision or comprehensive coverage depending. No way to know without asking.
  • Green Rob 31 Dec 2020
    Completely depends on your insurance and state. I know plenty of people driving totaled / salvage title cards here in Colorado that are totaled for haul damage (doesn't impact drivability), but not every insurance company is ok with it when you buy a salvage vehicle ... They often, even when you can get rider insurance, don't insure the vehicle itself.

    So if check with your insurance first and foremost.

    Second, the state / county may or may not let you register it depending on any number of factors and on your local rules. Check with them as well and know it could still be a hassle even if person A said it'd be fine.

    Then decide if it's worth the hassle. Maybe it is.
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