If you’re in the market to buy a used car through a private party, you may come across vehicles with a “rebuilt” title, especially if you’re looking on Craigslist. A rebuilt title is assigned once a car is branded with a salvage title, repaired, and passed the state inspection to be saleable and driveable.
Should You Buy a Rebuilt Title Car?
Just because a car has a rebuilt title doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bad. You can expect it to be cheaper than a similar vehicle with a clean title, but it also may need additional repairs down the road. That being said, you should proceed with caution when considering a rebuilt title car. Research the vehicle’s history and have a trusted mechanic and body specialist thoroughly inspect it before making a purchase decision.
This is good practice regardless of whether you’re buying a car with a branded or clean title. The reason why: you may find some clean-titled vehicles have gone through something called title washing. Title washing is when a seller re-titles a car in another state that doesn’t recognize specific branded titles and is given a clean title. Title washing is illegal, but it can sometimes be hard to catch.
If you have bad credit, keep in mind that subprime lenders typically aren’t going to finance a car with a rebuilt title. The liability with rebuilt title vehicles is risky to lenders, and when you have bad credit, it ends up being a lose-lose situation. Sure, it’s a cheap car, but if you have to worry about the possible safety and reliability issues of a rebuilt vehicle, it isn’t worth the savings.
Rebuilt Titles and Insurance
At the same time, you’re going to find fully insuring a car with a rebuilt title to not only be hard, but practically impossible. Where you live and the insurance company you work with determine if you can get any insurance coverage. State regulations regarding insuring a vehicle with a salvage or rebuilt title differ, so make sure you know the rules and regulations by checking with your state’s DMV or Secretary of State website.
As for the type of insurance a rebuilt title car qualifies for, most insurance companies only offer liability or property damage coverage. These types of insurance only pay for damage you cause in an accident to other people and/or property.
Selling a Rebuilt Title Car
Before you can sell a car with a rebuilt title, you need to make sure it’s properly repaired and passes your state’s rebuilt title inspection. Once it passes, you can put the vehicle on the market. The most important thing you need to realize is that a rebuilt title greatly affects the value of the vehicle. Also, potential car buyers may try and negotiate for an even lower price point.
To get the most money out of a car with a rebuilt title, get it in the best shape possible before putting it on the market. Even if it passes the inspection, it doesn’t hurt to touch up any small cosmetic damage.
The Bottom Line
Just because a vehicle has a rebuilt title doesn’t mean it’s not a good car to sell or buy. You just need to weigh all the issues and options available.
If you have bad credit, it doesn't mean you can't finance a vehicle. The Car Connection works with dealerships all across the country that are experts at helping buyers with less than perfect credit. Start of the process of getting matched to a local dealer by completing our simple and secure auto loan request form today.