What is a Rebuild Title?

Rebuilt Title Cars

A  car with a rebuilt title is a tough sell. Most car buyers will try to make a run for it the moment they hear a vehicle is rebuilt, but why? That’s a great question. Many reasons why a buyer refuse to purchase the car, such as its resale value or potential safety concerns. It’s important to be well-informed about what a rebuilt title is before you purchase one.

Buying / Selling a Rebuilt Title Car

If you’re buying or selling a rebuilt title car, some of these questions may come up.

  • What is the difference between a rebuilt title vs salvage title?
  • Is a rebuilt title car safe?
  • How much does a rebuilt title affect value?
  • Are there salvage car buyers near me?

Palmetto Used Auto will help find the answers to these questions & more!

Did You Know?Some rebuilt title cars can sell for less than half of what a clean version is worth. That is because most banks will not provide car loans for them, insurance companies will provide little to no coverage on these cars, and sometimes they never drive the same after the rebuilding process.

Selling a rebuilt title car is no walk in the park. Rebuilt cars have some value left in them. Before you sell it privately, check what it’s worth.

What’s the Difference Between Rebuilt Title & Salvage Title?

Rebuilt and salvage cars actually go hand in hand. One must evolve into the other. The path to a rebuilt title car begins when a new or used vehicle is damaged by a natural disaster, car collision, or theft and is then declared a total loss by the insurance company. The insurance company will then brand the vehicle’s title as ‘salvage’.

What is a Salvage Title?

Imagine a car that was wrecked in a front end collision with deployed airbags or a car that was subject to severe flooding from a hurricane.These vehicles are now declared a total loss by the insurance company. In most cases, the reason why a car is totaled is due to the cost of repair exceeding 75% or more of the vehicle’s resale value.

Let’s say a there’s a Toyota Corolla with a resale value of $5,000 and it’s been involved in a rear-end collision. The airbags are blown and it has a bumper that’s sticking out like a sore thumb. After the insurance company looks at the car, they determine that cost of repair will be $4000. The cost to repair in this case is 80% of the resale value, therefore, the vehicle is now branded as ‘salvage’. More than likely the insurance company will keep the car to auction it off at junk or salvage auctions and then compensate you for the car. Some insurance companies have multiple options and there is a possibility that they’ll let you keep the salvage yourself and they’ll reduce the compensation amount. So what happens next?

What is a Rebuilt Title?

After a vehicle has been branded with a salvage title, the owner must put the vehicle through a rigorous and expensive repair process if they want the car to be drive-able again. The vehicle must be repaired and able to pass a state inspection to have its title branded as a Rebuilt salvage car. At this point, the vehicle is now certified by the state to be sold and driven on the streets.

Is a rebuilt car safe to drive?

This question will always come up when buying or selling a rebuilt vehicle. Just because a vehicle has a branding like that doesn’t mean it’s not safe. Some rebuilt title cars are just as safe as a clean title car with no issues.

When is a rebuilt car safe to drive?

Not every car is rebuilt from an accident. Picture a Honda that was stolen and recovered but the engine was missing along with interior parts and wheels. The vehicle is then salvaged off to a buyer that has another car just like it that’s crashed and is waiting to swap parts. The buyer will fix this car to have it inspected and change its branding to rebuilt, thus making this a rebuilt title car that’s safe to drive.

When is a rebuilt car not safe to drive?

Vehicles that are rebuilt for cosmetic and structural damage may not be the safest car to have an accident with. When a vehicle has one or more of these issues you may want to think twice before driving-

  • When the frame was damaged or repaired.
  • When there are leaking fluids.
  • If the dash warning lights are lit.
  • If airbags deployed and weren’t repaired or they’re missing.

How much does a rebuilt title affect value?

There isn’t any easy salvaged or rebuilt car value calculator. There are many factors that affect a rebuilt vehicle’s value including where the vehicle was damaged, the extent of that damage, and the quality of the repair. Some of these cars could have a resale value of more than 50% lower than its clean title counterpart.

A clean used 2009 Toyota corolla could cost you up to $12k depending on the mileage. The same vehicle but with a rebuilt history could cost you from $5k to $7k, depending on what happened to the car and the quality of repairs.

Signs of good quality repairs:

  • Paint is matching color all around
  • All body panels are lined up properly
  • Vehicle drives straight
  • No dash warning lights

Signs of poor quality repairs

  • Unpainted or mismatching shades of color
  • Body panels misaligned (e.g. gaps in between bumpers)
  • Vehicle not driving straight
  • Warning lights on the dash

Leave a Comment