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Buying a car with a rebuilt title?

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  • seattlee
    replied
    I bought a rebuilt car once...the passenger's seat floor always leaked when I went through a car wash and other strange stuff.  Not worth it in my opinion, if only because you'll always be wondering if a certain problem with the car is due to the rebuilt title.  Also, my time is worth too much to be taking it to the repair shop to fix the little bugs.

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  • Decapolis
    replied










    Gosh, I think this scenario exceeds my standards for frugality. By a new Prius or Nissan Leaf and live like a king!
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    Hahahaha! Let me clarify. I am a car guy but only sports cars and muscle cars…think hellcat, z06, gt350. I have zero interest in spending 15-20k on a an SUV or sedan. My plan has always been to pay off debt, get the retirement going and daily drive a beater(we have winter where I live)so I can not feel guilty about buying a fun car(toy).
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    Completely off topic. My husband daily drives a Hellcat (warm weather state). I’ve never seen him happier about a car purchase!
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    Oh man I'm jealous! Someday!

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  • janettebournes
    replied







    Gosh, I think this scenario exceeds my standards for frugality. By a new Prius or Nissan Leaf and live like a king!
    Click to expand…


    Hahahaha! Let me clarify. I am a car guy but only sports cars and muscle cars…think hellcat, z06, gt350. I have zero interest in spending 15-20k on a an SUV or sedan. My plan has always been to pay off debt, get the retirement going and daily drive a beater(we have winter where I live)so I can not feel guilty about buying a fun car(toy).
    Click to expand...


    Completely off topic. My husband daily drives a Hellcat (warm weather state). I've never seen him happier about a car purchase!

    Leave a comment:


  • adventure
    replied







    I have an FJ. They are built like tanks. And you are right, a clean 2007 with 130,000 miles will easily go for $15/16K. Find out exactly what caused the insurance to declare it a loss. If it was body damage I’d say buy it. If the word frame ever comes up walk away. Anything else in between, it is your call.

    Things to check on a 2007 are fender bulges and rear diff status (it was upgraded in later years). fjcruiserforums.com for everything you need to know about the truck.
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    I have a good friend who owns an autobody shop. He assures me that when the insurance company totals it out, it really will cost more than it is worth to make it good as new. You are buying a car that is not good as new even after being rebuilt and made shiney again. Whether the aspects of it that aren’t new are a big deal to you or not depends on both you and the car. Shortcuts were taken compared to what a complete restoration would be. It would behoove you to know what the shortcuts were before buying. You may be just fine with them, but you should be getting this car at a big discount compared to one without a salvage title.
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    But it doesn't have to be made "good as new". We drive a car that was totaled. We bought a new windshield, left the side panels looking crunched, took the rest of the pay out, and enjoyed paying 1/2 the car insurance (no collision now). That said... We knew what had happened, and wasn't trying to guess from phantom records or a questionable guy on the corner lot (or corner craiglist ad).

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  • Decapolis
    replied
    Thanks everyone for the input. Much appreciated. Will probably keep driving my current car and get something next year

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  • DMFA
    replied
    I've traded in a car that was totaled (twice!) to a dealership and got $1,000 for it back in 2008.  You get garbage money for trade-ins, anyway.  If you don't need it right away, try selling by owner.

    Leave a comment:


  • tigeri
    replied
    In college (9 years ago) I had a friend rebuild a '03 Tacoma (he bought at auction) with ~40k miles on it that was totaled from a T-bone to the back of the drive's side. At the time it was worth about $24k if it were a used truck had a clean title (prices were low at the time because gas was high). I had about $15k in it once it was all done - plus new wheels and tires. I had a few minor things - other than usual maintenance- like replacing seals around the door, but no other problems until recently (at 135k miles). Due to the wreck the rear end was slightly bent (not noticed at the time). Last month the right one snapped as I was traveling home post-call due to 70k miles of abnormal stress. I had the rear axles, left wheel bearing and a bearing in the rear-end replaced. So now I have another $3k in it. I'm hoping it will last me through residency before these wear out and it can become my off-road/farm truck. As of today it was still worth buying. I still don't have in it what on with a clean title would have cost at that time. I'm not sure I will buy salvage once I can pay cash for new cars, but I will probably consider another rebuild as my next purchase at the beginning of my career. My dad just bought a rebuilt truck based on my experience.

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  • CordMcNally
    replied
    It really depends on why it was considered a total loss. A vehicle that is worth $15k had a lot more damage than just a front wheel. Floods, frame damage, etc., are all things I'd stay away from. Honestly, Unless it was in a hail storm and all the damage was cosmetic, I'd walk away. That vehicle will be more hassle than the money you think you'd save.

    Leave a comment:


  • The White Coat Investor
    replied




    I have an FJ. They are built like tanks. And you are right, a clean 2007 with 130,000 miles will easily go for $15/16K. Find out exactly what caused the insurance to declare it a loss. If it was body damage I’d say buy it. If the word frame ever comes up walk away. Anything else in between, it is your call.

    Things to check on a 2007 are fender bulges and rear diff status (it was upgraded in later years). fjcruiserforums.com for everything you need to know about the truck.
    Click to expand...


    I have a good friend who owns an autobody shop. He assures me that when the insurance company totals it out, it really will cost more than it is worth to make it good as new. You are buying a car that is not good as new even after being rebuilt and made shiney again. Whether the aspects of it that aren't new are a big deal to you or not depends on both you and the car. Shortcuts were taken compared to what a complete restoration would be. It would behoove you to know what the shortcuts were before buying. You may be just fine with them, but you should be getting this car at a big discount compared to one without a salvage title.

    Leave a comment:


  • Decapolis
    replied




    I had no idea older FJs were worth that much
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    It's crazy how expensive they can be. I've found several on autotrader and Craigslist with over 200k miles asking 8-10k. Even found a couple with 300k miles!

    Leave a comment:


  • childay
    replied
    I had no idea older FJs were worth that much

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  • Dreamgiver
    replied
    I have an FJ. They are built like tanks. And you are right, a clean 2007 with 130,000 miles will easily go for $15/16K. Find out exactly what caused the insurance to declare it a loss. If it was body damage I'd say buy it. If the word frame ever comes up walk away. Anything else in between, it is your call.

    Things to check on a 2007 are fender bulges and rear diff status (it was upgraded in later years). fjcruiserforums.com for everything you need to know about the truck.

    Leave a comment:


  • The White Coat Investor
    replied
    I've had one. It was a little quirky with some of the electrical stuff. It was a good deal for what we could afford at the time. It's worth having a mechanic show you what was repaired. There's a reason it was totaled and not everything was fixed. The question is whether you can deal with what was not fixed and be okay with that.

    Don't plan on ever selling it. You will need to drive it into the ground. I totaled it again a few years later. I probably won't buy another one. Make sure you're getting a HUGE discount for it.

    Leave a comment:


  • Craigy
    replied







    How cheap are you talking?

    Unless you’re looking at something for a few hundred dollars that’s completely disposable, no point to deal with salvage title vehicles.

    And even then, should you be driving something that’s completely disposable?

    Just go lease a cheap Toyota for like $199/mo until you feel like you can afford your corvette.  Or just go buy something decent for $10 or $20k.
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    Around 8k…it’s an fj cruiser which normally have an extremely high resale value(similar vehicle would sell for 14-16k in the private market which is crazy for a vehicle with 130k miles and is 10 years old)but this one had damage to the front wheel. I’ve always liked them and this just sort of came across my path. Sounds like I need to pass and either continue to drive my current vehicle or find something else. Thanks guys
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    If you buy it, just know that it will be tremendously difficult to sell, and that you will probably get 50% of what a non-salvage car brings.  You're only talking $8k, so worst case (assuming it's reliable) you're selling the car for a couple grand in a few years, or towing it to a junkyard a few more years after that, and you only had $8k in it.  No big deal.

    Biggest issue is reliability and safety.  It's a Toyota so it should run, but are you willing to fix this and that from time to time (or live without), are you willing to have airbag lights flash at you (and potentially not function in an impact), etc.

    A car gets a salvage title because at some point an insurance company decided it cost too much to fix to be economically worthwhile, and that's before the title is branded, so assuming they could resell it as a non-salvage car for retail.  Insurance companies are notoriously stingy, have access to wholesale repair facilities, etc., and don't typically leave a lot of money on the table.  The only way a salvage car economically comes back to life is either by cutting corners or with a lot of free labor.

     

    Leave a comment:


  • Decapolis
    replied




    How cheap are you talking?

    Unless you’re looking at something for a few hundred dollars that’s completely disposable, no point to deal with salvage title vehicles.

    And even then, should you be driving something that’s completely disposable?

    Just go lease a cheap Toyota for like $199/mo until you feel like you can afford your corvette.  Or just go buy something decent for $10 or $20k.
    Click to expand...


    Around 8k...it's an fj cruiser which normally have an extremely high resale value(similar vehicle would sell for 14-16k in the private market which is crazy for a vehicle with 130k miles and is 10 years old)but this one had damage to the front wheel. I've always liked them and this just sort of came across my path. Sounds like I need to pass and either continue to drive my current vehicle or find something else. Thanks guys

    Leave a comment:

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