Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Rebuilt title


The plot thickens.

The vehicle has a "Rebuilt" title. That is, it was totaled and then rebuilt to make it road-able.

Mr Internet suggests that vehicles with Rebuilt titles go for about 50% of the retail for Clean titles. A big reason for that is that dealerships don't want the risk of buying and selling them. That makes them less "liquid". Fewer buyers means lower prices.

The seller was asking $12k and Kubota was proud to have talked him down to $10k. In ordinary times $7k would have been closer to its true, person-to-person value but these are not ordinary times. Used vehicles are 'dear' because the supply of new cars has been choked down.


  1. Hope he can get insurance on the 'rebuilt' truck, and that his bank doesn't throw a fit about the quality of their loan collateral. The overall cost difference may end up being closer to what he would have paid for something clean.

  2. As the weirdness factor increases, one should proceed with increased caution. The deal that is too good to be true... I know that K needs to learn his own lessons but learning lessons on borrowed money, whilst he struggles with shelter, could be a lesson that haunts him for years.

  3. ha - and then I popped over to CW's Daily Timewaster and read the following:

    "When the hobo told Andy he should just let Opie decide for himself how he wanted to live…

    Andy said, "No, I'm afraid it don't work that way. You can't let a young’n decide for himself. He'll grab at the first flashy thing with shiny ribbons on it. Then when he finds out there's a hook in it, it's too late. Wrong ideas come packaged with so much glitter that it's hard to convince them that other things might be better in the long run. All a parent can do is say 'Wait' and 'Trust me' and try to keep temptation away."

  4. Agree with Dave. That's a hinky deal all the way around. Lesson 'should' be to NEVER buy a salvage titled vehicle. My grandson learned that the hard way... And he's now meticulous in checking with DMV before he bought the last car.

    1. I bought my own "totaled" vehicle back from the insurance company. If I remember, they valued the vehicle at $2k. After I said I wanted to buy the vehicle, they dropped the settlement to $1,800. I insured for PLPD and opened the trunk with a screw driver. I think I drove it three more years.

    2. I bought my oldest daughter a car for high school graduation, and it had a salvage title. That was a doggone good car, had no mechanical issues.

  5. The bank may have criteria about the title status of the truck, and will probably have their own valuation metrics. They might decline to loan - if they pay attention to the title before issuing the money. I would hope they don't call the loan if they see the title afterwards.

    Hopefully Kubota has not already bought the truck in his mind.

    A local dealership recently sent me a postcard wanting to buy my truck. I'm on their records because it was serviced there once, about 4 years ago. They're offering me 'Top Dollar' with no commitments if I just bring it by.

    My truck is 25 years old this past September.

  6. I'm doing a bonded title for a lost title process now. It wasn't totaled, but the BB value is 1900, and I had to buy a bond for 6000. TXDOT is up to date on values I guess. I wouldn't have figured it was worth that much. Bond was a c-note regardless of BB or TXDOT value.

    I would really think twice about it, especially since it's a timezone away drive on way. Hard to return it or chase down ole Cletus if it's frame is cattywampus.

  7. Walk away from it. Salvage rebuilds can be fine, a deathtrap or anywhere in between. Unless the current owner had ALL the records and receipts for the rebuild, don't do it. If all the records and receipts and repair documentation is in order them take it to your mechanic for a THOROUGH checkover, especially the areas rebuilt. Only then is it worth continuing the purchase negotiations. There's simply too many ways the structural integrity can be botched to not check the I dotting & T crossing.
    I've personally known people that have brazed a unibody back together. And slung a ton of Bondo over it... I've had more than one car on the lift and seen the butchery from a 'salvage rebuild'.
    Check the i's and t's thoroughly brother.

  8. I bought a Chevy 3500 with a salvage title. It was a theft recovery. It was a good truck, we had it 17 years had 246 thousand miles on the truck.

  9. I've bought a couple of salvage title cars. The shop that did all my work when I lived near Detroit recommended them and they held up very well.

  10. As the examples above describe, there are a HUGE range of outcomes possible with rebuilt titles.
    I have a minivan with an R title that was totalled for damage to one door and one headlight... But most examples are worse.
    Where I used to live, there was a dealer that advertised good but not great vehicle deals... With no mention of major damage to the vehicle.

  11. I’ve bought two cars this year with “rebuilt” in each case I was provided the pictures published on the auction site where the vehicle was purchased. Both vehicles had pretty minor damage, low mileage the options I was looking for and each were approx. 35 to 40% less expensive than other comparable models.

  12. One rebuilder, Vechor, has a YouTube channel. Assuming he does every rebuild the way he shows in his videos, I believe any of his rebuilds would be an excellent buy, assuming you wanted what he happened to have.

  13. When I lived in Alaska every other truck we looked at was "rebuilt" - frustrating.

  14. You can always find a lemon new off the lot.

    Salvage titles depend on miles covered since rebuild. 10 to 15 k with no issues should be good.

    But 5k higher would be a red flag as well as rapidly dropping the price. Cars are a gamble on a non level playing field.

    Good luck

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