NY-Buying a totaled vehicle

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Mar 1, 2012
HUdson Valley, NY
I came to know that a local fleet company is totaling a few vehicles because the catalytic converters were stolen. Since they are unable to buy as many as they need, they are totaling a few vehicles.

I am curious to know if it's worth looking into it. If I find anything interesting and do decide to buy it, what headache am I getting into?

My idea was, that I will buy the vehicle and store it until I find a catalytic converter because without it, it will not pass inspection and I will not salvage the title. Since I have never done anything like this before, I would like to know if it's a dumb idea.

Thanks in advance.
What do you mean, a local fleet company is totaling a few vehicles because the catalytic converters were stolen? Insurance companies total cars. Will they have salvage titles? And no way to tell it's a dumb idea without knowing the year make model miles condition and price.
Depends on the price so yeah the year make model mileage is all important. Basically you can't buy a used catalytic converter. They're probably looking to buy OEM which tends to be extra expensive. You can look for a cheaper aftermarket one on Rockauto but need to know the car in order to know if it's worth it or not. Maybe if you got away with a universal one it'd be worth it but not sure if New York will require an emissions testing after it is repaired. Most states just require that the car isn't throwing a code. The universal ones are really bad though but also cheap.
I live in NY and if you are purchasing a vehicle to be registered in NY state, I believe the exhaust has to be either OEM from factory or if you go aftermarket, it needs to be CARB compliant and certified like those in CA. For some reason after 2 annual inspections, I have never seen my vehicle on a lift or the tech crawling underneath to inspect so maybe there’s a way they verify…
I would also check with your insurance company. Some of them are hesitant to insure a vehicle with a salvage title. If you have a good insurance company, they can walk you through it.

If the place you want to purchase from doesn't have the salvage title in-hand, this could be a hassle for you. I don't know about NY, but CA requires some kind of safety inspection be performed and signed off by some official department (I think this is the CHP) before the DMV will issue a salvage title. It doesn't matter what condition the vehicle is in, equipment or structural.
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