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Title status “rebuilt”
Posted by: davemchine
Date: June 16, 2018 03:35AM
I’m looking at a car on Craigslist and it says the title status is “rebuilt”. What does that mean?
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Re: Title status “rebuilt”
Posted by: Michael
Date: June 16, 2018 05:07AM
Down here it means the car was totaled and so the title was reissued and indicated as salvage. Then somebody rebuilt the car and it was retitled as rebuilt.

Here's what somebody has to do in GA to get a rebuilt title: [dor.georgia.gov]

The thing I would be VERY careful about is a vehicle that was totaled because it was in a flood. My understanding is that the electrical can be a never-ending mess in such cases.
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Re: Title status “rebuilt”
Posted by: davemchine
Date: June 16, 2018 05:07AM
Never mind. Sold super fast.
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Re: Title status “rebuilt”
Posted by: CW2V
Date: June 16, 2018 05:09AM
Basically it is a car deemed by an insurance company as not worth the cost to repair when a claim has been filed. These cars are then sold off as scrap without a clean title, so if they are ever sold again, they must have the designation of "rebuilt" or "salvage."

Entrepreneurs (or scammers) will either fix these cars back to like new condition (some may need to be inspected by law - I don't know much about this, may be a state by state law) or make them look nice for a quick sell. Some can be pretty good deals if the original damage was cosmetic, or if the re-builders are operating a legitimate business, but there are also high risks. Cars that have been in floods can end up hundreds of miles away looking almost new for low, low prices. Years later you could be driving a premature rust bucket. Repairs could be done using used parts from other scrapped vehicles that may, or may not be an exact match. Miles may not be exact. If a dash board is replaced, the speedometer may be from another car that was wrecked at a lower mileage.

Car re-builders' job is to make these cars look like new (like a used car salesman will spray black paint in wheel-wells to cover rust, and detail the motor to make it look like it was well maintained) so they can sell it for a profit. Not necessarily a bad thing as there are some good deals out there, but there is also high risk. Caveat Emptor.

Also, it can be harder to re-sell them down the road as they will always carry the re-built designated title.

CW2V
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Re: Title status “rebuilt”
Posted by: Mr645
Date: June 16, 2018 06:52AM
Also some insurance companies will not insure cars with a salvaged or rebuilt title.

Be careful to make sure that things like airbags are actually in place. That's a common item that cheap rebuilders skip over because they are expensive.
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Re: Title status “rebuilt”
Posted by: mrbigstuff
Date: June 16, 2018 09:09AM
In MA, the salvage titled cars must be inspected by state police, so airbags, etc, are functional. It probably varies from state to state.

Note to above: it's sometimes not as bad as it sounds, an older car will be titled as salvage if the owner purchases the car back from the insurance company and pays.to have the repairs done on his/her own dime. I had a car deemed totaled, and it was only a fender and a bumper cover, but as it was 20 years old, they totaled the car. I could have easily fixed it, but threw in the towel.
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Re: Title status “rebuilt”
Posted by: davemchine
Date: June 16, 2018 11:00AM
Sounds like I dodged a bullet. Thanks.
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Re: Title status “rebuilt”
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: June 16, 2018 12:03PM
It depends some on the state where the title was issued. As mentioned, it's frequently a way to process vehicles from areas that had natural disasters. An example is Houston had a "500 year flood" three years in a row. One estimate is a million cars were totaled there in 2017. Royal Purple speedway being used as temp storage.


If you are familiar with the repairs a specific model would need, you can get a car for pennies on a dollar. One guy bought a Tesla for the scrap value and rebuilt it with parts salved from other cars for under $7k. This is fine if someone keeps it as their personal car but doing it as a business is usually pretty shady. Some cars are bought before they can be recorded as totaled so the reseller won't have the title flagged.



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Re: Title status “rebuilt”
Posted by: Racer X
Date: June 16, 2018 12:35PM
If you know what you are getting into, and NEVER plan on selling it for anything but scrap later on, as selling it is VERY difficult, no big deal.

Also, for sake of example, one of my Buick Gran Sports needs a new frame. Of I get one from, say, a wrecked Skylark convertible with a good frame, no big deal. HOWEVER, it would now need to be retitled as Salvaged, despite there being NOTHING WRONG with the car. The frame is the legal identity of the car, so turning one car into another means it gets retitled. If/when I do this, I just won't say anything. No subterfuge involved, just not relavent to anything.

Also, if an $800 car gets totaled because the bumper and grill are damaged, does it really matter? Just buy another bumper and grill, fix it and drive it.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/16/2018 12:37PM by Racer X.
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Re: Title status “rebuilt”
Posted by: ADent
Date: June 18, 2018 02:06AM
Several people at work have bought salvaged cars .

They usually have damage, typically somewhat fixed. They should sell at a good discount.

They also typically have no warranty. And may not be eligible for full insurance coverage (which can be a problem if you are getting a loan).
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