Car titles are fairly straightforward for 99 percent of the populace. You go to a dealership, select the car you like, pay them some money, and a few weeks later, you get a clean title that states you’re the legal owner. There are those, however, who purchase cars that have been severely damaged and are labeled with a different type of title called a branded title.
Branded titles can seem terrifying to some, conjuring images of bent-in-half vehicles, headlights with fish in them, and a small menagerie of rodents occupying the engine bay. But they’re not always so dire, and in some cases, branded-title cars can be repaired. To illuminate the murkiness of a branded title, Car Bibles’ handy editors have put together this guide on what a branded title is and how it works.
Let’s get after it.
What Is a Branded Title?
A branded title is a designation convention that states whether or not a car’s been seriously damaged by any number of instances, including water damage, hail damage, if it was stolen if it was returned to a dealership as a Lemon, if the odometer was modified, or the car was damaged and rebuilt. This is to help used car purchasers understand what they’re purchasing and not buy a car that’s potentially faulty.
How Does a Branded Title Work?
After a car’s damaged and the insurance company claims it as damaged-beyond-repair or repairable the insurance company will reissue a title that’s branded with what accident or force of nature damaged the car. That title stays with the car until it’s been repaired, rebuilt, or sold off for parts.
What’s the Difference Between Salvage Title and Branded Title?
Nothing, a salvage title is a type of branded title.
Car Bible’s Glossary for Branded Titles
Welcome to Bible School!
Hail Damage Title Brand
If a car’s been severely damaged by hail to the point of a total loss, it will receive a hail damage title brand.
Water Damage Title Brand
If a car’s been severely damaged by water to the point of a total loss, it will receive a water damage title brand.
Modified Odometer Title Brand
If a car’s odometer has been changed by a previous owner and it was reported to an insurance company, it will receive a modified odometer title brand.
Salvage Title Brand
If a car’s been written off completely by an insurance company, it will receive a salvage title brand.
Rebuilt Title Brand
If a salvage/damaged car’s been rebuilt, it will receive a rebuilt title brand.
Your Questions, Our Answers on Branded Titles
Car Bibles answers your burning questions!
Q. Is It Bad To Buy a Car With a Branded Title?
A. Not necessarily. A branded title is meant to help you understand your purchase. If you’re confident you can repair the car, or that it’s been repaired properly, a branded title isn’t something to fear.
Q. How Do I Sell My Car with a Branded Title?
A. Just like a normal car, though you may get less than you paid for it given the car’s damage and branded title. If you do sell it, it is your responsibility to immediately disclose the car’s branded title.
Q. Will Banks Finance a Branded Title?
A. Most lenders won’t finance the purchase of a car with a branded title, so you’ll have to figure out a new source of income if that’s the car you want. Or, you know, just find one with a clean title.
Q. How Do You Clear a Branded Title?
A. Branded titles will stay with the car for as long as the car stays on the road. You can repair the car, which would change the title from damaged to repair, but like your virginity, you can’t get your clean title back.
Video on Branded Titles
Car Bibles’ editors understand that not everyone is a text-based learner. For those kinesthetic people out there, we have your back with a video showing you exactly how branded titles work. We pulled it from one of our most trusted sources and it’s a great additional resource.
Car Bibles’ Favorite Branded Title Related Products
You can buy tools to fix your branded titled car at almost every auto parts and home improvement store. As well as online stores like Amazon. You have a sea of options to select from. Car Bibles’ editors put together a list of things that’ll help you repair your branded titled car, such as Rust Removers, Dent Repairers, and Glass Repair kits.
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