Not all car titles are the same. When looking for a car, you’ll want to consider the titles of the car, as well as the price and insurability. There are four different titles each car could have.
- Clear title vehicle
- Clean title vehicle
- Salvage title vehicle
- Rebuild/Reconstructed title vehicle
Each title has a distinct difference that we’ll go over in this article. Each one has its own set of pros and cons to consider when you’re looking at the title of each car.
Clear title vehicle
When a car has a clear title, it means that the owner of the car is the sole owner of it. No other party can come in and claim ownership should the original owner decide to sell the car. It also means the car has never had an accident where it needed repairs. It doesn’t mean the car doesn’t have problems.
A clear and clean title is somewhat similar. However, a clean title goes into a car’s accident history. It doesn’t mean that the car has never been in an accident. It means that the car was in an accident with damage done, but the damage was repaired.
One thing to note about clean titles is that they go by insurance claims. While the claimed damage was fixed, there could be some damage the insurance companies don’t know about. Be sure to have a mechanic check your car before buying it.
When a car is totaled, and the insurance company deems it a total loss, the car gets a salvage title with the insurance company. The insurance company is trying to get rid of it at this point. They’re extremely cheap to buy, but they could cost more in repairs. They could also be a hassle to insure if you need insurance to drive it.
Even if you fix the car to the point it’s driveable, the salvage brand will always be there. If you go to sell the car, you will need to ask for a lower price than what you would normally ask for because of the salvage title.
When a car receives a salvage title, the insurance company sees it as a total loss. If someone buys the salvage vehicle and fixes it to the point it’s safe to drive again, it earns a rebuilt title. To earn that someone from the state or department that issues titles has to inspect it. If it passes the inspection, it earns the title rebuilt.
If you’re buying a car, a rebuilt car is much cheaper and safer than a salvage title car. If you’re a seller, you need to sell it for less than what you would if it was a clean title car.
With the basic knowledge of these different types of titles, you can budget correctly to figure out which type of title is going to be the best, safest, and cheapest for your needs. As always, make sure you have a trusted mechanic inspect your vehicle, regardless of title, before you buy it.