A Comparison Between Salvage and Recall Cars

People who are shopping for used cars may come across vehicles with salvage titles and those with a recall notice issued against them. It can be hard for an inexperienced person to select between these two types of cars due to the limited information about the subject. This article compares those two kinds of vehicles. Use this information to select the kind of used car that will address your needs.

Mechanical Issues

Salvage cars usually have some form of damage that caused the owner or insurance company to replace that vehicle instead of attempting to repair it. This means that the salvage vehicle usually has some form of serious mechanical or structural issue, unless that car was so old that minor damage prompted it to end up with a salvage title.

Conversely, cars with a recall notice issued against them may not have any visible sign of damage because the recall notice often applies to a defective part that isn’t working as expected. For example, a car may be recalled if the airbags in that model were found to have a design defect that starts a fire each time the airbags are deployed. However, recall notices don’t mean that the vehicle doesn’t have any other damage. It is therefore your responsibility to have the car inspected so that you can know the other mechanical/structural defects that it may have.

The Title

Salvage cars often have branded titles (salvage car titles) which inform anyone who looks at the title that the vehicle was written off but it was repaired and returned to normal use. However, cars with a recall notice don’t have altered titles to reflect that notice. This is because the defect in the notice can usually be fixed within a short time. Cars with recall notices will therefore have clean titles.

Public Perception

The perception of the public regarding these two types of used cars also differs widely. Salvage cars may be shunned because many people think that it is hard to assess their worth due to the damage that they sustained. However, few people are aware of the recall notices that are issued for cars by the manufacturers. Consequently, cars with recall notice don’t receive the same degree of suspicion that is directed towards vehicles with a salvage title.

The Price

Salvage title cars usually have an asking price that is lower than similar cars with clean titles. This lower pricing can be attributed to the negative attitude of some buyers towards salvage title cars. The lower price is also intended to compensate for the added costs that a buyer will have to incur in order to make the car roadworthy again. A savvy buyer can therefore use the stigma attached to salvage title cars to negotiate a good deal when buying the car.

Cars with recall notices can be sold at the same price as similar cars without a recall notice. This is especially possible if the buyer doesn’t dig into the history of the vehicle to find out whether a recall notice exists. Thus, recall cars can be sold at a generally higher price when compared to salvage cars.

As you can see, salvage cars and cars with recall notices have their own pros and cons. It is up to you to judge a specific used vehicle on its own merits so that you can make an informed decision about its suitability for your needs.

Sources:

https://www.thoughtco.com/buying-a-used-car-with-a-recall-notice-3308033

https://www.nhtsa.gov/recalls

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