Cars with rebuilt titles are obviously worth less than a car that has a clean title and has not in an accident serious enough to find it be a total loss. Generally, a vehicle that has a salvage or rebuilt title can be worth thousands of dollars less than one that does not have a this type of title.

How much does a rebuilt title devalue a car?

Auto and insurance industry sources report that the decrease in value of a vehicle that has a rebuilt or salvage title is typically between 20% to 40%, depending on the type of vehicle, its age, the amount of damage it had and the local automotive market. It's recommended that you have a private appraiser determine the market value of any rebuilt title car you are considering buying.

How much does insurance pay for a totaled car?

From 2010, 2014 and 2018 claims data, the most recent available, the Insurance Research Council has determined the following:

Comprehensive claims payouts for total loss:

The average payment for comprehensive claims with totaled vehicles was $8,173 in 2018, more than five times the average payment of $1,496 among claims where the vehicle was not totaled. The cost of totaled vehicle comprehensive claims has risen much faster than more minor claims. From 2010 through 2018, the average claim payment for a totaled vehicle increased by an annualized rate of 7.5%, compared with little change among comprehensive claims without a total loss. In terms of the percent of dollars paid, the share of dollars for totaled vehicles has risen from 24% in 2010 to 34% in 2018.

Collision claims payouts for total loss:

The average payment for collision claims with totaled vehicles was $10,484 in 2018, more than three times the average payment of $3,286 among claims where the vehicle was not totaled. In terms of the share of total claim dollars paid, nearly half (47%) of the cost of all collision claim payments were due to total loss claims, up from 43% in 2010 and 42% in 2014.

Property damage liability payouts for total loss:

The average payment for property damage liability claims with totaled vehicles was $6,625 in 2018, more than double the average payment of $3,130 among claims where the vehicle was not totaled. In terms of the share of total claim dollars paid, nearly one-quarter (24%) of the cost of all property damage liability claim payments were due to total loss claims, up slightly from 23% in 2010 and 20% in 2014.

Is there a specific amount or percentage deducted for being rebuilt?

While there is not any specific percent or amount off of actual cash value that all insurance companies use for calculating the value of a rebuilt title car, it will be worth less than a car with a clean title. The diminished value of the vehicle, due to the type of title it had, will most certainly decrease your settlement amount if you are getting actual cash value for a car with a rebuilt title in an auto accident claim.

If you want to know what the rebuilt title or salvage title value would be compared to a clean title value for a specific model car, you could discuss this issue with a local dealership. A dealer should be able to give you a reasonable idea of the difference in comparable cars with a clean title and rebuilt title.

If you are considering buying a rebuilt title car, read our guide on how to insure salvage or rebuilt title vehicles.