Selling a car with a rebuilt title can be tough, but it's not impossible. A rebuilt title means that the car was in a bad accident and the insurance company totaled it. Since then the car has been fixed, inspected, and issued a rebuilt title. Buyers are sometimes wary of cars with rebuilt titles because they're concerned new issues may crop up from the old accident.
What It Means to Total a Car
When a car's totaled, you can either sell it for parts or you can fix it so the car can be driven on highways again and sold. Florida lets the insurance company brand a badly damaged car as either rebuildable or not rebuildable and, thus, only sellable for parts. In Louisiana, a vehicle's title is automatically totaled when estimated damages reach 75 percent of the vehicle's value.
Getting the Rebuilt Title
After you fix the car, you'll need to get it inspected. Your state's Department of Motor Vehicles will issue the rebuilt title after it inspects your car. The specific requirements for getting the rebuilt title vary from state to state. In general, you must go to the DMV with your car's title, turn in the appropriate application fees for the inspection, and include a damage disclosure statement that specifies which parts were replaced.
In New York, for example, the application costs $200. You must also specify the odometer reading, the type of damage and whether it was from a collision, flood, being stolen, or another type of incident. In Texas, you must pay a $65 fee and turn in a rebuilt affidavit that includes an identification number for each replaced part, evidence of ownership and a current inspection. The DMV will then inspect the car to make sure the application information is accurate and determine if any parts used in the repair were stolen.
Finding a Buyer
To ease buyer's concerns, offer a detailed history on the car from the Department of Motor Vehicles.
If you want to help a potential buyer feel more at ease, provide a report on your vehicle's history, which includes any accidents it was in. These reports are available from the DMV or companies like AutoCheck. Offer information about which mechanic certified the car, so the buyer can check his credentials. Remember that you are legally required to disclose all information about what happened to the car and what parts were replaced. An accident history will decrease the resale value of your car, so prepare to offer it for less than its blue book resale price.
Be prepared to cut the price of a car with a rebuilt title. Insuring a car with a rebuilt title can be more expensive and sometimes finding an insurance company to do so can be a huge hassle for the buyer. You want the buyer to feel that the hassles of getting a car with a rebuilt title are worthwhile, so lowering the price can make your offer more tempting.