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How Much Does a Rebuilt Title Devalue a Car? What You Need To Know!

red toyota corolla car

Purchasing a vehicle with a rebuilt title comes with several risks. But getting an expensive car at a much lower cost appeals to many people, and they are willing to take a chance with it. One of the most frequent questions from people just getting started is how much they can expect the rebuilt designation to devalue a vehicle. The short answer is that most cars drop in value between 15% and 50%, depending on many factors. Keep reading as we go over a few of these factors.

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What Is a Rebuilt Title?

A car with a rebuilt title was in an accident that resulted in an insurance company declaring it totaled. Insurance companies usually total a car when damages cost more than 60% of the car’s value to repair. The totaled car will receive a salvage title, and this type of car is not allowed on any public roadways. If a skilled mechanic repairs the salvage titled vehicle to a roadworthy condition, they could have an inspector from the state DMV look it over. If the DMV determines that the car is roadworthy, it can receive a rebuilt title. With a rebuilt title, you can get registration and insurance for the car and drive it publicly like any other vehicle.

fixing and cleaning car
Image By: orzalaga, Pixabay

What Is the Difference Between a Normal Title and a Rebuilt Title?

A rebuilt title informs potential buyers that the car was in an accident and that the accident was severe enough for the insurance company to declare the car totaled. Once the car receives this much damage, it can be difficult to repair to its former glory, so you need to disclose that information.

Things to Look Out For When Choosing a Car With a Rebuilt Title

Use a website that lets you look up the VIN to learn the vehicle’s history. This information can tell you about the car’s accident and what kind of damage it received.

Try to avoid cars that have received damage to the frame. A car with a damaged frame is extremely difficult to repair, and it can leave you vulnerable in an accident.

Try to avoid cars that had the airbags deployed. It’s extremely difficult to put airbags back the way that they were before, and if they are not right, they might not work when you need them. There is no way to test them beforehand, and the risk to your safety is too great.

toyota car interior
Image Credit: joshuavanhierden, Pixabay

Things Contributing to the Lower Value of a Rebuilt Title

The main thing decreasing the value of your rebuilt title vehicle is the accident that resulted in the insurance company totaling it. However, since the market for recently smashed cars is significantly lower than new vehicles, the price is also lower.

The age of the vehicle will also contribute to the vehicle’s depreciation, as will the mileage. If the previous owner drove it more than 10,000 miles per year, it will likely have a lower value than similar cars that didn’t go as far.

It can be harder to get full coverage, which can significantly drop demand for the vehicle if no local companies are willing to offer comprehensive coverage.

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Depending on the damage done, a rebuilt title will devalue a car between 15% and 50%. If there was damage to the frame or another difficult-to-repair area, the car will suffer greater losses to its value. The mechanic’s ability can also affect the vehicle’s final price. For example, someone who puts a great deal of time and care into the vehicle will likely do better than someone looking to make a quick buck, so the car will retain more of its value. How the owner took care of the vehicle before the accident can also affect how much the price falls. A car driven hard and not maintained will likely lose more of its value.

Featured Image Credit: Goodfreephotos_com, Pixabay


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