Thursday, January 17, 2008

Salvage Title?

What is a Salvage Title (or in some States they're called Rebuilt or Restored Titles)?

Well, when cars are involved in accidents the insurance company calculates the total cost of the repair job minus the salvage value and determines whether or not it would be economically feasible to do the repair. If so, the car is repaired and put back on the road with a "Clean Title". But if it not the vehicle is tagged with a brand of either Salvage/Rebuilt/ or Restored Title, then the vehicle is sold through a salvage auction.

Basically, a Salvage Title represents a vehicle that was deemed not economically repairable. Moreover, the liability of the insurance companies are dramatically decreased by branding titles.

Most people would then automatically think that buying a car with a branded title would be crazy, because your buying a vehicle that was once considered beyond repair right? Not so! With the rising cost of auto body repair, cars with minor damage are not being repaired.

For instance, I purchased a 2003 Hyundai Sonata in 2004 for $2800. This vehicle had minor front-end damage and was worth at the time about $10,000 with a Clean Title. That means the collision estimate on this vehicle must have been at least $5000; however, the accident didn't even render the car undrivable. What this proves is that the damage on Salvage Title vehicles is sometimes so minor, that you can get a deal on a car that is almost 20% off the retail price. The more expensive the car, the better deal you can get. The reason for this is that most lenders will only loan up to 60% of the retail value, which means you must have alot of cash to put down to purchase it.

By purchasing Salvage Title cars I can then sell them for the best price in town! And buyers can be confident in purchasing them from me, because I buy cars with light damage and repair them back to there original condition and sell them for less than 20% off the retail value.

Another thing to think about is this. The older the vehicle and the less it's worth, the less it matters what kind of title the vehicle has. Mostly because when your buying an older, cheaper car your buying it to drive it until it stops. For this reason it really doesn't matter where and how you get a car that goes from A to B.

Here's The Deal: Salvage Title cars are cheaper and just as safe as they were in there original state. But to help calm your concerns you can take it to a mechanic or Auto Body shop that you trust and they can give you an unbiased inspection. OTIS

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Toyota is #2

Wow! This is real news! Toyota takes the #2 spot from Ford as the 2nd biggest U.S. automaker, after Ford held it for over 75 years. 

First off, Toyota is considered a U.S. automaker??? Wait a second, I thought the only U.S. automakers were the "Big 3" GM, Ford and Chrysler. Well, they were until 1972 when Toyota built it's first manufacturing plant in Long Beach, CA and now has 7 manufacturing plants with another one scheduled to be finished in the Spring of 2009.

What does this mean and how did it happen? There are probably several reasons why GM and Ford have both taken a beating to foreign auto makers. But the one that sticks out in my mind is that after the "Muscle Car" era, which ended in the early to mid 70's, American auto makers started making junk! Both Toyota and Honda started catching appeal because of there great gas mileage (Google: ARAB OIL EMBARGO), but more notable than that was the fact that they would go 250,000 miles plus. They were an industructable and cheap. On the other hand American cars seemed to have a 100,000 mile limit to their success.

For Instance, when I opened my first Dismantler location in Rio Linda, CA in the early 80's. We dealt in all Toyotas! One the biggest issues we had in selling Toyota Drive-Trains was that nobody needed them, we had stockpiles of engines and transmissions that we could not get rid of; mainly because of their amazing longevity. In addition, I will attend auto auctions to this day and see old Toyota trucks and cars on a regular basis with over 250k miles and the cars are still running strong and they still demand top dollar. However, if I see a GM/FORD/CHRYSLER with those same miles it's usually located in a Pick n' Pull type operation (If I am lucky enough to even see one).

Now let me say this, American cars reliability wise have come a long way in the past couple of years, but they've had too. With companies like Toyota, Honda, and Hyundai making reliable and inexpensive cars with great warranties, it's surprising to see that they are still competitive. 

Here's the deal: You can't go wrong with buying a Toyota or Honda because they will last forever and are very reliable. But, you will also pay top dollar for these cars; especially, when your buying them used.

Hyundai and Kia's are a great alternative to buying a Toyota or Honda if you want to still go foreign. Hyundai actually owns Kia and some of there vehicles are built on the same platform. In addition, they are a fraction of the cost of Toyota's and Honda's and in my opinion similar in reliability.

And if you are debating on whether to buy a Ford, GM, Chrysler you can still get a great deal because of the low resale values these cars provide. But also remember if your buying a Toyota you are buying "AMERICAN" still.   OTIS

Full Article Link on Toyota being #2: