As a car owner, you may be familiar with the term “salvage title”. This distinction is used to label cars that have incurred serious damages; so serious, in fact, that the repair costs surpass the car’s value.
With automotive hail damage being a major risk to car owners in Colorado, you may be wondering if salvage titles can be assigned to hail-damaged cars. Given that a salvage title and a hail designation have different impacts on your ability to resell a car, clarifying the difference between the two is important.
Here, we’ll talk about salvage titles and automotive hail damage designations as they relate to Colorado car owners.
What’s a Salvage Title?
When an insurance provider deems a car to be a complete loss, it’s labeled as a “salvage title” vehicle. This usually means that the car has incurred such severe damage that the cost to repair it would exceed the total value of the car. In this scenario, the insurance company will usually repossess the vehicle.
A car with a salvage title can’t be registered, sold, or driven. However, the insurance company may opt to sell the salvage vehicle to an auto dismantler or repair shop. The repair shop may repair or rebuild it, then resell it to an interested buyer. However, the car will retain its salvage title so that the buyer knows that it was severely damaged.
Salvage Titles in Colorado
It may be possible to get your car retitled if it’s been labeled as a salvage vehicle. The goal here would be to get your vehicle marked as a “rebuilt” car, rather than a salvage one.
To get your car retitled, you would have to complete a salvage title form. This form asks for specific details about your car and its condition. The Colorado salvage title form is available online from the Colorado Department of Revenue (Division of Motor Vehicles).
The next step in getting your car retitled would be to complete a professional inspection. The inspection would be carried out by the Colorado Department of Motor Vehicles. Then, a police officer will need to conduct the Verification of Vehicle VIN to check that none of the parts of the vehicle are stolen. This verification process will include parts that were added in the restoration of the vehicle.
When it comes to salvage titles for automotive hail damage, rules vary from state to state. While some states allow hail-damaged cars to be marked with a salvage title, others offer specific hail designations. When you consider that other reasons for salvage titles include severe collision damage, flooding damage, and fire damage, it’s clear to see why hail damage designations are important.
State hail designations are used to label cars that were totaled due to automotive hail damage. In short, hail designations are used to separate hail-totaled vehicles from vehicles that were totaled in car collisions, fires, or floods. With a hail designation, rather than a salvage title, your vehicle’s title remains unmarked, potentially making it easier to resell. But, note that any interested buyers will be informed that the car incurred severe automotive hail damage.
Does Colorado Allow Hail Designations?
In Colorado, hail damage isn’t considered a type of damage that can qualify a vehicle for a salvage title. Collision, fire, flood, accident, and vandalism (among others) are the main types of damage that can earn a car a salvage title in Colorado.
Tips For Buying a Hail-Damaged Car
Salvage titles and hail designations help inform potential buyers about the car that they’re looking to purchase. If you’re considering buying a car with a hail designation or rebuilt title, keep these important tips in mind:
- Talk to your insurance company before making the purchase. What will your auto coverage look like with this vehicle?
- Review the paperwork that was required in the retitling process. These documents will give you invaluable information about the prior condition of the car, as well as the repairs. It’s likely that many parts were replaced (and, therefore, like new) in the restoration process.
- Consider whether you want to resell the vehicle that you purchase. If so, a car with a rebuilt title is likely not the best choice.