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What is the definition of having "clean title" on your car?
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What is the definition of having "clean title" on your car?

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Does it have anything to do with if it's been in a wreck?


It has nothing to do with being in a wreck. It means, the vehicle hasn't been stolen, it's paid off, and the title papers are all in order.

You can have a clean salvage title. It means, ownership is clear.

If you want to find out about wrecks or claims on a car, use carfax.

Deb W
A clean title means that the vehicle has never had a salvage title before. In some states damage to vehicles from and accident is reported on titles. And the title might be branded damage disclosed, or damaged.
Just because the title is clean does not mean that it has never been wrecked. I suggest that you run a car-fax on any vehicle before purchasing it. (www.carfax.com)

You own the car free and clear. There are no liens on it like from a dealer, and it is not a salvage vehicle. If it's not salvaged and you have the actual title in your hand, in your name, you have "clean title".

A car that doesn't have any thing bad on car fax now days.

A clean title means it's paid in full - you don't owe the bank and there are no liens on it (meaning you haven't taken out a loan and said you'd give them the car if you don't pay).

A clear title means that you owe nothing on it. No loans, or liens.

Shoeless Joe
A clean title means that the car hasn't been totaled. It has nothing to do with lien-holders. A normal title is generally green and a 'salvage title' (not clean - means the car has been totaled by an insurance company) usually is orange, or possibly brown. If a car has a 'salvage' title it means the car has been rebuilt. A title can also be 'dirty' if there is some type of odometer discrepancy.

EDIT - many people here have mentioned carfax as a good reference, but you should know that it's not all it's cracked up to be. I would say that around 70% of the cars we used to look at for trade that had damage repair showed nothing on carfax. It's good to use, but it's not the end all. Remember, somebody has to report the damage...would you report damage to your car to carfax? Would your body shop? Probably not. It seems accidents only get reported when the police get involved. Even then it's spotty.


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