What does rebuilt title mean on a car

August 26, 2022

If you're like me, you don't prefer buying new cars. While the status and smell of a new car is pleasant, the price is higher and you lose value once the car pulls out of the parking lot. It can make some sense to buy a rebuilt title car. But do you know how to buy a rebuilt title car?

Moreover, do you know some downsides of buying such kinds of cars? The first downside to buying a rebuilt title car is that you have no idea how the previous owner treated it or if there have been any accidents or mechanical problems. A mechanic can tell you if the car has problems now or in the past, but a wrecked car can also cause problems.

What I know is that rebuilt title car, are never quite the same again. They may not be properly aligned, which would prevent them from moving straight. The uneven wear of the tires is also a consequence. There is a chance that body panels will not fit perfectly and the paint finish will not be perfect on every part.

It's best to know this before you buy and do your research, not that you can't or shouldn't buy a car that has been in an accident. Often it doesn't represent anything at all, while sometimes it suggests that the car has a very challenging future ahead of it.

Signs of accident

Investigate a little further and look for some telltale signs of an accident in the prospect's past as you consider this bright new opportunity.

Inspect the paint

Inspect the door hinges, weather strips, chrome hardware and lens covers for paint spatter. In addition, the wheel arches, engine bays, and trunk can all have overspray. This typically indicates extremely below average bodywork.

Color tone

Check for slight variations in color tone from one body panel to the next. It is very likely that the fairing has been repainted or completely replaced if the color doesn't match.

Body parts

Also, check how the body parts are attached to each other. The minimum plate distance must be constant over the entire vehicle. The presence of excessively wide or small gaps in some places could indicate that the car was in an accident.

Watch out for rattles in the seats, trunk, and dashboard. Also examine the glove box. A common sign of recent work is that body shops and workshops leave their calling card in the glove compartment.

Check if the car tends to pull left or right excessively. All vehicles will drift slightly, but abrupt, noticeable drift is a concern.


Look for the manufacturer's logo on the windshield, e.g. Chevrolet. If it's missing, it's probably a replacement component.

Make sure you can reach the landing gear by jacking up the vehicle. Warped frames can occasionally be bent back into shape. This machine leaves visible "teeth marks" on the frame as it completes the task. If you notice these marks, make sure you investigate further.


Before buying the rebuilt title car, it should be thoroughly inspected. Fewer people take potential new cars to their neighborhood body shop than to their mechanic. Best wishes for your upcoming rebuilt title car purchase.




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