The Best Rebuilt Cars
The best rebuilt cars are those that have the lowest price and at the same time give the least trouble to the owner. And it's primarily not the matter of the make and the model but the type of the damage the vehicle has suffered - because even the quality of repair is always questionable, unless someone you know really well fixed the car. As it's quite difficult to guarantee that the guys who fixed the car did their job properly, the best strategy is to aim at rebuilt vehicles where the functional parts were intact. Such vehicles are either those that have external cosmetic damage or received a salvage title due to theft recovery (recovered stolen vehicles get salvage titles in 11 states).
Hail damaged rebuilt cars are among the best cars to buy, provided that hail damage is the only damage. They may look not quite good (unlike flood damaged rebuilt titles) and very often the new owners have to keep some scratches or dents for years because repairs are quite costly, but such vehicles are safe and give no unexpected and so much unwanted expenses down the road. A great bonus for the buyer is that if the vehicle was still under warranty when it received a salvage title, some manufactures (like Subaru) may allow you to have the warranty and void it just for specific issues relating to repairs of the damaged coating of glass elements. However, although warranty policies differ from manufacturer to manufacturer, most will void the warranty for all rebuilt titles - not matter what the reason for totaling out. This is understandable - how can they know what else could have happened to a salvage title besides what was reported or seen on the surface? Taking into account all of the above, hail damaged cars with fully reconstructed coating are more expensive that other vehicles with other damages. However, is having a few dents and scratches won't drive your insane you can buy it really cheap (even in a salvage status and get the rebuilt title yourself with little trouble).
A theft recovery rebuilt title may also be great. However, a though inspection by a mechanic is a must. Although such a vehicle may have no damage at all it may be "stripped" and who knows what happened to it while it was searched for. There is still a chance to get a box of tricks, so don't hesitate to pay 150$ to the mechanic for a thorough inspection after getting a vehicle history report. The expert will warn you about all the existing and potential issues and help you make the right choice. It can be a great buy and you don't want to let it slip through your fingers.
Side impacted vehicles typically undergo fender or door repairs or replacement. Very often, such cars also have little to fix and run well. An older vehicle will total out with just a fender bender.
Rollover accidents may be good buys - depends how the car got upside down. If it ran off the highway at full speed, expect a lot of troubles. If it's just a result of an unskillful maneuver while crawling on a hump, it's a different thing. However, expect a lot of cosmetic issues and the roof needs thorough checks. You want to be sure it is rigid enough to protect you and your family if it rolls over again someday...Post-rollover hardtop convertibles are definitely not on the list of the best rebuilt vehicles and should be avoided - the fragile and complicated roof will be a total headache, and it's the roof that makes hardtop convertibles cost twice as much as similar non-convertible cars.
Generally, the older the car the less the damage it needs to get totaled. For this reason, new rebuilt cars are generally more dangerous as they are more seriously damaged and the quality of repairs is under question.