Vehicle Titles
Eagle Talon
VW Cabrio

What if you bought a car and thought it had a clean title then found out it had a salvaged title?

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Wiki User
March 16, 2008 6:02AM

Depends if the seller was fraudulent intentionally. Did he give you a clean title at the time of sale? If so, you may have some recourse if the car was totaled/salvaged under his/her name.

If you bought from a licensed dealer there MAY be some recourse if it was proven or known to be salvage when (s)he sold it to you. If it's a private party sale, cars are sold as-is unless you were given a false title knowingly - an old seller's trick when a car is totaled is to immediately apply for a lost title replacement. Now the seller has two clean titles in hand, just in case he needs to surrender one for insurance purposes when he receives a cash payout for a total but decides to keep the car. He can then fix it cheaply and sell it for a good profit since he has another clean title in hand. If (s)he presented you a clean title at time of sale this is also known as FRAUD, so you can can pursue legal action or demand a refund but it's gonna require time and effort to prove. Good luck!

Before you buy a used car always submit the VIN to the state DMV to make sure the title is clean and NEVER buy a car that is not currently titled to the state you live in (there are ways to "titlewash" cars from state to state). Doing a Carfax is a good idea, too! It's always 'buyer beware' when you buy a used car and you may have gotten taken.