What does "Reconstructed Title" mean per a private citizen selling a car?
I'm looking at a vehicle on Craig's List and it seems the private seller is saying it as a reconstructed title. The spelling however is messed up---here is the quote-- "it has a recontructed tittle" Any insight as to what this means? The exact listing is here: http://portland.craigslist.org/mlt/cto/5342315183.html Thanks very much!
It varies by state. It 'usually' means the vehicle received a 'salvage title' and then was restored or 'reconstructed (Rebuilt). It is most commonly used with vehicles with body/frame damage from a collision. There is a very slight chance it is due to mechanical repairs like an engine rebuild more than vehicle worth. However, it may be a clunker (41 Willy's Jeep?) sitting in some field.
Commonly is it is from a collision. The insurance company deems it 'totaled' or not repairable within the monetary value of the policy. They pay the owner the insured value. If the vehicle in that condition is purchased it is given a salvage title.
Then, if it is repaired / reconstructed / restored to a usable or drive able condition and 'Passes or is approved' through state inspections it is given the reconstructed title. It is not uncommon for pro's in the auto body repair field to buy them, repair, and then sell as an investment both as an at home project or as a shop owner.
Here is a link to Oregon's requirements for that title:
http://www.oregon.gov/odot/dmv/pages/ve … ucted.aspx
My advice is take caution. It would be best to do a CarFax or AutoCheck on the vehicle. However, you will need the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to do that. He would have to be willing to share that with you.
Thank you very much! I think I will just pursue a vehicle of title category clean. Your feedback was educational and helped me!
Also, keep in mind that the title status on Craigslist is self-reported. Do a VIN check before ever handing over cash.
Along with collision, as Tim Mitchell mentioned, it can also be flood damage.
Based only on the limited information provided by the Craigslist ad, I wouldn't buy a salvage (reconstructed) titled vehicle even if it was offered at 200 bucks.
A multitude of things can be wrong with a vehicle involved in a serious collision or a flood that can be almost impossible to correct: a slightly warped frame for example, or having all of your wiring connections corroded from a flood. It just isn't worth it.
Now, if you could contact the seller and get some detailed information about the issue and how they resolved it, AND trusted them, then maybe it would be worth considering. Even so, the Kelley Blue Book value puts that car in good condition around $7,000 (that's without knowing all of the car details), so the price even without the salvage issue seems average.
The other thing you could do is ask the seller for the VIN number. If they refuse, then forget about it. If they give it to you, then you can order a car report (e.g. carfax) or do a free search at the National Insurance Crime Bureau: https://www.nicb.org/theft_and_fraud_awareness/vincheck This doesn't give a lot of information, but does tell you the date and reason a car was written off as a loss. I think the cause of loss only lists one word (flood, collision, etc.) Not really sure, I have only used it twice.
Thank you so much! You see, I've been driving the same car for 21 years so it's like I'm learning all over again about buying a used vehicle. I think I'm going to stay with a dealer and consider only vehicles with title designation of clean.
21 years? Wow!
I've had good luck with Craigslist. You can probably get a better deal vs. dealer, but it is a bit more risk. And I agree, a title that isn't clean just isn't worth it. Good luck with your car shopping.
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