Buying a used car is a win some, lose some situation where you can either land with a great deal or a sour lemon. Doing your research well and following the buyer beware practice can however help you in getting a good car for an equally good price. While most of us are quite cautious about inspecting a car physically, often taking mechanics along with us for the inspection, we never see the car title until the car has been paid for and it is time to get the title transferred in our name. However, this is a major mistake and examining a car’s title is as important as inspecting a car before buying. Make sure that you check a car’s title before you bid on it in an auction or buy it from a dealer or private seller.
Apart from giving out certain crucial details about the car like the make and the model (you will never believe how many people will pass off their car as the next year’s model), the title will also let you know if a car has been in a major accident or reconstructed from junk. We will discuss some of the main title terms that you need to know about before buying a used car. Cars that have been in major accidents or have been put of commission because of being badly damaged by accidental collision, flood, fire or some other cause carry “branded” titles. The brands that you need to be cautious about are:
Reconstructed: This means that a car which has been badly damaged but still labeled salvage repairable has been repaired, rebuilt and inspected in order to get back into commission. This kind of car title should also specify how the car was originally damaged. Reconstructed cars are much cheaper than cars that have not been damaged and you should either look for another car or get a good bargain for this kind of car.
Junk/Branded And Salvage Title: Broadly defined, a car that carries any of these titles has been so badly damaged that it has been declared as a total loss by insurance companies. In most cases, such a car has been picked up from a junk yard at the price of rusted iron and salvaged to get back into circulation. These cars are supposed to get very low prices and you will do well by totally avoiding buying a car that comes with such a title.
Other Used Car Titles To Avoid: Apart from the above, you might come across titles that specify flood damage, fire damage, hail damage or those that mention that a car has been rebuilt or re-branded. Remember that even if such a vehicle still carries a manufacturer’s warranty, it will be void because of the irreparable damage that such a vehicle has undergone. If you are buying from an auction, then do not buy vehicles whose titles are not available at the time of the auction. Apart from the fact that you will not know what you are getting yourself into, you might have to keep on waiting ages for the title to arrive. Other titles that you should check out carefully are those that mention car title loans or liens, since these should be cleared before a used car is put up for sale. To stay on the safe side, purchase a car that comes with a “Clear” title and you will save yourself from a lot of unforeseen trouble.