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Should You Buy a Rebuilt Title?

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Saving up to fifty percent on an automobile is practically unheard of. But that’s exactly what you’re likely to save if you decide to purchase a vehicle with a rebuilt title.

In this seller’s market, vehicle prices are through the roof, and you may be thinking it might not be such a bad idea to buy a rebuilt title.

After all, a rebuilt title is going to be significantly cheaper than the same vehicle with a clean title and it could be a reliable vehicle for you for years to come.

But many people are turned off by a rebuilt title, worried that it may not be reliable or that it will be too hard to resell one day.

Before you strike a deal, keep reading to learn what a rebuilt title is, why vehicles with rebuilt titles are so much less expensive, and what you should look for when determining whether buying a rebuilt title is worth it.

What Is a Rebuilt Title?

Before going into detail about what a rebuilt title is, let’s first distinguish between the various types of titles. The two primary types of titles issued in the United States are clean and branded titles.

Clean Title

Every vehicle starts off with a clean title. It’s the default title for vehicles. This means that a vehicle with a clean title has not experienced any of the circumstances which call for a title to be branded, such as flood damage, odometer rollback, or being totaled.

Branded Title

As mentioned, a vehicle receives a branded title when it has been deemed a total loss by an insurer. This loss could be from any number of things, such as fire, flood, accident, etc. A vehicle could even be branded with a faulty odometer.

The two types of branded titles we’ll talk about moving forward are salvage titles and rebuilt titles.

Salvage Title

A salvage title is the title given to a vehicle that has been deemed a total loss by an insurer. For a vehicle that has been totaled to be re-sold, it must be re-sold as a salvage title.

With salvage titles, it is highly likely that there will be some type of damage to the vehicle. Aside from being salvaged due to theft, most any other reason would imply either mechanical or cosmetic issues with the vehicle.

Rebuilt Title

Finally, what you’re here to learn about, the rebuilt title. A salvage title vehicle is given a rebuilt title when the issues that caused it to be salvaged have been repaired.

With a rebuilt title, if an odometer was at one point deemed unreliable, it has since been reconsidered to be reliable once again. If a vehicle suffered extensive flood damage, that has all been addressed and fixed.

Theoretically speaking, a vehicle with a rebuilt title should be in good working order. If a rebuilt title’s repairs were done properly, with the right parts, tools, and attention to detail, it’s entirely possible that a car with a rebuilt title could be every bit as reliable as many clean titles.

Can You Rely On a Rebuilt Title?

Each state has different laws and regulations around what necessitates a rebuilt title. For that reason, it’s important to check with your state’s DMV to determine what level of repair is necessary to be given a rebuilt title.

You’ll likely want to consider how strict the state is in giving rebuilt titles. Are state inspections mandatory for a rebuilt title? How scrupulous are the state inspections?

Most people feel better about buying rebuilt titles from states where inspections are rigorous and it has been extensively proven that the necessary repairs were properly done.

Ultimately, whether or not a rebuilt title will be a reliable vehicle for you long-term comes down to what caused the vehicle to be salvaged in the first place, how well was it repaired, and the all-around condition of the vehicle otherwise.

Things to Consider Before Buying a Rebuilt Title

Before buying a rebuilt title, take a look at this quick list of things you should do. These quick considerations can go a long way to ensuring you land a great deal, rather than a great headache.

Check With Your Insurance Agent

You’ll want to make sure any car you take out onto the road is insured on some level.

Some companies won’t fully insure a rebuilt title, and some won’t insure one at all. Before buying a rebuilt title, check in with your insurance agent to ensure that you’ll be able to insure it and how much it will cost.

Get a Mechanic’s Opinion

Ask a mechanic you trust to look at the vehicle before buying it. They’ll be able to inspect the work that was done and check over the parts to ensure that everything was done properly.

It’s always best practice to have a mechanic look at any pre-owned vehicle you’re considering. They’ll also be able to point out any potential red flags with the vehicle, whether associated with the circumstances for the rebuilt title or not.

Lower Resale Value

You should know before buying a rebuilt title that the value of the vehicle will always be lower than the same vehicle with a clean title. It will also be less desired.

This could make it more difficult to sell if you ever decide to do so.

Why Was It Salvaged?

Was the vehicle initially salvaged because it was exposed to flood conditions and is now susceptible to early corrosion in the body and framework? Or, was it simply because it was an older car that suffered extensive body damage which has since been perfectly repaired?

Not all rebuilt titles are equal. Considering both why it was initially salvaged and how well it has been repaired is crucial when considering if a rebuilt title is the way to go.

Maintenance Is Key

There’s a lot to consider when buying a vehicle with a rebuilt title. With these tips, you’ll be in a much better position to spot a certified deal on a rebuilt title. And if you land a great deal, all the more reason to take care of it!

Whether you choose a clean title or a rebuilt title, you’ll need to make sure you’re taking care of its tires. For an easy and inexpensive way to maintain your vehicle’s tires, sign up for our tire subscription service today!

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