Should I Buy A Car With A Rebuilt Title?

Last Updated on January 22, 2022 by Kimberly Crawford

With used car costs as high as they are these days, consumers are surely searching for any opportunity to save money. However, even when a car-buying method saves you cash in the short term does not imply you should employ it. Getting an automobile with a damaged title, for instance. 

How about buying a secondhand automobile with a restored title, which is something that individuals on a budget do? If you go ahead, you’ll have just as much labor to do just as the usual used-car consumer, if not more. To know more information, including the pros and cons of buying a car with a rebuilt title, read more. 

What is a rebuilt title?

what is rebuilt title car

A rebuilt title can be given to an automobile that has a salvage title once it has been restored. This informs the buyer about the vehicle’s past history.

The car must undergo a battery of tests to prove that it is okay to drive in certain states before receiving a rebuilt title. In certain areas, however, there may be no duty to disclose the vehicle’s history to prospective purchasers.

If a vehicle sustains substantial damage and repairs cost between 70% and 90% of the car’s worth, the insurance provider may declare the vehicle a complete loss.

When that judgment is reached, the car’s title is changed from good to damaged or junk by a state automobile office. You cannot sell, drive, or register a vehicle that has been given a salvage title after it has been fixed.

A rebuilt title indicates that a car has been restored after receiving a salvage title due to serious collision damage, flood, fire or even a manufacturer repurchase after a victorious lemon-law claim. 

Several states provide state-specific titles for special conditions, such as lemon titles or floods, but not every state offers rebuilt rights, and one of the many variances that cause complications for used-car buyers. 

Such anomalies make it easier for wrecks and other unwanted titles to be cleaned (that is, changed through unethical means) entirely, concealing a vehicle’s shady past from potential buyers. However, in the instance of rebuilt titles, different standards imply that an automobile with such a name isn’t guaranteed to be safe or trustworthy.

Should I buy a car with a rebuilt title?

This is dependent on your circumstances. On the one side, purchasing a vehicle with this title may be a solid investment.

To acquire a rebuilt title in several states, automobiles must pass stringent examinations. Because the car already had a salvage registration, the resale value might be significantly lower. As a result, you may save a lot of money.

However, there may be certain disadvantages. Just though it cleared state inspection doesn’t indicate it’ll be safe to drive for a long time. Furthermore, obtaining coverage for the insurance for your car may be challenging.

Returning to price, while you could get a fantastic price on it when you buy it, you won’t earn nearly that much if you want to sell it later as you would if it’s a car with a pristine title.

When compared to a car with a good title, a car with a rebuilt label may be much more difficult to sell.

Rebuilt titles should be avoided by buyers since they typically indicate that the vehicle has been in a serious accident or has been wrecked in the past. Rebuilt titles should be avoided by potential purchasers wishing to invest in a car because of any concerns that may arise from previous incidents.

What is the downside of a rebuilt title?

Buying a previously damaged car might be a hazardous decision, but it can also be a smart one if you understand what you’re doing. Automobiles with rebuilt or salvage titles are often less expensive than those with clear titles.

In reality, rebuilt or salvaged autos are typically 20% to 40% less expensive than comparable vehicles with a clear title.

Buying a used car with such a rebuilt title, but at the other hand, may result in higher long-term expenditures if the earlier repairs were inadequate.

When you buy a salvage rebuilt car, you’re acknowledging that it’s been through a lot of harm. There might be concealed or unknown damages that develop at a later period in some circumstances. 

Similarly, even if the automobile has been entirely repaired, acquiring insurance benefits for the vehicle may be difficult. Many carriers will charge the very same premium for a rebuilt title vehicle as they would for an identical vehicle with a good title, even though your automobile is worth substantially less.

Before purchasing a car with a rebuilt title, keep the following in mind:

  • How was the automobile harmed
  • The size of the destruction
  • The procedure for repairing a car and the site of the maintenance
  • Whether the car was inspected by a competent or a licensed mechanic
  • Whether or not a car with a rebuilt title will be covered by your insurance provider.

How do you value a car with a rebuilt title?

It’s difficult to sell an automobile that isn’t in great condition and has a rebuilt title. Most automobile purchasers would flee as soon as they learn that a vehicle has been repaired, but why? That is an excellent question. A buyer may decline to buy the automobile for a variety of reasons, including its resale price or possible safety problems. 

Remember that the worth of a rebuilt title automobile is determined by the extent of the vehicle’s destruction and its age. The lower the value, the more serious the damage.

The word “complete loss” does not always imply that there was significant functional harm. It signifies that the insurance company’s expected cost of repairs are excessively high since they surpass around 70% of their ACV. 

Multiple damaged minor parts, scratches, dents, shattered glass elements, expensive wheel rims, tires, pulled out sound systems, and other items might cost a lot of money – virtually the whole market worth of older automobiles! However, important working components may still be viable, and such cars commonly wind up at salvage markets.

Typically, these are 5-year-old or older automobiles that were in fairly good condition prior to being totaled, but the expense of correcting minor defects was not economically viable owing to the car’s age-related depreciation. These reconditioned automobiles are the finest bargains. These are frequently repaired titles that have been destroyed by hail. 

However, the cost may be comparable. An insurance buyback is another viable option. Car owners are frequently astonished when their insurance provider decides to total their vehicle due to a broken bumper, for example. They would rather purchase it back, get it fixed, keep driving, and profit financially.

Is it bad to buy a rebuilt title car?

The fact that a car with something like a rebuilt title passes state inspections does not ensure its long-term safety. Before deciding on a car, make sure you do your homework and fully inspect it. Assessing the car’s structure and alignment are two things that might assist assess if the vehicle is worth it or not. 

A car with excessive exterior wear might be the first indication that it is indeed a lemon. Furthermore, a car that is improperly aligned may cause long-term issues. Finally, it is critical to have the engine inspected by a skilled technician. If you go ahead, you’ll have just as much effort to do as the usual used-car shopper, if not more.

Cosmetic damage is one of the many sorts of damage that might culminate in a salvage title. When an automobile is wrecked, it indicates the insurance company decided it was not worth the money to restore it. However, this does not always imply that it was incurable, and insurance people aren’t always correct. 

Given market circumstances or perhaps even his as well as her own schedule (labor is a big factor in any repair job), a sharp-eyed rehabilitator could spot an advantage and bring in the work to reconstruct it for resale.

Even in the best-case situation, there’s no assurance that the modifications were done correctly, and there’s no legal redress if they weren’t. Even with a car that openly displays the rebuilt title like since it has nothing to disclose, there is plenty of possibility for the contrary – fraud and deceit. 

Because insurance may declare cars total losses in part due to aesthetic damage, you may be able to discover certain dirt-cheap rebuilt automobiles that are in good working order but only look banged up. However, you should not let unrepaired body harm make you forget about other elements that have been injured and restored (or not). In certain states, the requirements for reconstructed titles are substantially less stringent.


Purchasing a secondhand automobile entails some risk. Even if you follow all of the manufacturer’s recommendations, an older automobile might develop costly problems that are not covered by the manufacturer’s guarantee. That is, assuming the vehicle’s history has been meticulously documented and made accessible to you. 

A rebuilt car may appear appealing if you believe you know the whole story and are able to insure it, however proceed into these deals with your eyes wide open and demand a great deal.