How do I Buy a Wrecked or Confiscated Motorcycle From an Insurance Company?

Written by stephen hicks
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How do I Buy a Wrecked or Confiscated Motorcycle From an Insurance Company?
Buy motorcycles from insurance companies at your local salvage yard. (incidente con moto image by flavio marinoni from

You recently learnt that insurance companies sometimes sell motorcycles after they have been involved in a claim, often at prices well below market value, and you want to know how to buy one. Insurance-owned motorcycles will always carry a salvage title as a permanent indicator that it has been through a total loss insurance claim. Salvaged vehicles must pass several safety inspections required by your state before they can be legally registered and driven again. If you are willing to meet the requirements your state mandates of you, then an insurance motorcycle auction is what you're looking for.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • Computer with Internet access
  • Money

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  1. 1

    Locate a salvage yard near you. Some salvage companies, like Copart, have locations all over the United States. You can typically find local yards with a simple Internet search.

  2. 2

    Verify with the yard that it carries motorcycles for sale. Not all yards carry this type of vehicle.

  3. 3

    Contact the salvage yard and determine how to register as a buyer. Some companies provide this information on their websites.

  4. 4

    Pay the registration fee, if applicable, and provide all the required information about yourself. Each company's registration process is different.

  5. 5

    Search the electronic database, if one exists. If not, find out from the yard when the next motorcycle auction will be held.

  6. 6

    Place a bid online if possible, or arrive at the yard at the date and time of the auction and bid in person.

  7. 7

    Pay for your motorcycle when you have the winning bid. Each yard's payment methods will differ.

Tips and warnings

  • Motorcycles are taken off the street by insurance companies every day. Be patient if you do not find one you want to buy at an auction right away. New vehicles are sold each week.
  • Most sites offer personal visits the day before the auction to determine the condition of the motorcycles.
  • Salvage titles do not indicate the type or extent of damage the motorcycle sustained, and the bike will come with no guarantees. It is your responsibility to ensure the safety of the motorcycle and to comply with all state-mandated inspections.

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