The actual value of a Rebuilt Title vehicle depends on the reason why the vehicle previously had a Salvage Title. Specifically, the type of damage it received and severity of the damage. That is why it is critically important to run VIN lookup and check the history of that vehicle so as to learn what happened to it in the past.
Rebuilt Title Value
Estimating rebuilt title value is the biggest issue associated with rebuilt vehicles. You may be certain just about one thing: rebuilt title affects value and being a good buy or not depends on what you prioritize in a vehicle. Even estimating the damage and the value of what’s left of the car after a crash or hurricane is easier for the buyer than doing the same with repairs already done and parts put into a rebuilt vehicle, mostly because the quality of repair and the actual amount of work done are frequently under question - unless you personally control every stage of the procedure. We hope the information below helps you with rebuilt vehicle valuation.
Rebuilt Title Value: Problems
The value of a rebuilt title car is lower than before it got a salvage title, with a good reason for that. Generally, a salvage title is given to damaged vehicles with estimated repair costs exceeding 70-80% of the vehicle’s original cost (in different states the percent is different). Upon completion of all major repairs resale value of a rebuilt car is decreased by 30%-50% compared with similar non-branded cars. This means that you can expect to get only 30-40% of estimated repair for the price instead of 70-80% and there is always at least one compromise on your side to compensate for the discount. The compromise may be obvious, like remaining cosmetic damage, missing audio system or other not so vital elements, age and wear of the car or replacement parts, loss of warranty and collision/comprehensive coverage, or hidden compromises with a visually flawless car, like assuming the right quality and amount of repair done on functional elements, the quality and origin the parts, relying on reputability of the mechanic or the body shop . The value drop and issue ranges are way too large for a big ticket, so consider the following issues before you buy:
First and most important, a rebuilt title car is not an investment for later reselling. It can be great from safety and operability viewpoints but not as an investment because selling a rebuilt title car may be a serious problem in future. So if you are buying a car with a rebuilt title as a temporary solution and hope to sell it later and buy something else with that money plus some extra, you’d better buy one with a clean history. No matter how good the current condition of the car, rebuilt title resale value may go down by 50% or even more compared with similar makes and models that were not previously salvaged - just because it was salvaged. In addition, most dealerships will not take rebuilt title as a trade-in. A rebuilt vehicle is great for those who plan to drive it for a long time, possibly until it dies.
By definition, a rebuilt title means that a salvage title vehicle which was properly repaired and recognized roadworthy after passing a mandatory inspection by the state DMV. This means that rebuilt title operability and value should be at least approximately the same as it was before salvaging. But how can you know that all repair jobs were done properly and the car is actually safe and rigid? Especially, considering that the dealers want to profit as much as possible from selling a rebuilt title car and invest as little as possible. That’s why new parts are almost never used in order to lower reconstruction expenses, and the used parts usually come from other salvage or junk cars, those that were recognized non-repairable. The quality and operational properties of such parts are lower in comparison with new parts. For example, parts coming from salt water damaged vehicles may function properly much shorter than you expect. I guess your figure what I mean. I’m not pointing at any specific inspectors or clerk, but bribery may take place where car inspections take place, so closing eyes at certain issues is not uncommon.
In most cases maintenance of a rebuilt car is more expensive than of a normal car. Deduct these expenses from rebuilt salvage title value.
How to Estimate Rebuilt Title Value
- Rebuilt title car value depends on the damage done to the vehicle and age of the vehicle, remember this rule. The more severe the damage, the less the value. The term “total loss” does not necessarily mean that the functional damage was severe. It means that estimated repair costs are too high for the insurance company because they exceeded approximately 70% of its value. Multiple broken minor elements, dents, scratches, broken glass elements, tires, costly wheel rims, ripped out audio systems, etc. may run up really high - almost the full market value of older vehicles! But major functional part may still be relatively or completely intact, and yet such vehicles frequently end up at salvage auctions. As a rule, these are 5-year-old and older cars which were in generally good condition before being totaled but the cost or repairing minor damages was too high as compared with the vehicle’s cost because of its age. Such rebuilt cars are the best deals. Very often, these are hail damaged rebuilt titles). However, the price may be corresponding. The newer the salvaged car, the more severe the damage. This method of defining the value of a rebuilt salvage works for any vehicle - a car, a motorcycle, a motorhome, a truck.
- To start with, buy a detailed car history report to know as much as possible about the damage and the vehicle’s journey to the seller. Make sure the damage is not serious and the car didn’t change states before it was given a rebuilt title (cars with serious damage not eligible for reconstruction in one state may be eligible in another state). Ask questions, get documents, just learn as much as possible about the damage and match data obtained from different sources.
- If the history checks out and agrees with other information you obtain, hire a mechanic to inspect the car and ask him to make a full list of what needs to be repaired or replaced right now, what will need to be repaired soon and what is out of order. Take into account all this when estimating rebuilt car value, make sure all the costs plus purchase price don’t exceed the cost of a similar non-rebuilt car - that does happen. And only then make your decision.
So, if you asked me how much does a rebuilt title affect value my answer would be it’s not rebuilt title but the damage and age that have major effect on the value. The words rebuilt title are not enough for proper estimate.
Rebuilt Title Car Value and Insurance
If you manage to find full coverage for your rebuilt title car, expect it to be valued around 50% of the retail cost of its non-salvaged counterparts. However, the premium should also the lower. Just remember for shop around well ahead to find a company that covers rebuilt titles, especially if you want full coverage.
Don't run rusks. Run VIN check - discover what you weren't told about that rebuilt vehicle!