Buying a car with a rebuilt title?

posted 6 days ago in The Lounge
Post # 2
Member
140 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2021

I wouldn’t buy one myself. If you do there are things that you need to watch out for. Make sure the repair shop is reliable, see if there is a warranty just in case something messes up in the near future, and also make sure your insurance company will cover a car with that title some don’t. I would also get an evaluation from a trusted mechanic if that’s possible too. 

Post # 3
Member
9228 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

I think this depends on the law where you live. Where I am there are strict laws around cars that have been in an accident and all used cars are required to have a road worthy certificate in order to be sold.

So check into the laws for your area (or if you even have any) and use that as a guide. There are also good articles/forum posts online about this.

 

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@greeneyedbee:  

Post # 4
Member
124 posts
Blushing bee

Your understanding is, by and large, correct.  A salvaged car is one that may have been repaired but has suffered major damage to certain parts (such as the frame) that cannot be repaired to be as structurally sound as they once were.

You probably won’t end up with a constant stream of repairs if the car was fixed correctly, but it won’t be as safe as a non-salvaged car.  I would suggest to your husband not to buy the car in question because his safety (and yours if riding in that car) is more important than saving some money.  Also keep in mind that salvaged cars are difficult to sell and usually won’t be accepted as donations except for scrap.  He’s better off buying a reliable used car, maybe one several years older, that isn’t salvaged.

Often, salvaged cars were totaled by insurance companies in crashes.  Not all totaled cars are scrapped.  Some are fixed and re-titled as salvaged.  That’s the kind of car he could be buying.  I wouldn’t do it.

Post # 5
Member
7785 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

I wouldn’t, for reasons listed by PPs. 

Post # 6
Member
239 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

I’m an insurance adjuster and I put those brands on vehicles all the time. Rebuilt means…. literally rebuilt from the ground up. You will likely have endless issues with the car, and just so you’re aware, your insurance costs will at least double. Insurers hate insuring rebuilt vehicles because of the issues they have. If you manage to find an insurer, it will be a very expensive policy.

Dont waste your money.

Post # 7
Member
11084 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

View original reply
@starwarsbride:  

Are the terms “rebuilt” and “salvage” used interchangeably or are they two different types of title in your state?

I have seen numerous occasions in which a car was “totaled” by the insurance company when the damage was cosmetic, as in a fender bender.

The high cost of body work combined with the rapid depreciation of most vehicles creates just this scenario. 

Once the insurance company declares it “totaled”, it receives some for of scarlet letter, ie salvage or whatever term is used in that state (if in the US). It is often the case that the vehicle escaped frame or mechanical damage and only requires nofy work, which can be very expensive.

State law will dictate what type of title a vehicle gets and that criterion may vary from state to state.

I totally agree about the insurance potentially bring a problem. Having owned a *salvage* title vehicle, I found it easy to add to my policy with no rate increases. The catch was that they would not provide collision coverage.

 

I think it’s good to make sure everyone is using the same nomenclature.

 

 

Post # 8
Member
9893 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

Anecdotally…I was in a bad accident where my air bag did not deploy as it should have. Afterwards the car technically was not considered totalled (ironically because the airbag hadn’t gone off…) but we salvaged it anyway. The car repair people we talked to were like “oh we’ll just reset the airbag warning light.” Um WHAT?! Like I could have died. But sure, just turn the light off and send it on to the next person…

Needless to say, no way in hell would I buy a car with a salvaged title.

Post # 9
Member
239 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

View original reply
@sassy411:  Theres “salvage” and “irrepairable” titles. Salvage is a vehicle with light damage that could be used for parts, and irreparable is super heavy damage with no usable parts (parts cant be trusted if theres heavy damage on a vehicle). Either title will cause issues with your future insurance and may cause a potential safety issue if rebuilt for the road again.

Post # 10
Member
11084 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

View original reply
@starwarsbride:  

We bought a salvage title vehicle for the dogs a few years ago. It’s original owner was the US Government. I don’t know whether all federal agencies do this, but, all that the dealer had from this particular department were sold with salvage title.

There was nothing wrong with the vehicle, it was never wrecked. That’s just how they sold them. Maybe it’s a liability issue, I dunno.

FWIW, this was in California.

The only insurance issue was not being able to get collision. It was fully covered for everything else without a rate increase. We didn’t care because we had gotten the thing so cheaply.

 

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