You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.


Welcome to

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

live video

LIVE: Attorney General Mike DeWine to make ‘special announcement’ at 3 p.m.

Changes to salvage car sales could cut insurance rates

But opponents say it could cost thousands of jobs.Springfield lawmaker sponsoring bill.

Proponents of changing who can buy and sell scrapped cars say removing restrictions could lead to lower auto insurance rates for Ohioans, but salvage yard operators say that could cost thousands of jobs in the industry.

House Bill 468, sponsored by state Rep. Ross McGregor of Springfield and co-sponsored by state Rep. Bob Hackett of London, would change laws regarding the resale of wrecked vehicles by expanding the types of licenses under which an individual can sell salvage motor vehicles.

Currently, Ohio requires an identification card to purchase one of the more than 100,000 cars a year that are deemed a total loss by insurance companies after crashes or other damage. Licensed dealers in Ohio and 21 other states can apply for the ID cards. More than 1,900 valid buyer identification cards have been issued.

The state has more than 600 valid salvage dealers, according to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. There are currently 19 salvage yards in Springfield.

In other states, insurance companies can sell the vehicles to anyone via online auctions with fewer regulations.

The legislation would allow anyone with a salvage motor vehicle auction license or salvage motor vehicle pool license to sell salvage vehicles to authorized purchasers.

Also, a person wouldn’t need to obtain a buyer’s identification card from the Registrar of Motor Vehicles before buying a salvage vehicle at an auction or pool.

“Nobody really likes the bill,” McGregor said. “There are some competing interests here.”

The insurance industry doesn’t believe it goes far enough, McGregor said, while salvage dealers don’t want anything to change.

“This is a modest step in opening up the salvage vehicle industry to a broader market, but it doesn’t do away with complete restrictions,” said McGregor, R-Springfield.

The law maintains certain prohibitions on salvage dealers, including banning sales when there’s reasonable cause that a vehicle may have been stolen, or a title wasn’t presented to the purchaser before a sale is completed.

The bill passed the House on May 13, but likely won’t be voted on by the Ohio Senate until after the November election, McGregor said.

The bill was assigned to the State Government Oversight & Reform committee on May 15. State Sen. Chris Widener, R-Springfield, won’t decide whether to support or oppose the bill until after the committee process has concluded, according to one of his staff members.

A previous bill, Senate Bill 273, died on the House floor in December 2012. McGregor was opposed to that legislation because of the effect it could have on small salvage dealers like Walt’s Auto in Springfield, he said.

SB 273 would have essentially opened up the salvage vehicle market, McGregor said. They used that bill as a starting point for the new legislation.

“Some of it is minor and some of it is major,” he said. “At the end of the day, there were some tough decisions (state Rep. Barbara Sears) had to make as the sponsors of the bill.”

The Ohio Auto and Truck Recyclers Association is opposed to the bill in its current form, said association President Jim McKinney, because there are no restrictions on who can purchase salvage vehicles.

Damaged cars could be sold to unsuspecting consumers, whereas salvage yards typically buy the cars and sell the parts.

“These vehicles are big targets for theft and deception to the consumer, like title cloning and VIN washing,” McKinney said. “Those things are susceptible to happen.”

The association has 600 members in Ohio with about 5,000 employees. If passed, the legislation could lead to job losses in the industry, McKinney said.

“There’s only so many wrecked cars to buy,” McKinney said. “If (dealers) buy fewer of them and more of them are going out of the country, which is what they want, then jobs will be lost in Ohio.”

Currently 40 states have no restrictions on who can purchase salvage vehicles, said Dean Fadel, vice president for government affairs at the Ohio Insurance Institute. The market should be opened up for full-fledged competition, Fadel said, which could lead to lower insurance rates in Ohio.

“(The bill) is a sliver of progress,” Fadel said. “I wouldn’t give it any more than that.”

Scrapped vehicles are a byproduct of the auto insurance business, Fadel said. There are currently a few thousand qualified buyers in Ohio, while in other states, like Indiana, there are 300,000 qualified buyers. Big salvage yard businesses, such as LKQ, don’t want to see the market open to consumers from all over the world, Fadel said.

“They’re getting their product for a lot less here because there’s a smaller pool of buyers,” Fadel said. “They’re turning around and selling them for market prices.”

People buying cars at auction without identification cards could lead to people buying cars and selling parts out of their homes without a license, said Gene Wyen, vice president of Walt’s Auto, 3551 Springfield-Xenia Road.

“Some of them do things they shouldn’t do with these old cars and sell to the public,” Wyen said. “The (buyers) get burnt and they don’t have any recourse.”

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Business

Springfield native brings fashion show to Upper Valley Mall
Springfield native brings fashion show to Upper Valley Mall

The Upper Valley Mall will be the center of area fashion on Sunday, June 25. The second “Fashion. Forward. Fusion.” Fashion Show will gather designers from Springfield, Dayton, Cincinnati and Columbus to showcase their latest offerings, 5 to 7:30 p.m. at the former MC Sports location. READ MORE: Goat yoga craze stretches into Clark County...
Snapchat introduces location-sharing with Snap Map
Snapchat introduces location-sharing with Snap Map

Snapchat is introducing a new way to locate your friends with the Snap Map.  The social media platform announced the news this week, revealing that the location-sharing feature will allow friends to find each other or anyone in the world using its map.  “We've built a whole new way to explore the world! See what's happening, find your...
Dayton Air Show announces paved parking for 2017 show
Dayton Air Show announces paved parking for 2017 show

Organizers for the Vectren Dayton Air Show presented by Kroger provided tips for parking. All parking this year is on paved lots after heavy rains Friday made the grassy fields too muddy. Spectators entering or leaving the show via Interstate 75 Northwoods Boulevard (Exit 64) or National Road will be directed to one of four air show parking lots by...
JOB ALERT: Kroger to hire for 800 open positions at all locations
JOB ALERT: Kroger to hire for 800 open positions at all locations

Cincinnati-headquartered Kroger is hiring for 800 open positions at all Kroger locations. The grocery retailer is looking for new employees during a hiring event on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at all Kroger stores. Positions are open in the following departments: deli, bakery, meat and seafood, Starbucks, grocery and ClickList. Interested applicants...
Goat yoga craze stretches into Clark County
Goat yoga craze stretches into Clark County

Clark County residents have a chance to take part in a new fitness craze, goat yoga, which combines traditional yoga with baby goats. The Smiling Prairie Goat Farm, 9697 Chenoweth Rd., South Charleston, is offering classes this summer. The next class will be 10 a.m. to noon Saturday. The cost is $25 a person. Sisters Jeri LaVielle and Linda Leonhard...
More Stories