What Is a Branded Title?

You uncovered the best car, priced perfectly down below what you expected. Before sealing the deal, you seem up the car’s details and to your shock locate that the motor vehicle has a branded title. What does that imply, and is this a deal killer?

A branded title signifies that the auto experienced comprehensive damage, issues with its odometers, or a defect that triggered it to be acquired again by the producer. A automobile with a branded title can be a wonderful cut price, but you require to be knowledgeable of  downsides that might make the offer not really worth it. 

Essential Takeaways

  • A branded title states the auto was when declared a total loss or will come with some other big dilemma.
  • Autos with branded titles have been fixed or rebuilt and marketed.
  • A branded title can mean the car or truck was harmed in a flood, its odometer was rolled again, or it was involved in a key accident.
  • Automobiles with branded titles may perhaps price tag 20% to 40% much less than the Kelley Blue Book benefit of the exact automobiles with a clean title.
  • Securing funding and insurance coverage for cars with branded titles may well be challenging.

Types of Branded Titles

A branded title lasts for the car’s life time. Even if the motor vehicle is repaired to perfection, the branded title difference can’t be eliminated. 

Branded titles are dealt with in another way state by point out. Frequently, they fall into a handful of types: 

Altered odometer

A car’s mileage impacts its worth, so states demand from customers odometer readings are documented when a vehicle is registered. Odometer readings are commonly recorded when vehicles are brought to a mechanic. 

Nonetheless, odometer readings are not generally exact. Additional than 450,000 automobiles for each 12 months are bought with bogus odometer readings, in accordance to the Nationwide Freeway Website traffic Security Administration.

If the odometer has been uncovered to replicate fewer miles than the car really drove, the title will have an “altered odometer” or “odometer rollback” title. 

Rebuilt title brand name

If a car in an accident is declared a whole loss, the insurance policies organization will typically sell the car or truck at auction to try out and recoup some of its expenditures. The automobile may well be bought by a repair service shop that may well attempt to deal with and sell  the vehicle.  

After these repairs, the vehicle has to pass a protection inspection ahead of it’s considered usable. If it passes, the point out will situation the vehicle a branded title with a rebuilt or reconstructed label. The title notifies upcoming entrepreneurs that the automobile was harmed and rebuilt. The label warns future owners that the structural or mechanical integrity of the automobile may possibly have been affected. 

Salvage branded 

A vehicle with a salvage branded title was in a collision and declared a total reduction. To qualify as a full loss, insurers estimate the value of the repairs as well as the scrap value of the vehicle. The automobile will be declared a complete loss if the important repairs and scrap price selection from a sure proportion of the car’s value, depending on what point out you are living in. If the insurance coverage business decides the motor vehicle is a whole reduction, it is issued a salvage branded title. 

Water problems manufacturer

Drinking water can problems a car’s interior, make mold and mildew advancement, and harm the motor. In some states, cars and trucks that ended up harmed by h2o or included in a flood will get  a h2o damage branded title. 

Professionals and Downsides of Branded Titles

A auto with a branded title may well search new and operate excellent, and getting one may possibly be tempting. But just before handing more than your challenging-earned revenue, take into consideration these pros and disadvantages: 


  • Branded title automobiles are less expensive: If you are on a budget and on the lookout for trusted, low cost wheels, a auto with a branded title might be the reply. Branded title vehicles may price 50 percent the price tag of a comparable automobile with a thoroughly clean title.   
  • A newer automobile may be in just your spending budget: By obtaining a branded title motor vehicle, you can extend your spending plan. You can get a auto with additional capabilities than you’d otherwise be in a position to afford to pay for. 


  • Reselling your branded title automobile may current challenges: Potential buyers may well be suspicious of a branded title car, and the title could also slash the resale benefit.  
  • Financing might be hard: Numerous loan providers will only finance autos with clear titles. If your picked car has a branded title, you may perhaps have to shop around for a motor vehicle loan, and may possibly spend higher fascination. 
  • You could struggle to discover an insurance company: Not all insurance policy organizations will insure cars and trucks with branded titles, so you may possibly have to store about for coverage.
  • Mechanical difficulties may possibly be lurking: You are taking a gamble with a vehicle with a branded title. A auto that has had important damage or other issues may perhaps not be trusted, and you may well conclude up having to pay for expensive repairs. 

How to Uncover Out If a Car or truck Has a Branded Title

You can use the pursuing tools to obtain out if a car or truck has a branded title: 

  • CARFAX: Nevertheless CarFax reviews aren’t cheap—a solitary CARFAX report is $39.99—they can be handy in the auto-buying method. Not only will CARFAX display if a vehicle has a branded title, but it will also show you when the title was issued, as nicely as upkeep data and how several entrepreneurs the car or truck had.
  • VINCheck: A totally free assistance provided by the Nationwide Insurance policy Criminal offense Bureau, VINCheck makes it possible for you to see if a vehicle has been stolen or reported as a salvage auto by collaborating insurance policy providers. 

For folks who are knowledgeable about cars and are looking for a bargain, a car with a branded title can be an exceptional obtain. Nonetheless, acquiring a auto with a branded title is not with no danger. Ahead of buying a motor vehicle with a branded title, have an impartial mechanic examine the car and glance up its fix documents to see what function was completed.