Rebuilt Title FAQ
These are the most common questions about rebuilt title vehicles. This section is updated as we receive new questions.
Is a rebuilt title a salvage title? Does a rebuilt title mean salvage?
No. A rebuilt is a had salvage title in the past, then was repaired and now is roadworthy, which means that you can register it and legally drive it on public roads. However, in some states, like New Jersey, there is no "rebuilt title". Instead, a "salvage" affix is added to a normal title in order to point to the salvage history. In some cases, there may be an indication of what type of issue or damage the vehicle has been through, like "flood damage salvage". In most cases, you can learn about the damage type only from the vehicle history aka VIN check.
Is a rebuilt title better than a salvage title?
Not always. The answer depends on the reason why the car was totaled out, the age of the vehicle, the state's law regulating rebuilt and salvage titles, the reputation of the dealer that fixes and sells the vehicle and, finally, what is more expensive for you at the moment - you efforts and time or your money. Click here to read more.
Is a rebuilt title insurable?
Yes , it is can get unsured. You should get liability converge without problems. As to full coverage (comprehensive and collision), not many companies will cover rebuilt vehicles, very few will give you a collision and a lot will depend on the reason why the vehicle was totaled. However, large companies like State Farm, GEICO, AllState or Progressive are reported to work with rebuilt autos. Contact the company, provide your car's specs and ask a quote.
Does rebuilt title affect insurance?
Yes, it does. It primarily dereases the number of companies that will insure it and the value of your vehicle. While liability should not be a problem, not every company will offer full coverage insurance on a rebuilt title, few to none will offer collision and vehicle's value will be estimated lower, which is absolutely just. However, the rates should not be affected much if the damage to the vehicle was not bad or it's a theft recovery without any damage. The lower the value the less premium you pay. Many rebuilt car owners were only happy with that. It's a good idea to show to your insurance agent your mechanic's report and conclusion on your vehicle's condition, all the repair bills and the VIN history report to prove that your rebuilt vehicle is worth comprehensive coverage.
Does rebuilt title affect value?
Yes, it does. The value of a rebuilt vehicle is lower that that of a clean title. But how much a rebuilt title affects the value of a car depends on a number of factors, such as age, the type and extent of damage, quality of repair works. Generally, such autos are devalued by as much as 15-50%.
How much discount should I get for a rebuilt title?
From 10 or 50%. Depends on the damage, if any, and how well it was fixed. Read how rebuit title decreases the value.
Is rebuilt title a clean title?
No, a clean title should not be a branded title. In most cases, a clean title is commonly about the presence or absence of salvage or lemon history, odometer problems or not being wanted by the police. The term "clean title" is sometimes confused with a "clear title" that addresses absense of a different issue - lien.
As to liens, even a rebuilt title can be free of them so that no one else has any claims on. Or it may have a lien - it is like with any normal vehicle. In this sense, its title can be cleared in future. A branded title cannot be clean again, regardless of having a lien or not. A rebuilt title is one of the "branded" titles and the branding remains with the vehicle for its lifetime. This title indicates that at some time the vehicle was totaled by an insurance company due to a severe damage and the claim was paid on it, but then it was repaired and put on the road again. As to thefts/investigations, only recovered stolen vehicles get rebuilt titles so they are legally clean.
Is rebuilt title safe?
Yes, but to a very limited extent. Much depends on the state where the rebuilt title was issued. In some states reconstructed vehicles are thoroughly inspected by authorized agencies, like highway patrol or the DMV for safety issues and meeting technical requirements. However, although any buyers reasonably expects safety to be major criteria for deeming a rebuilt vehicle roadworthy, in some states, like Ohio, the only purpose of the obligatory inspection is to verify that the parts used for reconstruction were legally bought and not stolen. As to safety and quality of repairs, there is no guarantee because the inspection is not about it at all. As to the market value of a car and further maintenance costs, it's a different problem for the buyer but not a concern for the DMV. You want to know how well the repair was done and how badly the car was damaged to make conclusions. Read more about the safety of rebuilt cars.
What does rebuilt title look like?
In different states a rebuilt title looks differently, as well as has a different name. Please, check the rebuilt title by state page.
What are the requirements to get a rebuilt title?
Rebuilt title requirements differ depending on the states law. Generally, the candidate salvage vehicle should be repairable under the state law (not junk or "parts only"), be fixed, often at a certified body shop (you'll have to provide receipts) and pass a mandatory inspection as prescribed by the state.
Is buying a rebuilt title car bad?
A rebuilt title is a bad thing in comparison with a clean title because it has been salvaged, usually due to a certain damage. However, very often the low price makes up for the salvage history. If repair works were done well and you want to use it for a long time and the fact that you won't be able to sell it at a good price is not a problem, buying a rebuilt title is OK. If the damage is serious and the quality of repair is poor, rebuilt title may be dangerous
How does does rebuilt title work?
Rebuilt title works and means pretty much the same for automobiles, trucks, RV, ATV, buses, motorcycles or any other vehicle types. First, a vehicle gets a significant damage. Then, the insurance company evaluates repair costs and finds that they exceed about 75% of its original value. In such cases, the company prefers to pay the claim on total loss rather than fix the vehicle. The vehicle becomes the property of the insurance company and gets a salvage title (if it still can be repaired), which means it's not good to be used on public roads as is. After that, the vehicle is sold at a salvage auction to a dealer or a private person who then fixes it. However, the vehicle is not roadworthy until it passes a highway patrol inspection. Only after that the owner can apply at the DMV for a Rebuilt or a similar title according to the state law. The vehicle then becomes roadworthy and insurable, but the branding will remain on the title permanently.
Can I get financing for a rebuilt title?
Yes, you can. Financing a rebuilt car is hard but possible. But no company will finance the full purchase price of a rebuilt title.
Which rebuilt cars are the best?
Those that received the least damage and have the lowest price. As these two conditions aren't so easy to find in one vehicle, the first one is more important because it impacts your safety. However, quite often the choice depends on your current needs. Read more about the best rebuilt title cars. Vehciles with flood, fire, frame damage are not good choices. Those with airbag deplyoment anywhere in their history are also a great risk.
Can rebuilt title be issued due to Not Actual Mileage?
Not actual mileage on a rebuilt car as well as being exempt from odometer disclosure is not the reason why vehicles get totaled out. If you are buying a rebuilt vehicle with a non actual mileage you should not think that it's the only problem. Check its history for another major issue. There should be a severe damage or theft.