Should You Purchase a Rebuilt Title Car?

In the used car market, you can often find great deals. Usually, tempting price stickers are made very large and eye-catching, and the fact that the car has the status of restored, the owners report only later. What does a rebuilt car title mean and is it scary? Let’s figure it out below.

What Is a Rebuilt Title on a Car?

Most cars that are sold with mileage have a so-called “clean” status. This means that the car was not in major accidents, didn’t have restoration for spare parts, did not sink, etc. Such cars are usually in good condition, but their price can be quite high. If the car has been in a major accident, had to be overhauled, and even assemble one car from several, it receives the status of “restored”.

For a car to receive the status of restored, it must first become lost. Insurance companies assign this status to the car after it has been badly damaged and its repair is impractical. These vehicles are sold separately. Most often services and garage masters buy them for spare parts. But if the mechanic sees that the vehicle is subject to restoration, and he has the desire and the necessary materials for this, he can repair the car. Some companies do this. Many of them have an excellent reputation and their cars, after restoration, can still serve for a long time. Therefore, if you consider buying a rebuilt title car, then be sure to pay attention to who restored this vehicle. Several questions need to be clarified before such an acquisition.

What You Need To Know About the Car in the Status of “Restored”

Do not think that a rebuilt title is bad. Among such cars, there are instances with good technical characteristics, which have undergone a complete, high-quality overhaul, and they are safe and reliable. Sometimes, even if very rarely, clean used cars with high mileage have a lower margin of safety, but this is more the exception than the rule. You can understand what rebuilt title means and if it is worth buying a restored car already at the stage of a conversation with the seller. To do this, ask the following questions:

  • What kind of accident happened to the car, after which the insurance company transferred it to the status of “written off”: It could be a serious accident, natural disaster, vandalism, etc.
  • How badly the car was damaged: In some cases, the cars that are quite easy to restore are written off, it just requires serious investments. Such cars, even with the status of “restored”, will cost more than others from the same group.
  • Who and when restored the car: For some companies, the rebuilt car title is the main activity, they have good services, professional craftsmen, and a reputation. If such a company reconstructed the car, then the quality of the repair will be many times higher than in Uncle John’s backyard.
  • How well the repairs were made: You can check it by the quality of the frame alignment, the gaps in the body, and the supporting parts of the machine.
  • Who and when inspected the car before allowing it to be sold: In some states there is a mandatory check of such cars by special craftsmen from responsible organizations. If such a check is not required, it is necessary to clarify who carried out the inspection.

Rebuilt title, of course, does not add prestige and value to the car, but it is not a sentence for the car, not in all cases.

Pros and Cons of Buying a Car With a Rebuilt Title

Buying a refurbished car has both advantages and disadvantages. Consider each item

  Benefits of buying a refurbished car:

  • Low price is the first and foremost advantage, which is crucial for many buyers. You can see the significant savings if the car was written off due to the need to replace an expensive part for which the insurance company considered it inappropriate to pay.
  • The car after restoration must pass a thorough state inspection – cars with a clean status do not have to. That is, theoretically, the probability of buying a “clean” used car with an unpleasant surprise is higher than that restored after a thorough check.

Now that you know what is a rebuilt title and the advantages of purchasing such a machine, it is worth saying a few words about their disadvantages:

  • The damage that the car received may make itself felt after some time: Even if the car has been carefully inspected, some defects may be hidden and appear during operation, and this may affect driving safety;
  • A rebuilt car is much harder to sell: You know how much a rebuilt title devalues a car. According to some reports, a car in restored status loses from 20 to 40% of its value. If you decide to sell the car, and even eliminated all the problems that were discovered during operation, even if the car has never let you down, its status in the passport will not go anywhere and it is difficult to sell such a car;
  • Insuring a car with a rebuilt title is much more difficult: If you are thinking about how to save money on car insurance, then a rebuilt car is not your option. Not every company generally undertakes to insure such cars.

Refurbished car insurance is generally a separate item that needs to be discussed in more detail.

Reclaimed Car Insurance

Now that you know what is a rebuilt car title, what are their advantages and disadvantages, and have decided not to refuse the purchase, let’s consider another important aspect – insurance.

We have already said above that companies are reluctant to insure such cars, and some even refuse to provide these services. Some companies use insurance information, but under various pretexts refuse owners. These are such Tactics For Insurance Lead Generation.

Consider how to insure a car with a restored status, and what obstacles await you.

First of all, the company will learn about the nature of the damage. What is a rebuilt title on a car and how the car got it? If it was an accident in which expensive parts were significantly damaged, but the car did not receive critical damage, your chances of insurance will increase significantly after the car is repaired. If the car is recovered from drowning, finding a company that will issue you a policy will be very problematic. Defects in such vehicles may show up over time and insurance providers will not take the risk of covering such losses.

Another important point – if you already had a policy, and you are a buyer of such a car, then you will most likely be denied continued coverage. Therefore, it is not worth the risk, but it is better to look for a company that is ready to insure your car.

Another nuance is that if you have found a provider who is ready to give you insurance services for this car, be prepared for additional tests and examinations.


So let’s answer the question that interests everyone – “should I buy a car with a rebuilt title?” Everything will depend on your situation and the car itself. Sometimes with the status of restored, you can buy a very decent car inexpensively. But you can be tempted by the low price and buy a car that will break down, require investment and, even worse, put the lives of the driver and passengers in danger.

It is impossible to give an unambiguous answer to the question if it is bad to buy a car with a rebuilt title. For some, this is the only opportunity to get a car and there are no other options. Someone buys such cars exclusively for household needs, planning to finish off the car on bad roads and sell it for scrap. But there is a good chance that you come across a good car in the “restored” status, and it is not small. Therefore, you can approach the purchase wisely and it will be successful.

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