What is a Rebuilt Title Car
What is a Rebuilt Title Car

What is a Rebuilt Title Car


If your situation calls for spending as little as possible, most likely, you’ll be searching the used car market. And this is where you might stumble upon what’s called ‘a rebuilt title car’. Along with this, there are also terms like ‘salvage title’ and ‘title washing’. These may sound murky and cautionary, so you may be asking yourself whether you should buy a rebuilt title car or not?

Let’s dig a little into this and find what this is all about and how much this is worth your efforts in finding a great bargain.

What is a Rebuilt title, and what is a Salvage title?

Let’s see what’s hiding behind the term ‘rebuilt title’ and those related.

  • When a vehicle loses clean title, it is referred to as ‘branded title’, which can be salvage or rebuilt vehicle.
  • A ‘salvage title’ refers to a car that is no longer suitable for the road due to any of the following, but not limited to: collision, flood, fire, theft, etc.
  • A ‘rebuilt title’ is what a ‘salvage title’ car can get after it has been restored and re-certified for road usage again.

Pros and cons of shopping for a Salvage title car

Salvage titled cars can be a great deal because they lose clean title and fall in price, but not necessarily in quality. For example, stolen vehicles, if not recovered within 21 days (for most provinces), get branded but may remain fully undamaged. The same applies to cars that have been in an accident but only have minor damage.

On the other hand, buying a salvage title car is risky. It has to be fully re-certified for driving, and you may face costly repairs or even a total loss of money if previously undiscovered damage makes the car non-drivable. Basically, it is like buying a car as is.

Pros and cons of shopping for a Rebuilt title car

A rebuilt title car can be a better deal mainly because it has all the repairs done. Generally, you can end up saving up to 50% compared to the same model with a clean title.

The downside of buying a rebuilt title car is that you are still gambling. There’s no way to know how properly the repairs were done and what parts were used.

Additionally, rebuilt title vehicles are not the tastiest piece for lenders. So, getting such a car financed may be a problem. Not to mention the potential difficulties selling it further along due to its less attractive branded title.

What to look for on a Rebuilt title car?

If you’re considering a car with a rebuilt title, we strongly recommend you take time to do some digging:

  • Was it a flood vehicle? Premature corrosion isn’t going to make your car last longer.
  • Did the car get a powertrain or frame damage? Any damage in those areas is subject to costly repairs.
  • Where was the vehicle repaired? Make sure to check the repair shop’s reputation.
  • Can you get to see the receipts? You want to know what exactly and how properly the repairs were done.
  • Has the car been insured after being rebuilt? This will tell you your chances of getting it insured. Otherwise, walk away from it.
  • Have the repairs been estimated for a salvage car? This will give you an idea of how much you’re looking to spend.
  • Have the car checked by a mechanic you trust.
  • Test-drive the car and see it in action: check for smells, noises, anything that is ‘not quite right’. Do it as many times as you feel you need to feel comfortable.

Beware of title washing

The so-called ‘title washing’ describes situations when ‘branded title’ vehicles have their title ‘cleaned’ out of province. This is possible because many provinces use their own title transfer systems. You can avoid getting scammed by checking a full vehicle history report.

All you need is the 17-digit VIN number that can be found on the dashboard right under and seen through the windshield. Enter this number at Carfax to get a full report on a car with all the info on the vehicle’s collisions, repairs, title status, and other useful information.

Safe used car shopping

As you can see, buying a car with a rebuilt title can be a scrupulous and time-consuming process. CarEvo strives to make your car shopping experience safe and easy. Filling our quick online application can be the first step to getting your dream car – with no risks and strikingly convenient. Have a safe car shopping!

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