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Opinions on Rebuilt Title Car

 
Old 05-27-2019, 11:19 AM
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Default Opinions on Rebuilt Title Car

I am probably asking a dumb question, but I will throw it out there anyway. What is the general consensus on buying a car with a "rebuilt" title? Car had damage to the right rear passenger quarter and front bumper. Don't know the extent of the original damage and seller claims it is repaired near perfect. Would you guys even consider a car with a salvage title or whatever "rebuilt" means?
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Old 05-27-2019, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by t6dpilot View Post
I am probably asking a dumb question, but I will throw it out there anyway. What is the general consensus on buying a car with a "rebuilt" title? Car had damage to the right rear passenger quarter and front bumper. Don't know the extent of the original damage and seller claims it is repaired near perfect. Would you guys even consider a car with a salvage title or whatever "rebuilt" means?
I would only consider if there was documentation (like pictures and receipt for repairs) of the original damage and even then would only pay 60-70% market value for an accident free car.
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Old 05-27-2019, 12:27 PM
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Thanks. Yes, it is well below market value of the car (~60%). I am leaning towards not bothering due to that fact, but the price is really good. And it looks to be in great shape otherwise.
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Old 05-27-2019, 12:37 PM
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I think it depends on your goal for the car. Consider:
  • The salvage title means usually means that the cost to repair the damage is greater than the value of the car. And the insurance company refuses to make the repairs, so their path is to pay the owner the full value of the car, and then they send the car to auction where somebody picks it up, repairs it and then sells it.
  • Insurance companies derate this whole plan, they are very conservative. So (not exact numbers) if the damage estimate is $10,000 on a $20,000 car the insurance might total it to avoid taking the risk that the actual repair costs will grow and grow compared to the estimate.
  • The most important thing is for the seller to have documentation and pictures on what the actual damage was so you can evaluate what the damage might have affected, and if the repairs were done "good enough".
  • About your goals, if you plan to keep the car and drive it for a long time, then it probably doesn't matter if it has a salvage title. If you are unsure, or just trying out a Porsche, and plan to exit if you don't like it, then remember that a salvage title will always have a significantly lower value. Because of the lower value, this can provide an incentive for the owner to always short cut or neglect needed maintenance / repairs thus compounding the problem.
  • I don't know if this happens anymore, but in the past some shops down in Mexico (near here in San Diego) would buy totaled cars and put them back together. Literally they would buy a late model Mercedes that had the rear totaled, another one of the same model that had the front totaled, cut them in half, weld them together, and we have a salvage car on the market.
  • Not sure of the rules, but theft recovery can result in a salvage title. So if this is documented, then it could be a great deal if there was no damage.
  • If the insurance company totals the car, the owner can buy it back from them for a very low price. I've done this 3 times, and simply arranged repairs on my own. It works great, you can have your car back for peanuts and keep driving it. For example a the insurance might value the car at $20K, offer the buy back at $4K, you get $16K cash plus the car. Then if you can repair the car for $10K, you get to pocket $6K.
  • In the case of this car, I believe the quarter panel repair costs have gotta be very high, perhaps an obvious total for the insurance, but in fact beyond that the car might be absolutely fine. Or perhaps it was a flooded car, and somebody is just telling a story that it was the quarter panel / bumper.

Long stories, sorry, but IMHO the 2 main things to consider are: 1. understand what the damage was, and 2. realize it will always resell at a lower price.
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Old 05-27-2019, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by 911Syncro View Post
Long stories, sorry, but IMHO the 2 main things to consider are: 1. understand what the damage was, and 2. realize it will always resell at a lower price.
Exactly!
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Old 05-27-2019, 12:51 PM
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First consideration is the model year and price!
If there is no documentation of the damage and the repair, I would have a HIGH end body shop inspect the car. These guys will see things in a different way than you or I
Keep in mind that the body work is only part of the picture...you have to consider the car as if it had NO damage...in other words, don't be blinded by just the repairs...
Salvage title is not a turn off to everyone, it depends on the rest of the car, and what you intend to do with it...keep it a long time? (Then again...you can't really assume that even if that is your thinking)
If it's good and you can "steal" it, as a "driver" it may be just what you want, keep in mind that when the time comes to sell it..it may take time to find another.... "you"
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Old 05-27-2019, 12:56 PM
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I've owned and sold a few, if the work looks good then it could be a good buy. Ideally, pictures and documentation would be available.
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Old 05-27-2019, 01:42 PM
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I have owned a few, hail damage (mercedes) BMW135i Right rear qrt, Porsche 911 ( they said water) when fully inspected was not water and it had a new engine from factory, because of IMS issue, this was a great buy and still have it.
So answer is all cars are different, get photos, take a friend that knows what he is looking at. Then get up on lift and check it out. All cars were built once and can be rebuilt again if done correctly with care. If you like the car, its a good price and you want to drive it, go get it.
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Old 05-27-2019, 03:18 PM
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I belive any salvage title cancels all factory warrantys, It did on my 2015 lexus with 63 miles.
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Old 05-27-2019, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Byprodriver View Post
I belive any salvage title cancels all factory warrantys, It did on my 2015 lexus with 63 miles.
We are talking 996 here aren't we? Factory warranty is out...

How much are they asking for this car $8K? Just know you'll never get your money back out of it.
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Old 05-27-2019, 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by 808Bill View Post
We are talking 996 here aren't we? Factory warranty is out...

How much are they asking for this car $8K? Just know you'll never get your money back out of it.
You may want to reacquaint yourself with the original post.
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Old 05-27-2019, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Byprodriver View Post
You may want to reacquaint yourself with the original post.
This is in the 996 section. Do you have inside information that makes you think this is not in regard to a 996?

In regard to the OP - you have to ask a few questions.

Was the car repaired properly? Is there any documentation to support the repair?
Do you plan to resell? If so, are you expecting equal or more than you spend? If so - you will be disappointed.
Is the price low enough to take a chance? This is where I came to be an owner. My car has a rebuilt title, the price was very reasonable and I was willing to take a chance.

You will need to figure if this will work for you.
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Old 05-27-2019, 10:10 PM
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OK guys, thank you for your very valuable input. I really appreciate it. I just wanted your opinions on the issue and glad you were generous with your thoughts. First off, I am not new to the Porsche game. I have been in the early 911 scene for a while owning a variety of them and even a 914-6 (GT rep). I have been thinking of a 996 to add to the stable and am very aware of all the issues regarding the IMS, etc. I am also no stranger to the buying/keeping long term/selling process. Normally, I would not even consider a car with a reconstructed title, but it is local and priced - I think - pretty reasonably (16.5k). The car looks great in photos (yeah, I know....) and I would most definitely go look it over closely followed by a PPI and body shop inspection. If I was going to get serious... I keep my cars a long time and this would be like that and I know it may be hard to find another "me." I like that comment - thanks. I would prefer a no accident car, but really don't mind it at the end of the day if the repair was done correctly. Heck, my 71T had a front crunch in 1975 that I bought and lived with for 12 years. Didn't bother me ---- much.

Not sure about this car. I know the risks and issues, but just wanted to get your input for reference. It looks really nice and I may go take a look. But first, I will see if the seller has accident photos and paperwork. Great advice! Thanks.
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Old 05-27-2019, 10:47 PM
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As the basis of a track-day toy, with a full 'cage installed, sure thing.
As a daily driver that might be transporting family or other loved-ones, then it's a hard no.
As in all things, go with what fits your comfort zone.
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Old 05-28-2019, 01:30 AM
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$16.5? No! Look at same cars on CarGurus for comparison. Every major cities CL have a few to choose from as well.
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