Do I need a Dealer's License to bid at a Salvage auction?

Published: 27th March 2011
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When insurance companies consider a vehicle to be a total loss, a salvage title is awarded and the vehicle is essentially junked. Not all salvage title vehicles are badly damaged and for those that are, parts can be recovered from them that can be quite valuable. For this reason, there is a thriving auto salvaging industry. In many cases, salvage cars are auctioned. These auctions are often viewed as a playground for car fanatics especially those looking to revive older models, however, buying a vehicle may not prove to be easy. In essence you can buy a vehicle from a salvage auction without a dealer license but it depends on where you live.

It is important for persons who bid to know and adhere to all licensing requirements. These requirements may be local, state or federal. Many online auctions require proof of licensing when registering and a potential bidderís application can be rejected if this is not provided. Even if your are licensed to sell auto parts in your local area, other legalities may be necessary so itís best to check with the Department of Transportation that has jurisdiction over your location.

If you are not licensed as an aftermarket parts provider, one loophole is to arrange with local dealerships that are licensed to sell auto parts to purchase a vehicle you like and sell it back to you. The terms and condition of the agreement will have to be worked out between you and the dealer. Some local salvage yard owners may be willing to bid on the car for you as well.

Some online auctioneers have also implemented programs with licensed resellers who authorize non-license holders to bid using their licenses. These resellers often charge a registration fee (per car bought) and a transaction fee is possible. You can find online auctioneers that carry "No License Required Vehicles" that persons without salvage licenses can bid on directly from the site.

Another way of acquiring a salvage vehicle without being licensed to bid at salvage auctions is to buy the vehicle under a Rebuilt title. For this to happen, however, the current owner will have to do the repairs necessary for the vehicle to pass inspection in order for the salvage title to be lifted. This may not always be an easy to find option. Additionally, based on your state, this may still not be allowed without a salvage dealer license.

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