Car Buying Advice - Clean Title Meaning
The term CLEAN TITLE is self-explanatory, or is it? Because we find that it is often confused with CLEAR TITLE.
What does CLEAN title mean?
- The vehicle has never been involved in any major accidents
- The vehicle has no flood, theft, salvage or restored title records (Branded Title)
- The vehicle has not been totaled in the past
- The vehicle does not have flood or theft history
A clean title does not mean:
- The vehicle being paid off or it has no liens. When the vehicle has no lines it is called a clear title.
What does CLEAR title mean?
- Clear title means the are no financial interestest of third parties on the vehicle. This means there are no liens or bank loans. The owner of the vehicle can transfer ownership of the vehicle to any person that they reassign the title to.
Be careful when buying a car advertised with clean title
As a car buyer, you may think that a clean title means that the car you are looking to buy hasn't been involved in a major accident. Unfortunately, that is not completely correct. Cars may have minor accidents and still be sold with clean title. A car should not have a major accidents or frame damage if it is being sold with clean title. It is normal practice for car dealers and major rental companies to sell previously wrecked cars as having a "clean title". Even if these cars have been involved in accidents.
Keep in mind!
Cars that are listed for sale with "Clean Title" can have previous accidents. It is normal practice for car dealers to sell cars with a Clean Title even though the car has been in an accident.
Take a look at this 2015 Honda Civic that was posted for sale by a dealer. This vehicle has one previous accident.The accident even shows up on Autocheck history report.
We contacted the dealer and asked if the vehicle has a clean title. This is their response.
My name is K.
You did ask about 2015 Honda civic the good news is this car still available and it is clean title.
28k mile is running for $13999.00 if you need more pictures from this car please let me know.
What's the difference between CLEAN and CLEAR Title
Many people think that a clean title means the vehicle has no liens or outstanding loans which is incorrect. That is called a CLEAR TITLE. Don't let the N and R confuse you.
Be careful as Cars that are being sold with a "clean title" may often have previous accidents. Check out the following example.
Does clean title mean the car has no accidents?
Depends on who you ask. Unfortunately, cars that have been involved in major accidents (in some cases the airbag deploy) are still being sold as clean title.
Car dealers may refer to a car as having a clean title. What they often mean is the car doesn't have a branded title.
In some cases, history reports such as CarFax and AutoCheck won't even show the accident.