Understanding Damage Codes


One of the most important aspects of buying clean or salvage title vehicles at auction is understanding the damage codes on each lot listing. Vehicles can have multiple damage codes, but the order in which they appear doesn’t mean that one is more prevalent than the other. Damage codes are indicated by the Copart yard that is auctioning the vehicle, and they are for reference only. We strongly recommend that you inspect the vehicle thoroughly (either by yourself or through a mechanic) and get a vehicle history report to understand what a vehicle has been through.

Copart expressly disclaims the accuracy of Damage Codes, as information may not completely or clearly reflect the type or extent of damage to any vehicle.

Here’s a breakdown of all damage codes we have listed and what they mean.

This means that the vehicle has been damaged in multiple spots, such as both front and rear, sides, and the roof.
There is a chemical or biohazard contamination affecting the vehicle.
If a vehicle’s damage code is “burn”, it means that most or all of the vehicle was damaged by fire rather than just the engine or interior. There are specific damage codes for other kinds of burn damage below.
This damage code signifies that the engine caught fire and was damaged, such as electrical and mechanical components.
This means that any part of the interior was damaged by fire. This includes the trunk as well.
This signifies a vehicle that has been significantly damaged but has undergone repairs.
The frame or chassis has been damaged or compromised.
The vehicle was involved in a collision or accident that damaged the front end of the vehicle, from the ‘a-post’ and forward. For example, the hood, bumper, fenders, and so on.
The vehicle was damaged by hail. This includes body panels and windows.
Vehicles marked with the damage code “mechanical” have damage that includes (but is not limited to) damage to the transmission or the engine. Please note that Run & Drive verified is indicated by the Copart yard and only reflects that the vehicle moved forward and backwards under its own power when it arrived at the yard.
A vehicle marked minor dents/scratches has minor dents (usually not bigger than 30mm/1.2in) and small scratches to multiple panels.
The vin has either been altered or removed, and the vehicle’s history cannot accurately be represented.
A vehicle marked “normal wear” is typically in good condition and has no visible evidence of significant damage.
A vehicle with partial repair has evidence of poor or incomplete repairs to the body, chassis, or paint.
The vehicle sustained damage to the rear end, including (but not limited to) rear quarter panels, bumper, and trunk.
This means the vehicle underwent repairs that were poor quality.
The vin has either been altered or removed, and the vehicle’s history cannot accurately be represented.
The vehicle was involved in an accident in which it rolled over, damaging multiple panels including the roof. This includes possible engine damage.
The vehicle has visible damage to either side of the vehicle. This can include wheels and tires.
Parts and/or components were removed or are missing from the vehicle.
The vehicle has visible damage to the roof, door, and/or tailgate tops.
The vehicle has visible damage to its underside – including (but not limited to) the frame, body, axles, and any fittings including the suspension, exhaust, and fuel tank.
The damage to the vehicle cannot accurately be represented.
Vandalism damage is often related to break-ins and is typically light in nature, such as theft related damage to door handles and locks, slashed upholstery, destroyed paint, compromised steering locks and ignition wiring, and so forth.
The vehicle was damaged by water. This could mean the interior, frame, engine, electrical components, and much more have been compromised.

Now that you have a better understanding of damage codes, browse our available inventory with our vehicle finder. Happy bidding!


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