Short Answer: You can find rebuilt title cars for sale at a number of places locally and online, including auctions, dealerships, eBay, local newspapers, and auto salvage websites. Vehicles with a rebuilt title have been repaired from a totaled state (or a “salvage” title) to pass a safety inspection. They are typically less expensive but more difficult to insure than cars with “clean” titles. For more details on where to buy rebuilt title cars, along with information about how to do so, see below.
Where to Find Rebuilt Title Cars for Sale
There are several different places you can shop for a rebuilt title car, both online and in person. Before shopping for a rebuilt title car, it is a good idea to research the market prices for the types of rebuilt titles cars you’re interested in.
Auctions (Local or Online)
Rebuilt car auctions take place every day in the U.S. A leading organization that conducts these auctions is Insurance Auto Auction (IAA). On the IAA website, you will find schedules for auctions held in different locations around the country. Additionally, you can check Craigslist and your local newspapers for notifications about auto auctions in your area.
Auto Dealers (Local or Online)
Another option is to buy rebuilt title cars from dealerships. Some car dealers specifically work with this type of car; others sell new, used, and rebuilt cars. You can search for local dealers online or in auto trader magazines. On the dealer’s website, you will find details, pictures, and the costs of each rebuilt car.
To buy a rebuilt title car from eBay, you’ll find auto listings in the eBay Motors section. If you are familiar with the market prices of rebuilt title cars, you can use the Advanced search option by entering the price range. Once you get the list of sellers, you’ll likely want to check the reviews and feedback left by other customers before you make a purchasing decision.
If you plan to rebuild a salvaged car yourself, you can also look for the parts under the Parts & Accessories section.
Local newspapers are some of the best offline sources for finding rebuilt title cars. Many local sellers are willing to negotiate and sell at a price much lower than what is advertised. You can also often make one or more visits to inspect the car before you finally buy it. This helps ensure you won’t run into any surprises later, which is more of a risk if you buy a vehicle online.
Auto Salvage Websites
The quickest way to find rebuilt title cars for sale is by searching the numerous auto salvage websites online. Two reputable websites where you can start your search are ProSalvage and SalvageAuto. Keep in mind that when buying a car online, you likely cannot inspect the car in person before you buy it, but you can research its VIN number.
Why Buy a Car With a Rebuilt Title?
Cars with rebuilt titles often sell for about 50% less than a “clean” title car. Cars with rebuilt titles still have to pass all of the same inspections as other cars, but they have a lower value because banks typically don’t like to finance cars with rebuilt titles. So, if you plan to pay cash or find the right banker, buying a rebuilt title car can work in your favor.
Note that buying a car that was repaired from a totaled condition does come with some risk. Sometimes, rebuilt title cars can have additional problems you might need to fix. Before you buy a rebuilt title car, make sure to research the VIN number and take a look at the car’s history. Someone may claim it was only involved in a minor accident, but you may come across pictures from a previous auction where the car was in far worse condition than the current owner claimed. As long as you’re aware of these potential issues, you can work to get the car at a lower price that reflects the need for future work.
Insuring a Car With a Rebuilt Title
One of the major issues with buying a rebuilt title car comes when you are insuring it. Insurance for rebuilt titles typically comes with higher premiums and less coverage. Our article has more details about insuring a car with a rebuilt title.
Rebuilt title cars are typically sold for much less than the cost of a “clean” title car, but keep in mind that they are more difficult to insure. You can find rebuilt title cars for sale either locally or online through places such as dealerships, eBay, salvage car websites, or your local newspaper. Make sure to research and inspect the car (if possible) before purchasing a car with a rebuilt title.