What is a branded title?

These days, the most common use of the term “branded title” usually refers to a salvage title – the title given to a vehicle that has been severely damaged or totaled, purchased by an insurance company, and resold as a used car if that particular state’s regulations allow for it.

However, the definition of a branded title – and the actual brand attached to a vehicle’s title, for that matter – goes a bit deeper. A brand is the word used to indicate what has happened in the vehicle’s past, and a branded title is one that belongs to a vehicle that’s been given a brand.

In addition to a salvage title, other branded titles you might see on a used car include variations of terms to mean the vehicle has been:

  • Junked or dismantled
  • Revived
  • Damaged by hail, a flood, or a fire
  • Returned per a warranty or Lemon Law Buyback regulations
  • Reconstructed or rebuilt
  • Found to have an inaccurate odometer reading
Of course, not all brands signify a checkered past for the used car. You might come across a branded title that states a vehicle used to belong to a fleet (such as a taxi or a vehicle once rented out by a car rental business) or was part of a police or other law enforcement agency.

Note that each state has its own laws and regulations when it comes to brands. Before you purchase a vehicle with a salvage title or any other branded title, make sure you take a look at your state’s regulations and understand exactly what the brand entails and what you’re getting yourself into.

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