Purchasing a salvage titled car is one way to save money when you need a vehicle for the daily commute or some other purposes. Of course, you are going to save a lot of money if you are ready to invest some in the sector of maintenance and repairing.
It hasn’t, however, meant that you can go ahead and pick one of the many salvage cars out there. As a matter of fact, almost every insurance business owner tries to get rid of salvage-titled cars as soon as they can.
So, understanding the legal aspects is quite important when you want to buy a car. And, the Title is one of the significant areas indeed.
Before you purchase a vehicle from anywhere, you should have a look at the legal title of the vehicle. In case you did not know, a title is a term that refers to the condition of the vehicle, depending on different traits. You should, therefore, understand the major titles given in industry and what they mean.
#1 Clean Title
Clean title is also referred to as the Clear title, for obvious reasons. This title means that the mentioned car, or any other vehicle, has no history of salvage. The vehicle is supposed to be free from the legal stuff since it hasn’t been damaged, rebuilt or stolen. However, there is a big problem people find out when it comes to Clean title vehicles. Not all vehicles with the Clean title are free from the legal conundrum.
See, since each state has its own rules, a vehicle may get a Clean title when transferred to a state even if the vehicle has a salvage/damage history. That having said, you can use third-party vehicle-history databases to know the actual history of the vehicle, thus understand whether it’s been damaged or stolen before. This is a helpful measure to stay away from the legal issues thereafter, especially while trying to sell your car.
#2 Rebuildable Savage Title
You already understand something from the term Rebuildable in this case. So, the particular vehicle has been subject to some issues in the past, but the damages were negligible. This title is assigned to a vehicle if it has been a part of issues like fire and vandalism and when repairing is still possible. Rebuildable Savage title is a good choice since the inspection itself has proven the plausibility of a successful rebuilding.
Of course, like the case of other titles, Rebuildable Savage vehicles can also be re-titled for the purpose of selling. So, before you make the final choice, you should have a look at the actual history, which would show everything you want to see. In some particular cases, the state authority of titling will also include the reason why it’s been damaged, such as fire or vandalism.
#3 Theft Title
Theft title is used to denote vehicles that have been stolen before. Obviously, the vehicle has been recovered by the authorities or the owner and the information is visible in the title. Depending on the state you are in, vehicles belonging to the Theft title may have an alternative Clean title as well. However, if you see a vehicle with Theft title, a thorough inspection is deeply recommended.
#4 Junk or Unrebuildable Title
Junk or Unrebuildable is a title that denotes the excessive damage that the vehicle has been subjected to. It also means that the vehicle cannot be rebuilt and that it has been considered junk. So, if you come across a vehicle with this title, you would really want to stay away. Unlike the other titles before, which you can re-title in some states, Junk or Unrebuildable title vehicles cannot be re-titled. Nor can they be re-registered.
More importantly, it is not possible to sell a car that has Junk or Unrebuildable title. It’s because the damage is so excessive and pervasive. That having said, there is a provision to sell the car as parts. You can also see an ‘Export Only’ tag along with these vehicles, which is natural. Unless you want parts, stay away 😉
#5 Scrap Title
Scrap title is often considered synonymous with the Junk title, depending on the state you are in. But, the point here is that you cannot sell the car as a complete product since the damage is way too high. So, you should sell the parts or use the entire material for other purposes. On normal cases, vehicles with this title are way beyond repairing and rebuilding.
Certificate of Destruction is a variation of this title. COD means that the vehicle is to be sold as parts or as a raw material. However, it is up to the states to decide whether a Certificate of Destruction is accepted as a proof ownership. So, behold.
#6 Salvage Receipt
You might have heard about Salvage Receipt if you have been in Texas. In states like Texas, the term is used to refer to vehicles that are considered salvage. Keep in mind that the title brand, Salvage Receipt, essentially means that the vehicle is salvage.
#7 Salvage Rebuilt Title
Salvage Rebuilt is yet another self-explanatory title in the list. So, the vehicle was declared salvage, probably by the insurance company and it has been brought by someone else. Then, this person rebuilds the vehicle and applies for an inspection from the authority. If the major damage has been removed and the car is in a working condition, the vehicle title will be turned to Salvage Rebuilt.
When compared to the normal Salvage title, Salvage Rebuilt titled cars are less problematic. It means that a major bunch of issues have been fixed by the previous owner and that you will have to take an overall look only.
So, this is almost everything you should know about vehicle titles and what they mean. Of course, laws based on states are applicable to vehicles and transfer. And, apparently, there is a process called Title Washing or Re-titling, which basically prevents you from reading the history of the vehicle from the title. Also, some people might roll back the Odometer to manipulate you. So, a thorough inspection by a mechanic and the complete vehicle history record will surely help you while purchasing salvage vehicles and others.