Salvage is a safe and economical option for a first car when off to college. Buy a late model, low mileage vehicles for a fraction of the cost.
As we move on to higher education, work, adult life, our days become more hectic; two places to be at once, work, school, study group, gym, and on and on. Public transportation is available in most urban areas, but it is not always convenient and at times simply does not accommodate the busy schedule of a college student. You want to help make the transition as successful as possible, so you consider buying them a vehicle, or at least helping out with it. Salvage is by far one of your best options here, especially if you are looking for a late model, low mileage, mid-to-low end vehicle.
As someone with considerable experience in the salvage industry, I will reiterate this time and time again: salvage vehicles are a safe option. The onus of ensuring this safety is on working with leading industry service providers from purchase through to repair (if the vehicle is even damaged). Vehicles listed on reputable sites are profiled along with descriptions of the condition and pictures. Auction agencies such as Adesa, Copart, and Dashub make their business out of selling salvage, so they are going to provide upfront, honest information in order to provide the best possible customer experience; they want good reviews and repeat customers, so they can grow their businesses. You need to ensure you have the vehicle examined and any necessary repairs done by certified technicians at a reputable center that follows established standards.
I also bring to the table my own personal experience here. Salvage vehicles got me through two university degrees. I had “a brand” new 1999 Chevrolet Cavalier Z24, which had less than 1240 miles. This car had been slightly damaged on the lot during a test drive. Despite being fortunate enough to have a car in university, I know firsthand the inconvenience of being a student and not having a car. I know this because, being the only one with a car, meant I was forever driving friends to things like appointments, to get groceries, leaving night classes, etc. Keep in mind I did my first degree in Halifax, a small city with excellent public transportation, but it simply at times isn’t enough when you are a student. My second degree I did in Maine, USA, about 5 hours from home and having a car allowed me and my friends to explore Eastern USA and travel home for breaks, without the hassle of a dreaded long bus ride, as is faced by many students away from school without a vehicle.
My father has sold cars to my friends, as well as my brother’s friends, and every single one of them was extremely satisfied. When my brother started work at the salvage yard full time he was selling Honda Civics like crazy to students by simply advertising them on Kijiji, the Canadian equivalent to Craigslist. These customers were satisfied, if not we would have heard from them; you do not stay in business for over 65 years if you are not providing quality products. Many became repeat customers and some are probably still driving these cars. I had customers who made a business out of buying salvage cars, selling them to students, and their only source of advertising was a few flyers at the local college. Business was good and I know this because I was selling these guys cars every week or so, usually Civics and Mazda 3’s,
The transition can be hard enough without having to figure out how to get from place to place, how to get home for Christmas, etc. Having a vehicle opens doors such as working part time or being able to travel. Buying a late model, low mileage, salvage vehicle, means not having to worry about relying on a not-so- new, over-used car that you bought just because the price was right. I have future posts planned on best salvage under $5000 and best salvage under $10,000, both considerable price points for a student’s first car.