The Ohio Salvage Title Process

What a pain.

In June we purchased a nice/reasonable teenager car (1998 Escort ZX2).  Fairly low miles, good tires, with heat and AC for $1500.

Last week it was wrecked, or rather run into in a parking lot incident.   The damage wasn’t all that bad, but the suspension was broken.

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The person was covered by Progressive.  All in all the claim service has been decent.  The problem is they won’t use any used/remanufactured/aftermarket suspension parts.  So the cost of fixing the suspension pushed passed the value of the vehicle.

Hence, it’s "Totaled".

It’s still a decent car given it’s purpose.  Good gas mileage, working AC, etc.

So we’re taking the settlement, minus the buy back ($250) and we’re going to fix it.   Cost to fix: ~$1200-ish.  that does not include a new bumper, but does include beating out the dent in the fender so it’s not so bad.  Remember, teenage driver, to/from school and work is it’s primary purpose.

So, the Salvage process goes like this.

To get the settlement from Progressive I have to convert the Title to salvage.  Cost: $5.00.

I then have to bounce next door and buy a Salvage Inspection Certificate.  Cost: $53.00.

The car is now Salvage and as such is not licensed to be on the road.  (We can’t drive it).  It will be fixed tomorrow or Saturday, but we’re stuck.  We can’t drive it until our inspection date which generally runs 30 days out.   The body shop had an inspection certificate which they claim is transferable so they made the inspection appointment for us for Dec 22nd.  So we’re without wheels until then.

We now wait for the car to be repaired, and for Dec 22nd to roll around.   We are permitted to drive it to the inspection location (on the certificate).

Once it passes, we then have to go back to the Title agency and convert the title to rebuilt salvage.  (Another $6.00).   Then again bounce next door to the registrar and pay to have the plate put back on it (Another $4.50).

The little costs add up, but it’s more the time and running around that’s a big pain in the butt.

It seems to me that this whole process could be streamlined for instant rebuilds like ours.   I recognize that most of them don’t go this way, but the typical 30 day lag for the inspection for instant rebuilds is a big inconvenience. 

Another fine example of how efficient our governments are.

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