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Beware of these vehicle title red flags

On Behalf of | Sep 9, 2021 | Dealer Fraud

Buying a used car from a dealership is often considered a safer option than buying it from an individual. One step that you should take when you’re purchasing a used vehicle from any source is check the title.

A car’s title can tell you a lot about the vehicle, but altered titles are sometimes a problem. Knowing what to look for might help you spot a problem.

Title branding

A title brand shows that something significant has happened to the vehicle. Some title brands that you might see include:

  • Water damage: This signifies that the car was in a flood. It can lead to mold, mildew and engine trouble.
  • Salvage: This indicates that the vehicle was in an accident and was considered to be a total loss.
  • Hail damage: Pennsylvania issues hail damage as a title brand for cars that receive significant damage. Owners can have issues with insurance and financing because some companies won’t offer those on a hail damage title branded car.
  • Rebuilt: A rebuilt title means that the vehicle was once salvaged, but it was subsequently restored to a condition that makes it roadworthy.

It’s important to review the title before you make the purchase so that you know about the vehicle’s history.

Title washing

Title washing occurs when someone registers a car in a state that doesn’t recognize the title brand that’s on the title. This enables them to sell the vehicle without the brand being reflected on the title. Some car dealerships might get vehicle from other states that have a title brand that isn’t reflected in Pennsylvania.

It’s imperative that car dealership representatives are always forthcoming with information about the vehicles they’re selling. If you find out that you were defrauded by a dealership when you purchase a vehicle, legal action might be important. Having experienced legal guidance can help you determine how to proceed.

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