It’s great to have something new and well-made. But there’s nothing like owning something that was lost over time and then brought back to perfect condition.
A “rebuilt title” car is one that was fixed up from a “salvage” state. It got the Salvage title when the insurance company that paid a claim on it said it was a total loss.
Taking something old and fixing it up from scratch, whether it’s a watch, an artefact, or a car, is a fine art that takes a lot of technical know-how. A car with a rebuilt title is the same. This article by Motoring Junction will explain what this kind of car is and how to get it insured.
What is a Rebuilt Title Car?
At its core, a rebuilt car is a car that the insurance company has already fixed up. Sometimes, easy-to-fix or rare cars are taken to be restored almost to the point where they look exactly the same as when they were new. You can get a rebuilt title for these kinds of cars.
Also, it’s interesting to note that the word “salvage” sounds bad, and you might already be thinking of a pile of broken metal. But a broken headlight and a few dents and scratches might be enough for an insurance company to say that a car is a total loss.
Insurance companies look at how much it will cost to fix a car and how much it is insured to be worth. So, if the cost of fixing the car is more than what is written on the insurance paper, the insurance company would rather just pay that amount and call the car a total loss.
The insurance company is now in charge of that car. The company then sells it to a recycling centre or an auto repair business to make money.
Most of the time, the repair shops buy these cars and fix them on the cheap. To lower the price, they might buy used parts or fix dents and scratches. The cars that have been fixed up are then sold as “Rebuilt title cars.”
Note: Only a few states in the US will give you a “rebuilt title” for a car, so check to see if it’s okay in your state before you buy it.
Are All Restored Cars Rebuilt Titles?
No. When a car’s title says “rebuilt,” it means that it has been fixed up to its bare bones. Most of the used cars you find at outlets have not been fixed up. Instead, they have been “washed.”
This means that they were bought from the last owner, fixed up and cleaned, and then sold to the other customer. If you want to buy a used car in the US, almost 1 out of every 50 will have a “washed” title. So if someone says a car has a “rebuilt title,” you know what that means.
Should I Buy a Rebuilt Title Car?
You should really go for rebuilt title cars over other used cars or new cars because they’re a great deal, you know they’ll last because they have all new parts, and you can always switch to something better if you want to. Just keep a few important things in mind.
Make sure the car you’re buying has a rebuilt title and isn’t just a clean car with a rebuilt title label (we’ll show you how in a moment).
The most important thing to think about is whether or not you can insure the car. Talk to your insurance agent about it. Many insurance companies in the United States don’t fully cover cars that have been rebuilt, so you might need to do some research.
If the insurance company says no to full coverage, ask for liability-only insurance. Legally, you must have at least liability insurance to drive a car on public roads. If no insurance company will cover this car, you shouldn’t either.
Once your insurance company gives you the “go ahead” and you decide to go through with the deal, do some research on the car to make sure it really is what it says it is.
Before you buy the car, make sure there is no damage to the chassis and that it is safe to drive. Get a mechanic to check the rebuilt car every time. A $50–$100 fee for the mechanic to check the car is well worth it.
How To Check Your Rebuilt Title Car?
Before you buy a car with a rebuilt title, you need to make sure it’s been rebuilt and not just serviced well. Most mechanics can’t tell the difference, but a good rehabber can. You will have to pay a little more for these skilled mechanics, but they will do the job.
Find out exactly how the car was written off. Many cars are easy to fix up and make look like they’ve been rebuilt if the damage isn’t too bad. So pay attention to the small things.
Tip: Start using VIN checks and other free services like Carfax and Autocheck, which can tell you a little bit about the car’s history and where it came from. From these reports, you might be able to find out how it was written off, why it was saved, and if it’s a lemon or not.
But we really think you should stay away from cars that have been damaged by floods. Because after a year or two, no matter how well they are rebuilt, they start to cause problems again.
Getting Your Rebuilt Title Car Insured
After buying the rebuilt car, getting insurance is probably one of the most important things you’ll need to do. The biggest problem you will have is that rebuilt title cars are a big red flag for insurance companies.
The dogma says that a rebuilt title car will likely break down sooner or later, which will cost the company more money. This is why we told you to make sure you find an insurance company that will cover the policy for that car after it was fixed.
If you already own a car, you can use the same insurance company to cover the car you are rebuilding. Since they already trust you, there are less likely to be problems with the deal.
The next thing you’ll need to figure out is if your insurance company will cover the whole car or just certain parts. Most insurance companies would find ways to get out of covering the whole car, but if you look hard enough, you’ll find someone who will cover the whole thing.
We’ve already said this a few times, but make sure you have the right insurance company, one that is always ready to cover you, so that your car doesn’t rip you off. And be ready to look at a lot of companies to find the right one.
Even though rebuilt title cars are worth a lot and are cheap to buy, they need to be approved by the DMV to make sure that your car doesn’t cause problems for you or other drivers. After you buy a car, you’ll need to go to the DMV in your state to get it approved.
Once your car has a title that says “rebuilt,” you can’t take it back. Since you are putting a lot of time and money into buying a car, you should have a professional check it out to make sure it is safe.