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  1. #1
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    dburdyshaw's Avatar
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    Default Different Types of Titles

    The only types of vehicles that I've ever purchased have all had "regular" titles.

    As I understand it, there are also "salvaged" and "rebuilt" titles. What's the story on these titles?

    Is my insurance company going to give me grief if I buy something with a "salvaged" or "rebuilt" title?

    There may be other "non-regular" types of titles, but I'm not familiar with them.

    I recall asking my brother once (a good while back) about a vehicle with a "salvaged" title ---- and he just gave me a bad look and said, "No."

  2. #2

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    salvage/rebuilt/branded are not ideal most times.

    Sometimes its from as simple as mileage discrepancies, sometimes a car has been stolen, sometimes its been wrecked and rebuild, or even made of two clips (front and back).

    I personally always try to find a clean title car so the vehicle retains the greatest value.

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  3. #3
    FEP Power Member Durango's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dburdyshaw View Post
    The only types of vehicles that I've ever purchased have all had "regular" titles.

    As I understand it, there are also "salvaged" and "rebuilt" titles. What's the story on these titles?

    Is my insurance company going to give me grief if I buy something with a "salvaged" or "rebuilt" title?

    There may be other "non-regular" types of titles, but I'm not familiar with them.

    I recall asking my brother once (a good while back) about a vehicle with a "salvaged" title ---- and he just gave me a bad look and said, "No."
    What eeprete said, a vehicle can get a salvage (also called "rebuilt" or "reconstructed") with no damage at all. If a car is stolen and then later recovered after the insurance company has paid off - that'll get you a salvage title. A car with a lot of registration fees due can have those fees wiped out by turning the title in (reporting it as junked) and then getting a new title (which is then labeled as salvage).

    Those dont happen very often but I've seen both. This rarely happens, but sometimes people selling salvaged cars are very up front about what was damaged and will show pictures of what was repaired. I wouldn't shy away from a salvaged car if the damage wasnt excessive and I could see what had happened.

    It used to be a lot of insurance companies wouldnt insure a salvage titled car, but that's not so much the case anymore. Some however will not offer full coverage (comprehensive) on it or if they do, they cover less because of the diminished value of the vehicle.

    I've owned salvage cars before and retained cars after minor collisions and went through the retitling process, but I've known the cars histories and been up-front with subsquent buyers. They're not for everyone and there are just as many bad ones as ok ones out there.

    I'm in the collision repair industry and it doesn't take much to total a vehicle anymore - especially an older one that isnt worth much. Of the vehicles that are deemed to be a total loss in the US, roughly:

    1/3 go to dismantlers and are sold for parts
    1/3 are repaired and resold in the US
    1/3 are exported to other countries where standards are not so strict (not to say there aren't sketchy repairs done here because there are, but some other countries dont have things like CarFax and such...)
    Last edited by Durango; 07-20-2011 at 07:56 PM.
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  4. #4
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    My car was vandalized before I bought it. The insurance company totalled it because according to them, repairing the damage would cost more than KBB said an 86 Stang was worth. By the time I bought it, the only thing it needed to complete the repairs was a paintjob. There was some graffiti painted on it and the previous owner sanded down to bare metal in spots to remove the krylon. But he at least replaced the broken glass, tires and other parts that had been damaged before listing it.

    No problems insuring it, but I've never tried to get comprehensive coverage for it.

  5. #5

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    Owned a vehicle once that was titled "salvage". It was due to a mechanic's lean for non-payment of services. (Guy I bought it from had a towing/recovery service.)

  6. #6
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    This is all very interesting. I'm following what you all are writing.

  7. #7
    FEP Power Member 4eyegt's Avatar
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    I bought a Mustang from the local salvage yard and it had a clear title. When I transferred it to my name the lady at the MVD said it had a history report. She then told me that back in 2001 it was registered as a salvage title by an insurance company. It was a theft recovery. In Az you can request a regular title after 3 years and a level 3 (or was it 2) inspection. Just because you are looking at a clear title does not mean it wasn't salvaged in the past.

  8. #8
    FEP Senior Member arj's Avatar
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    The Pick-n-Pull yards always have an assortment of "rebuilder" cars for sale, just inside the entrance. Some of them look like great deals, and most of them are undamaged and have clear titles. But the process of passing through the recycler's hands turns all of their titles into salvage titles.
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  9. #9
    FEP Senior Member vintageracer's Avatar
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    Remember that licensing and title issuance for vehicles is the domain of each state. Each state has different and unique title laws that will effect the type of title a vehicle will receive depending up the damage a vehicle has if any, the type of title request from the owner, the vehicle rebuild process in that particular state if they have one and the type of JUNK title issued by that particular state.

    Titles I have seen:

    Regular Good Title
    Salvage Title
    Rebuilt Vehicle Title
    Non-Repairable Vehicle Title
    Certificate of Destruction Title

    A regular title is what you all know and expect.

    Salvage, rebuilt, Non-Repairable and Certificate of Destruction or any other non-regular title are typically declared by an insurance company who has paid a claim on a car but they can also be declared and obtained by the owner of the car who wants to sell the car and relieve themselves of any future liability associated with the car.

    As stated in earlier posts a salvage title is issued when a car is damaged but is repairable. Depending on the state involved and the amount of damage a vehicle can receive a salvage title, a Non-Repairable Title or a Certificate of Destruction. The Non-Repairable Title and the Certificate of Destruction are really the same however it depends upon the state involved what term they use for this title. Basically it is a JUNK title and vehicle is not rebuildable and is a parts only car.

    Rebuilt titles are exactly that. A vehicle that has had a Salvage Title, Non-Repairable Title or Certificate of Destruction Title previous to the issuance of an Rebuilt Title. Yes, I did say a Rebuilt title vehicle "can" be rebuilt from a Certificate of Destruction Title or Non-Repairable Title. A few states (Kentucky is one) are left that will allow the rebuilding of a JUNK title (Parts Only) car. The State of Kentucky will issue a Rebuilt Title for a junk vehicle going through the State Vehicle Rebuild process. That title will be RED Rebuilt Vehicle Kentucky title rather than the normal BLUE Rebuilt Vehicle Kentucky Title. The RED Rebuilt Vehicle Kentucky Title is NOT accepted for registration by 17 other states meaning you can only register a vehicle with the RED Kentucky Rebuilt Title in 36 States. The good part is that the State of Kentucky will allow the rebuild of vehicles with Parts Only titles. I say the "Good" part since the insurance companies right now are issuing a LOT of JUNK Parts only titles on wrecked cars right now that a very repairable. The insurance companies are limiting their liability for these vehicles.

    The day's of "Washing" titles to remove any evidence of previous salvage history on a vehicle are virtually gone due to all the registration, emmisions and insurance reporting information now available on computers. It is very hard to do this anymore and that's a GOOD THING!

    I personally own 2 vehicles with "Rebuilt Titles" and one Water Damage denotation on the title. 2 of the vehicles had absolutely NO DAMAGE but were "Owner Declared" with Certificates of Destruction to eliminate any liability to the previous owner upon sale. These 2 cars are Camaro's that were government high speed track demonstration vehicles. The other car was a floater (Flood Car) that "may" have had the carpet wet in the floor boards. I think the sunroof was left open in a hard rain. All 3 cars run and drive fantastic!

    I personally am not at all scared of a salvaged or rebuilt vehicle. I just make sure I know the history and reason for the declaration of the type of salvage title the vehicle currently has or previously had!
    Last edited by vintageracer; 07-21-2011 at 08:55 AM.
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  10. #10
    FEP Super Member PaceFever79's Avatar
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    As others have said there can be many reasons for a Reconstructed (R) title.

    Once I've determined it was for a minor reason, I'm still worried about the "story" I'll
    have to tell anyone that might buy it from me. You have to assume the R will make it
    harder to sell. I'd only buy R title car if I never plan on selling it, or if I purchased the
    car cheap enough that I could still sell it under market value.

    All said and done, I've never purchased an R title car, I shy away from them.

    Which I suppose proves my harder to sell theory?
    Last edited by PaceFever79; 07-21-2011 at 09:06 AM.

  11. #11
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    Then you live in my state, no title for cars over 10 years old.

    My capri isn't branded, as we have no titles, I am not even sure if there is a car fax report stating it was totaled.

  12. #12
    FEP Senior Member vintageracer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Capriman86 View Post
    Then you live in my state, no title for cars over 10 years old.
    And other states like Georgia, Alabama and NY that do not require titles for vehicles after a certain model year or specific date in time.

    This is a BAD situation as you might live in and have your car registered in one of those "Non-Title" states and that vehicle may be a very collectible and valuable old vehicle that could bring mucho $$$ at Barrett Jackson however you would not be able to sell that vehicle at auction at BJ as Arizona law requires all auction vehicles to have a legal and valid title. A license receipt does not get it in Arizona!

    Ahh! Another silly issue to deal with since all states have different laws concerning the registration of motor vehicles!
    Mike
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  13. #13
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    I don't like how they strip the titles from the cars here at all, you lose history on the car from that point forward, sucks.

  14. #14
    FEP Super Member 85GT-79FJ40's Avatar
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    They don't issue new titles for anything over 15 years old in NH either. But I have recently learned that it is possible to get them upon request now. I have titles for my Landcruiser, Mustang, and BMW but none of them have my name on them. I have them for my 3 newer vehicles with my name on them but they were all less than 15 years old when (2 still are) when I got them.

  15. #15
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    This is getting very interesting.

    There's lots of good info here.

  16. #16
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    Just reviving this since I ran a check on my capri out of curiousity, even though we are title-less here in RI, the accident does show up on the history report, so at least it isn't washed away, but it doesn't say to what extreme the damage was. I could have had a broken tail light, well actually I did but a wee bit more along with it LOL

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  17. #17
    FEP Power Member Zephyr 351C's Avatar
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    I don't think you can register a salvaged car for highway use in FL, no problems in NC or TN though.

    TN doesn't brand the title as salvage after its so old. My 81 Zephyr had a salvage title in NC, but not here in TN.

    As mentioned in an above post, salvage and reconstructed cars are harder to sell. On the other hand, some are totaled for something minor. I've bought salvage cars that were drove away from the scene and weren't repaired afterwards. One was a K car that had a scrape and dent all the way down the side of the car.

    Doesn't bother me a bit to buy a cheap salvage car, I'll sell it cheap or crush it when I'm done with it - depending on scrap prices.
    Last edited by Zephyr 351C; 08-07-2011 at 06:57 PM.
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  18. #18
    FEP Senior Member vintageracer's Avatar
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    Tennessee passed a law a little over 3 years ago and will not accept a "Rebuilt Title" from any state where the car was rebuilt from a car with a previous JUNK title history such as a "Permit to Dismantle" or "Certificate of Destruction". This law was pushed hard by several State Senators and the Department of Consumer Affairs. Ask me how I know? The head of the State of Tennessee title division is a friend of mine and we have had this discussion several times. This assumes that the state can figure out or find out this information. Example: The State of Tennessee will not accept for registration and title application a car with a Red rebuilt title from the State of Kentucky. Kentucky allows the rebuilding of cars with JUNK titles. Kentucky denotes the difference between cars rebuilt from JUNK titles and those rebuilt from SALVAGE titles by the color of the title. Cars reubilt from SALVAGE titles cars get a Blue Kentucky Rebuilt title while those cars rebuilt from a JUNK title get a Red Kentucky Rebuilt title. Very easy for the State of Tennessee to spot and reject. It can get a LOT tougher for the State of Tennessee when that JUNK rebuilt title has been through several states prior to Tennessee.

    There is actually a Federal Law requiring states to check the previous salvage or junk history of vehicles. Since title and registration is the responsibility of each state and not the Feds it is difficult to comply with that law. Many times a car wilh salvage or junk history will get titled in several different states over the years and that "title brand" can and in many cases will be lost.

    The BIG issue for most states is where the "Consumer Affairs" division within a state gets involved and they want to protect the consumer. Most all the states now want to protect vehicle buyer's from or at least make buyer's aware if the a car has a previous JUNK title history.
    Mike
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  19. #19
    FEP Power Member 82 fairmont guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arj View Post
    The Pick-n-Pull yards always have an assortment of "rebuilder" cars for sale, just inside the entrance. Some of them look like great deals, and most of them are undamaged and have clear titles. But the process of passing through the recycler's hands turns all of their titles into salvage titles.
    this is not true. the pick and pull yards are liscensed auto dealers as well as dismantlers. when they buy a car it has to have a title (yes the ones they get could have had previous salvage history) the ones they sell are registered with the motor vehicle dept as clean/regular title cars. (have had several) unless they were bought from a "salvage auction" and were branded before the P N P got them. when the cars go into the "yard" the titles get "scrapped" thus meaning the vehicle was parted out never to return to the roadways. this is why they can't sell one from the yard. i am a liscensed dealer here in va and walk away from any branded title because it is almost impossible to sell .

    Also on a side note even as a private individual if you sell a car with a salvage title and dont disclose that information the person can bring it back at anytime and you have to give them any money the have spent on it , including the orig purchase price, maintenence, repairs, gas and anything else they can prove (with reciepts)

    this happened to a local dealer on an explorer they sold that was one year old at the time and the people drove the truck for over twelve years and kept meticulous records (old people) on every oil change, tank of gas, tires, brakes even lightbulbs and rental reciepts from when the car was in the shop. When they went to trade it in (to me) on a buick i did a carfax as i do on all my cars and asked them about it. they said it was before them and didn't even know about it. long story short the dealer ended up getting the explorer back 13 yrs later for more than double what they sold it for. It is a little known law that can bite you in the A$$ if your not upfront with people and they do a little research. so my suggestion is to stay away from "BRANDED" titles. or fess up when you sell them.

    as far as i know it is a federal law not a state law but it never hurts to protect your butt in any situation.
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  20. #20
    FEP Senior Member arj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 82 fairmont guy View Post
    this is not true. the pick and pull yards are liscensed auto dealers as well as dismantlers. when they buy a car it has to have a title (yes the ones they get could have had previous salvage history) the ones they sell are registered with the motor vehicle dept as clean/regular title cars. (have had several) unless they were bought from a "salvage auction" and were branded before the P N P got them.
    Maybe things aren't the same in CA as in VA. I don't know, but I remember what the Pick-n-Pull employee told me when I asked about one of the "rebuilder" cars near the entrance. He said that it had a clear title, but that it could only be sold with a salvage title. He then implied that the low prices of all of the rebuilder cars are directly tied to how they all get salvage titles. So maybe he was wrong, or maybe I misundertood part of what he said. I'll ask again, next time I'm there.
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  21. #21
    FEP Power Member Durango's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arj View Post
    Maybe things aren't the same in CA as in VA. I don't know, but I remember what the Pick-n-Pull employee told me when I asked about one of the "rebuilder" cars near the entrance. He said that it had a clear title, but that it could only be sold with a salvage title. He then implied that the low prices of all of the rebuilder cars are directly tied to how they all get salvage titles. So maybe he was wrong, or maybe I misundertood part of what he said. I'll ask again, next time I'm there.
    You're exactly correct. Pick and Pull does not sell titled cars (at least in CA). They'd have to smog them to sell them and they don't do that. In addition, if there were any back fees due on the car when the owner sold it to Pick and Pull the fees would still be due when the new owner registered it.

    Turning the title in negates any back fees.
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  22. #22
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    See now we are really getting some good info on this topic.

  23. #23
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    Blue title???

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    Date: 2011-08-09, 10:24AM CDT
    Reply to: sale-pvw3f-2514644737@craigslist.org [Errors when replying to ads?]
    Selling AS IS!! Blue Title, Current Stickers, Nice Classic Vehicle. Nice interior, no rips. Power windows & locks. Tuned up this vehicle about 3 months ago, replaced spark plugs, wires, distributor cap and rotor, replaced all the light bulbs, new water pump, good tires, removed the thermostat, radiator flush, changed oil, oil filter, gas filter, air filter and fixed the AC. The bad thing is that its HEATING UP. We are not willing to put any more money in to this car. Could be a simple fix such as replacing the thermostat, changing the hoses and or flushing the radiator again, or it just might need a HEAD JOB. Its still a nice car and a classic, it does have some rust on it. Its a fixer upper if you have the time and money. If you like what you see and would like to buy it give me a call. Ask for George 713.931.1969. No trades, No payments, CASH ONLY. PLEASE do NOT e-mail me. I will NOT respond. Will delete add when car is sold.



















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