When you’re looking to buy a used car, chances are you’ve heard of “rebuilt title.” What is the difference between a car with a rebuilt title and a standard car? Essentially, this means the vehicle had previously been in bad enough condition that repairing would not be worth the time.
Most insurance companies will deem your car totaled if it’s in excess of 50%-80% damaged and will issue you with a salvage title. The rebuilt title is added once the car has been completely repaired.
Buying a vehicle with a rebuilt title may sound like an easy way to get behind the wheel of a car without breaking the bank. However, there are pros and cons that come with this purchase as well. Below, we have listed 8 facts that will be wise for you to consider if you’re looking to buy a car with a rebuilt title.
You’ll Likely Save Money Buying A Rebuilt Car
A rebuilt vehicle will come at a discount. You might spend less on your initial payment, but the total cost could end up being more in the long run due to some specifics. Once you buy a car, it is essential to remember that regular inspections are necessary. The last thing you want to be dealing with is a significant expense on top of your new purchase.
The Car Must Pass A State Inspection
Though it might be hard at first to overcome the stigma of owning a salvaged car, there are benefits. The good news is, a car has to go through state inspection to acquire a rebuilt title. If you choose wisely and use caution when shopping for one with a rebuilt title, this could save hundreds on your new vehicle purchase.
So how much are you saving by purchasing a rebuilt vehicle over a brand new one? According to many auto repair experts, fifty percent is achievable if these three factors are taken into account: how much damage was done to the vehicle in question, what type and popularity of auto repair work needs to be completed, and who will do that work for you.
A Second Opinion From An Experienced Shop Matters
It can be difficult to tell whether a rebuilt car is up to standards. It’s important not only for the safety of yourself and your family, but also for your finances. It’s recommended that you have the vehicle well-inspected by a trustworthy shop that is experienced working with cars of this nature.
A car is often deemed to be totaled by the insurance company because it’s been in an accident that was too severe for repair, and it was deemed the cost of repairs not worth paying out on their policy. These rebuilt titled vehicles should always have someone take them apart and be inspected for missing parts before signing off.
Ask for Documentation of the Work
Make sure when getting a rebuilt vehicle that you get proper documentation of the work done on it. If you’ve had your car fixed and the seller refuses to show you documentation, it might be because they want to sell a broken down vehicle. A seller of a quality rebuilt vehicle should have no issue providing authentic paperwork of what was done. This means requesting receipts and checking that the work was done through a reputable garage.
Consider background-checking the car’s history through the DMV or reliable sites. Clarify why the vehicle was salvaged and what the repair process was like. If you’re running into more problems with your vehicle than ever before since the repair or because parts seem loose, there is a chance that they were using old spare pieces from other totaled vehicles during its restoration process. You want to avoid this issue at all costs.
A Rebuilt Car Can Be Hard to Sell
Cars with rebuilt titles can be a gamble. Though they might be affordable, their reliability is questionable, and the chance of selling them for profit is minimal. This is something you will need to consider on any car with a rebuilt title.
Insuring a Rebuilt Car Comes with Challenges
Car insurance companies are wary of insuring cars with rebuilt titles. Though some will insure them, they won’t offer full coverage because it is difficult to figure out the real value of these vehicles.
Unless you live in the state of New Hampshire, you will have to have liability insurance, which could be disastrous for owning a rebuilt car. Insurance is a pain when you have to deal with the little quirks of having a rebuilt title. The process can be more tedious and time-consuming, as many car dealerships will refuse rebuilt or salvaged vehicles for trade-in purposes.
There are options, though, even if your insurance company refuses coverage. Shop around and compare quotes from other insurers that cover these types of risks so you don’t get stuck without proper protection.
Ask This Set of Questions Before Buying A Rebuilt Vehicle
- How did the vehicle get damaged?
- How severe was the damage to the car?
- What was repaired on the vehicle, and who performed the repairs?
- Is the car frame adequately lined up?
- Was the car examined by a reputable mechanic?
- Does my insurer cover cars with rebuilt titles?
Check That the Rebuilt Vehicle is Not Defective
What are some signs that the rebuilt car you’re looking at is defective? Even though you may have asked all the important questions when shopping for a vehicle, there are other things to keep in mind.
You might not be able to tell a good repair from one that was done poorly, so it’s best to get an up-close look at the panels. Make sure they all line up smoothly and without any gaps or mismatched colors between them. Some other details to look out for include:
- Significant dents or mangled fuel lines under the vehicle.
- The air-bag light is functioning incorrectly.
- Tire treading that appears uneven.
- The trunk, hood, or any doors won’t close properly.
Be on the lookout for any signs of flood or fire damage as well. Details such as wet carpets, a musty odor, mud in the glove compartment, silt or leaves in the trunk, or an air freshener to cover a scent are all indicators of this.
Choosing to purchase a car with a rebuilt title is not necessarily good or bad. It could be a great decision or a disaster, so be aware of the risks and do your research.