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What exactly is a rebuilt car title?

The definition of a rebuilt car title will differ depending upon the state you live in and laws specific to that state. A general definition (used by CarFax and others that report a vehicle's history) for a rebuilt title is:  A branded titled placed upon a rebuilt or reconstructed vehicle, which previously was a salvage vehicle but has now been repaired and restored to operation.

These vehicles are often severely damaged before they are rebuilt and refurbished parts are typically used during reconstruction. In most states, an inspection of the vehicle is required before the vehicle is allowed to return to the road.

Basically, a rebuilt title means the car was in a serious accident or one in which the insurance company declared the car a total loss but then the vehicle was purchased and rebuilt or repaired and was once again found to be street worthy. For more information, read our over our top questions on rebuilt and salvage titles.

Before purchasing a rebuilt vehicle, it's generally recommended having the vehicle thoroughly checked out by your own mechanic. You also should check to see if the car can be insured since many insurance companies underwriting rules do not allow them to write policies for cars with salvage or rebuilt (branded) titles.

If you do get full coverage on a vehicle with a rebuilt title, remember that since the car has been previously totaled out and has a branded title you should expect to get paid less if the car is in another total loss situation since the car is not worth as much as a vehicle with a clear title.  (See "5 reasons to avoid salvage-titled cars")

While it can be hard to get insurance for a car with a rebuilt title, CarInsurance.com works with a few, such as a Progressive, that do offer full coverage on a car with a branded title.

Comparison shop with us for car insurance needs. If you don't find an insurance provider listed as providing coverage for a car with a branded title, contact our call center toll-free at 1-855-430-7753. Our agents can help you obtain a quote over the phone for the coverage you need on a vehicle with a rebuilt title.


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1 Responses to "What exactly is a rebuilt car title?"
  1. Visitor

    It helped me understand clearly.