What You Need to Know About Getting a New Title for a Totaled Car

When a car gets totaled, junkyard owners will salvage the vehicle for reselling. This vehicle will require a salvage title in order to be placed back on the market. Take note that a car with a salvage title will have a different treatment and reselling approach than typical secondhand vehicles. In this post, we discussed what you need to know in getting a new title for a totaled car.

What is a totaled car title?

A car title is basically the document that proves your ownership of the vehicle. Regardless if you bought a brand new or used car, you’ll be issued a title under your name. That makes you the legal owner of the vehicle.

Such a title includes the vehicle identification number or VIN as well as the sale price, mileage, date of sale, manufacturing date, and so on. You can also request the history of the car if you’re planning to purchase a salvaged model.

But what if you bought a salvaged car? You still have to secure a title, but take note that each state has different approaches when it comes to totaled vehicles. What you’ll request is a salvage title.

Take note that a salvage title will only be issued after the repairs have been carried out and once the vehicle has passed intensive inspection. Still, you shouldn’t shy away from buying salvaged cars as they have passed rigorous standards.

It’s not easy to secure a salvage title since you’ll have to prove the road-worthiness of the vehicle. Aside from that, it may cost you more than what you’ll shell out if you just sign the title over to your insurer. However, if your car has a sentimental value to you, going through the repairs and fees might be worth it, after all.

Signing over the title to your insurer

If you don’t want to spend money on repairs, you have the choice to sign over the vehicle’s title to your insurance company. When you do this, your insurance company acquires ownership of the car.

However, it’s quite tricky to compute the final cost of your totaled car. Usually, your insurer will pay you the current market value of your car based on junkyard rates. However, it’s a different story if you still owe money when you totaled your car. When that happens, your insurer will subtract the money owed, leaving you with a small amount as a payout.

Nevertheless, surrendering the car title to the insurance company will allow you to have additional funds to purchase a new or used car.

What happens when the insurance company acquires your car? They will disassemble the components and sell the parts that can still be used. This is why you have to make sure that you’re ready to give up your car because there’s no turning back.


Having a totaled car is a tricky situation. Still, you have the option to shoulder the repairs or surrender it to your insurance company. And if you’re planning to purchase a salvaged car, always check the details on the title. This way, you’ll know if it’s worth the money or not.