A rebuilt car title (also known as salvaged) is a clean title given to certain cars that have had their previous titles cancelled.
when you buy a used car, its history typically goes with it, whether or not the buyer knows about it. a rebuilt vehicle only has the legal black marks of two accidents (the kind that would render it totally wrecked) on its record because mechanics either repaired or swapped out functional parts like steering columns and transmissions before reselling them.
is it ok to buy a rebuilt title car?
when you purchase a rebuilt car, you are buying an older used vehicle that has been kept safe for resale at a discounted price.
rebuilt cars are often not detailed as well as certified, so they may have dinged up bumpers or scratches on the exterior. the interior of the car might show smudges from being handled by lots of buyers before you. rebuilding is also costly even though the end result is worth it because no certified title will ever be offered to these cars again, and there's no telling what this process was put through to become “rebuilt”. used car inspections can't certify something that never truly operated under its own power, which makes rebuilding all the more dubious given how many shady yards there
what is the downside of a rebuilt title?
there are many downsides; for example, even with a rebuilt title it will be difficult or impossible to finance the vehicle at most banks.
there is not an upside of having a rebuilt title on your car, especially if you plan on financing it. most banks won't invest in rebuilding someone's credit for you. even with good credit; paying more than double the original price is simply too expensive and high of a risk. if you have bad credit and want to rebuild your reputation, there are better options out there that don't involve buying an expensive car from another individual – such as investing in rental property.
is rebuilt the same as salvage title?
rebuilt is when the vehicle was refinished by a licensed body shop, not in an insurance salvage auction.
insurance companies love to mark used vehicles as “salvage” (a.k.a rebuilt) in order to get more money for them in their auctions. they do this because people are often willing to pay more, thinking that they are getting a better deal than what might be labeled as simply “used”. the truth with most used cars today is that many of them start out at an insurance auction anyhow- so how can it really matter if they were resold there or not?
salvaged can point to accidents, flood damage, theft- all sorts of issues that destroy the car's structural