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86-95 Trucks & 4Runners 2nd/3rd gen pickups, and 1st/2nd gen 4Runners with IFS

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Old 01-06-2008, 05:02 PM   #1
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How much does a rebuilt title effect value?

All else being equal, how much (%-wise) should a rebuilt title effect market value? Let's say I've negotiated with a seller and have aggreed upon a sale price of $4000 expecting a clean title. Before doing the deal, I learn that it is actually a rebuilt title. Assuming that $4000 was a fair price for a clean title, how should I adjust my offer to reflect this new information?
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Old 01-06-2008, 05:10 PM   #2
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In some cases a salvage/rebuilt title could mean the car is virtually worthless. It's a tough call.

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Old 01-06-2008, 05:11 PM   #3
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Are you talking a "totaled title" or a rebuilt engine? When it comes to newer trucks, buying a truck thats been totaled and repaired would really change what I would pay for something, theres just so many variables, I would be afraid to buy something that has been totaled..however were not talking a 25-30k dollar truck either...Just check it out thoroughly... take it to a GOOD shop and tell them the story...they can check the obvious...good luck...Mike
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Old 01-06-2008, 05:23 PM   #4
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its a good negotiating point for you to bring down the price. It really depends on the area, and what specifically you're looking at (year, engine, mileage, truck/4runner, etc)

they're gunna be harder to resell, but are you planning on selling the vehicle at some point, or just driving it into the ground?

you should also find out about the registration issues with the state, and what your insurance company does as far as insuring rebuilt titles

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Old 01-06-2008, 05:51 PM   #5
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As Alex mentioned, I'd definitely be concerned with resale value, which will be way less with a salvage/rebuilt title. I recently passed on what initially seemed to be a sweet truck for that very reason.

The fact that the dude didn't disclose the title status up front should be sending off alarm bells & whistles. From what you've posted I wouldn't be surprised if he is trying to hide something.

BTW, In my recent ordeal I learned that TX and NM can clean titles, meaning a salvage titled vehicle can be titled with a clean title. Anyone buying a vehicle that was titled in those states at any point (and there are a couple others) should be extra vigilant in doing a thorough background check on the vehicle.
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Old 01-06-2008, 05:52 PM   #6
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It would seriously drop the value of the vehicle. I would say by as much as 50%.
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Old 01-06-2008, 06:02 PM   #7
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i recently bought a 91 pickup from one of my friends for $300 bucks

it has a re-built title (minor front end collision)




when i went and registered and i had to pay sales tax on what was like 200 bucks under the book value

i had to pay taxes on like 2500 when i paid 300
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Old 01-06-2008, 06:03 PM   #8
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All else being equal, how much (%-wise) should a rebuilt title effect market value? Let's say I've negotiated with a seller and have aggreed upon a sale price of $4000 expecting a clean title. Before doing the deal, I learn that it is actually a rebuilt title. Assuming that $4000 was a fair price for a clean title, how should I adjust my offer to reflect this new information?
In the scenario mentioned, it would be a deal breaker. Otherwise, if I know going into it that it was a rebuilt title vehicle, I am looking for a trail rig rather than something I am depending on in daily traffic.
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Old 01-06-2008, 06:08 PM   #9
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Truck had a "fender bender" (seller's words) and the ins. co. totalled it. '92 'runner, 225k miles so it wouldn't take much damage for them to do that. But yeah, I'm concerned about the potential resale value (or even resalability) later on... Even though I'll be returning it to Texas, where I could potentially "clean" the title, it would still come up on carfax, and I don't want to be shady like that.

And yeah, alarm bells indeed.
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Old 01-06-2008, 06:15 PM   #10
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if your buying this truck, your buying to keep it for youself. The resale value is nill. Also check with your insurance company if they will allow you to insure a salvage title vehicle under your policy.

The fact that he didn't disclose salvage title up front is realy shady. I would go over the truck with a fine tooth comb looking for electrical gremlins, dash wiring being unplugged so that the check engine light doesn't come on. Lift up the carpeting to look for flood damage. Put the truck on the lift, and check the frame rails to see if they have been repaired. Examine the paint on all body panels. Look for the vin number sticker on the remaining body panels to see if they match. See if the truck drives straight. Any problems on cold start up. Any smells, mold, etc. Have the engine checked out.

run the carfax on it yourself as well. Then if everything checked out, I'd offer him 45% of what the value of the truck, if it had a clean title. Otherwise walk away.

With all this said I once purchased a salvage vehicle that had a salvage title due to being a stolen vehicle sold at an insurance auction. I had no problems with it, other then the a/c not working properly.
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Old 01-06-2008, 06:17 PM   #11
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And not to knock your haggling or used car purchasing skills, but around here rust free 2nd gen trucks with similar mileage can be found between $2000-$4000 pretty regularly. Unless there is something particularly special with that one I'd keep on looking. Plenty to choose from in that category & price range.
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Old 01-06-2008, 06:17 PM   #12
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I seriously doubt that a minor fender bender would total it. Probably alot more damage than seller is willing to say.
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Old 01-06-2008, 06:24 PM   #13
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And not to knock your haggling or used car purchasing skills, but around here rust free 2nd gen trucks with similar mileage can be found between $2000-$4000 pretty regularly. Unless there is something particularly special with that one I'd keep on looking. Plenty to choose from in that category & price range.

Well, it does have a fresh rebuild on the 3.0, so that's the main selling point, and it appears extremely clean... But 4x4 prices are seriously retarded in the south for some reason. I've been seeing late 80's toys and nissans with 200k+ going for 3000+ and the sellers unwilling to negotiate. I found one 2nd gen with a 22re and a 5spd, and they were asking $5500. So yeah, I'd pay $4000 for a GOOD truck.
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NOW- 2000 SR5 4Runner, 3.4 5spd manual 4X4

Yep, I sure did sell my FJ to buy a twelve year old 4Runner, and I'd do it again!
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Old 01-06-2008, 06:42 PM   #14
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It depends on why it was given the title. For instance my work van was salavaged b/c the engine gave up and the person donated it. My boss bought it for 300 bucks in pretty nice shape and put in a new engine and trans.

If the vehicle is old and has even a minor fender bender that would cost more than about 1200 or so to fix they often total it.

If I was considering a vehicle with a salvage or rebuilt title I would want to know the specifics why and check it like a fine tooth comb to make sure its nothing to bad. MY buddies truck is a salvage like 10x lol, doesnt mean it dont run and wasnt fixed right though..
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Old 01-06-2008, 06:50 PM   #15
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Well, it does have a fresh rebuild on the 3.0, so that's the main selling point, and it appears extremely clean... But 4x4 prices are seriously retarded in the south for some reason. I've been seeing late 80's toys and nissans with 200k+ going for 3000+ and the sellers unwilling to negotiate. I found one 2nd gen with a 22re and a 5spd, and they were asking $5500. So yeah, I'd pay $4000 for a GOOD truck.
Get a $200 one way ticket, click here and save yourself a few bucks.

But seriously, good luck.
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Old 01-06-2008, 06:59 PM   #16
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Yeah, I'm going to pass on it. If I had known from the start that it was a rebuilt title, then maybe, but the WTF factor is just too high at this point.
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Old 01-06-2008, 07:18 PM   #17
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It does bug me that the seller didn't disclose the salvage title at the beginning of the negotiation. I agree with 50% of retail.

I see you decided to pass on it...I already had this typed up...figured I'd go ahead and share my thoughts...

Just for informational purposes as you continue shopping, ask your insurance agent a few "what if" questions...explain it is a rebuild, offer to provide the vehicle for inspection to see if you can put collision and comp on it. (You should have no problem insuring it for "liability".) Find out how your claim would be handled if you totaled it shortly after you bought it, ask about how much diminished value you would be facing...I'd bet you will be lucky to get 50-60% of retail. Use that info as your rationale for your low offer...it may just be that the seller needs to be educated. Give him some room to save face...make your offer and tell him he can feel free to contact you within 24 or 48 hours...after that you are focusing your efforts elsewhere. Sellers can get insulted with low offers...and if you make them respond to your offer immediately, it will probably not be in your favor and then you have hit a brickwall. Make an offer...put a timeline on it...and then back out. Don't get emotionally attached to the asset and walk away if you need to. Buyer's remorse feels pretty crappy...we've all been there.

On the flip side, some rigs are totaled pretty easily...I've seen many "rolling totals" as a result of hail damage. Besides a "recovered theft", another example is a vandal could total a car just by breaking out all of the glass and taillights. Rigs with structural damage will face a threshold of when they can/should be fixed vs. parted out. That is the scary part...how messed up was this rig and were the repairs done safely/correctly...that is what you need to find out.
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Old 01-06-2008, 11:08 PM   #18
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If they did a good job on the rebuild, then it could be as little as 10% less value, but if it has some flaws, about 35% or more should be taken off of the value.
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Old 01-06-2008, 11:24 PM   #19
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I see all kind of repairs done wrong working in the wrecking industry.

if the insurance company totaled it, and it was fixed, it was likely not done right. I would pass on this truck. Especially since he didn't want to tell you in the first place that it was rebuilt.

If you are dead set on buying it, take it to a shop. if the seller wont let you do that, you know he is just scamming you. If he will, have the mechanic thoroughly inspect it. And see how much info you can get from the seller on exactly what was replaced and fixed.

If the mechanic says no go, pass on it.
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Old 01-06-2008, 11:30 PM   #20
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I see all kind of repairs done wrong working in the wrecking industry.

if the insurance company totaled it, and it was fixed, it was likely not done right. I would pass on this truck. Especially since he didn't want to tell you in the first place that it was rebuilt.

If you are dead set on buying it, take it to a shop. if the seller wont let you do that, you know he is just scamming you. If he will, have the mechanic thoroughly inspect it. And see how much info you can get from the seller on exactly what was replaced and fixed.

If the mechanic says no go, pass on it.
And after all that, if you still want it, maybe the guy is desparate. You should offer him like $450 for it, and say that you are an insurance claims adjuster and that you see things like that all the time, or say you are an appraisor, and that you know the true value of a vehicle in that condition, and with that title history.
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Current Mods
Headers, 2.5" Flowmaster custom exhaust, K&N FIPK
KC Daylighters, electric fan
Ranchos x4, 2" Lift Downey coils
33-12.50 M/T's, 1" t-bar lift, 1" body lift
Tow pkg w/ lighthookups
Silverstar Headlights, Pioneer Deck w/XM
Brushguard
250Watt JLAudio 8" W3 Sub

Future Mods
12V Aux outlet-400/800peak inverter
roof basket/lights
Air locker
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