Home Blog What Is A Rebuilt Title (Explained: All You Need To Know)

What Is A Rebuilt Title (Explained: All You Need To Know)

What Is A Rebuilt Title?

What does a rebuilt title mean in simple terms?

What’s important to know?

Keep reading as we have gathered exactly the information that you need!

Let me explain to you the meaning of rebuilt title on cars and why it’s important!

Are you ready?

Let’s get started!

What Is A Rebuilt Title

A rebuilt title on a car refers to a vehicle that was once “totaled” or “salvaged” and eventually refurbished.

When you own a car, you have a standard car title.

However, if you get into a car accident, your insurance company will assess whether or not it’s worth repairing your car or if they should compensate you for the car as the repair cost may exceed the value of your car.

When your insurance company decides to compensate you instead of repairing your vehicle, the car title will be designated as “salvaged”.

Cars that get a salvaged title will lose a lot of value on the market as buyers understand that it was in a major accident or requires major repairs.

In some cases, professionals or private individuals will purchase a salvaged car and rebuild them.

When the car is rebuilt or refurbished making it suitable to be safely driven on the roads, it will then be given a “rebuilt title”.

This means that a rebuilt car title was formerly a salvaged car title.

Total Loss

For a car to eventually be given a rebuilt title status, it must have been significantly damaged or totaled.

In essence, when you buy a car, you get a clean title right from the start (that’s the best type of title to have of course).

If you get into a major accident or fully total your car, your insurance company will declare your car as a total loss and compensate you for the car and you’ll essentially abandon it.

Salvage Title

When a car is abandoned, the title of the car will be reclassified to “salvage title”.

This means that the vehicle must undergo repairs that will cost more than the market value of the car.

This happens when insurance companies write off the vehicle as unrepairable.

A car may get a salvage title due to a major car accident, flood damage, water damage, or other reasons.

Typically, cars with a salvage title are not safe to be driven on the roads and pose a danger to other drivers.

Vehicle Refurbishing

There are many companies and individuals that specialize in purchasing vehicles with a salvage title and rebuilding them.

The idea is for them to purchase the automobile at a very low price, make the necessary repairs so it is safe to drive on the roads and sell the car for a profit.

Car Inspection

When a car a totaled vehicle is rebuilt, it must undergo different inspections before it can legally be put back on the roads.

When the rebuilt vehicle passes all the required inspections, it will then be given a rebuilt title status by the local government agency.

Rebuilt Title Status

Every state has its own rules and requirements relating to how car titles are managed.

Different types of car damage can lead to different types of titles.

Some states use different title names, some states do not even issue a rebuilt title status, and others do.

As a result, it may be difficult to have the proper history of a car in the used-car market.

Ideally, you should make sure that you can properly trace the history of the car and ensure that you have all the relevant information so you can make an informed decision.

There are many fraudulent activities and deceptions when buying a used car and you should be cautious that you are not being given an automobile with washed titles.

What Is A Rebuilt Title Definition

According to Cars.com, a rebuilt title is defined as follows:

A rebuilt title reflects that a vehicle has been rehabilitated after being issued a salvage title, which would have resulted from extensive collision damage, fire, flood or even a manufacturer buyback following a successful lemon-law claim.

This is a good definition for us to consider.

As you can see, reconstructed title or rebuilt title is:

  • A title to a vehicle 
  • That has been rehabilitated 
  • Following a major accident or damage 
  • Was formerly a salvage title 

Rebuilt Title Vs Salvage Title

What is the difference between a rebuilt title vs salvage title?

When a car is considered a total loss or has suffered major damages, it will be given a salvage title.

This means that the car is no longer safe to be driven on the roads.

There are many reasons why a car may be issued a salvage title, such as due to:

  • Flood damage
  • Tornado damage
  • Earthquake damage 
  • Hail damage
  • Hurricane damage
  • Water damage
  • Natural disaster damage 
  • Fire damage 
  • Damage from theft 
  • Car accident 

For a car to be considered a total loss, an insurance company estimated that the repair cost of the vehicle will exceed its market value.

In that case, the insurance company does not cover the repair cost and provides the car owner financial compensation for the vehicle.

Now, cars that have a salvage title are not always a total loss where they end up in a scrapyard.

It’s possible that in some cases, the damaged vehicle is repaired and fully refurbished.

When the car is refurbished and fully inspected by the local government authorities to be authorized to be put back on the roads, it will be given a rebuilt title.

What Is Rebuilt Title FAQ

Let’s look at a few common questions related to what is a rebuilt title on a car.

Why buy a rebuilt vehicle

The main reason why someone may want to buy a car with a rebuilt title is that they’ll pay less to purchase the same car with a “standard” title.

Since the car was in a major accident or had damages valued more than what it was worth, many buyers will shy away from buying such cars due to safety concerns or other issues they may have in the future.

However, those who understand cars and have good technical knowledge of vehicles may choose to buy a nicely rebuilt vehicle at a fraction of the price of the same car.

How does a car get a rebuilt title

The first step for a car to get a rebuilt status is to get a salvaged title status.

When your car is extensively damaged to a point where your insurance company determines that it’s better to pay you the value of your car instead of repairing it, then your car title will be branded to salvage title.

The second step is for the car to have a salvage status to be fully repaired making it safe to be driven on the roads.

When a car with a salvage title is repaired and passes the safety inspections, it will then get a rebuilt title status.

This means that the car can be legally driven on the roads but this car was previously salvaged.

What is the difference between rebuilt title and salvage title

A rebuilt title is when a car that was “salvaged” or “totaled” is rebuilt and put back on the streets.

For a car to obtain a rebuilt title, it must pass various inspections required by the local government or state agencies to ensure that the vehicle is safe to be driven on the streets.

On the other hand, a salvage title is when a car has been damaged or needs major repairs to a point where insurance companies choose to pay the owner cash compensation instead of repairing the car.

In that case, the damaged car can be sold to a dealer, professional body shops, and garages with a “salvage title”.

Does a rebuilt title affect the value of the car

Yes, having a rebuilt title will negatively affect the value of your car.

In essence, cars with rebuilt titles will sell for far less than cars with normal titles.

Many buyers will not even be interested in buying a car with a rebuilt title even if the price offered is very good.

Also, some insurance companies have a policy where they refuse to insure rebuilt vehicles due to the added risk they pose.

If your car was repaired by a certified mechanic, that may help the value a little but your car will not fetch as much as it would have it had had a “normal” title.

Issues when purchasing a car with rebuilt title

You should be cautious when buying cars with rebuilt titles as you may face unexpected surprises.

Although you are paying much less to purchase your vehicle, you should still consider the following:

  • Your car may have hidden issues that will only manifest themselves in the future and you may not have any recourse against the seller
  • You may not be able to insure your car or your insurance may be more expensive
  • Your car may not be properly refurbished exposing you to risk of injury
  • Your car may not have been repaired in accordance with the norms or with certified parts
  • Your car’s manufacturer warranty is generally voided 

Unfortunately, in some cases, you may purchase a car with a seemingly clean title but in reality the seller had “washed” the title. 

Title washing is the process of registering a refurbished car in different states with the end result of ending up with a “clean” title on the car.

What Does Rebuilt Title Mean Takeaways 

So there you have it folks!

What does a rebuilt title mean in simple terms?

What is a reconstructed title on a car?

In essence, a rebuilt title is given to automobiles and vehicles:

  • Having a salvage title 
  • Have been refurbished following extensive damage.

Typically, when a car suffers extensive damage where the repair costs exceed its market value, insurance companies may declare the car as total loss (or commonly referred to as car being “totaled”).

In that case, the car will be given a salvage title.

Now, cars with salvage titles may either end up going to the scrapyard or some may get reconstructed or rebuilt.

When a car with a salvaged title is repaired and passes the necessary legal inspections, it will then be given a “rebuilt title” status.

This means that the automobile can be legally driven on the roads but previously had a salvage title.

I hope I was able to explain to you what rebuilt title means, how it works, and why it’s important.

If you have any legal questions or issues that you need to deal with, be sure to consult a qualified attorney in the area of car insurance, automobile accidents, or something similar.

Good luck!

Let’s look at a summary of our findings.

What Is A Rebuilt Title Overview

  • Rebuilt title is a title given to a car when it had a salvage title and that it was fixed or refurbished
  • A car without a history of damages or accidents will generally have a clean title 
  • When a car gets into a major accident or suffers extensive damages, an insurance company may declare it a total loss and will eventually get a “salvage title”
  • When the car is rebuilt and passes inspection, the salvage title can be changed to a “rebuilt title” 
  • Buying a car with a rebuilt title can be interesting from a pricing point of view but there is a risk that the car may not be safe to drive or that the repairs were not done properly 
Clean car title 
Flood vehicle
Hail damage 
How to file for a lost title 
How to get a title for a car without title 
How to get a title for a car 
How to transfer a car title
How to transfer a car to a family member 
Lemon title 
Odometer rollback
Salvage title 
Title washing 
Vehicle Identification Number
Vehicle title branding
Water damage
What is Carfax report
What is salvage title
Where to sign title when selling car
What is a bonded title 
What is a car title
What is a quiet title 
What is a title commitment 
What is a title search
What is a title 
What is address title 
What is blue title
What is branded title
What is clean title
What is Title 42
What is Title 7
What is title company
What is title insurance
What is title IX
What is title loan

Editorial Staffhttps://lawyer.zone
Hello Nation! I'm a lawyer and passionate about law. I've practiced law in a boutique law firm, worked in a multi-national organization and as in-house counsel. I've been around the block! On this blog, I provide you with golden nuggets of information about lawyers, attorneys, the law and legal theories. Enjoy!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

What Is A Motion To Dismiss (All You Need To Know)

What Is A Motion To Dismiss (All You Need To Know)

What Is A Demurrer (Explained: All You Need To Know)

What Is A Demurrer (Explained: All You Need To Know)

Editor's Picks

B And E (Legal Definition: All You Need To Know)

B And E (Legal Definition: All You Need To Know)

Consequential Damages (Overview: What It Is And How It Works)

Consequential Damages (Overview: What It Is And How It Works)