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Used Vehicle Purchase with multiple duplicate title issuance history
Multiple duplicate title issuance history
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09/04/2014 - 10:32 AM
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I read one of your blogs about internet used car purchases and am looking at a 1980's Jeep Scrambler. The carfax report shows multiple duplicate title issuances since 2005. At least 5 and also the dmv stopped reporting odometer readings for the vehicle in 2005. I have a two part question. Does the title history indicate and potential problems with prospective legal ownership for a buyer, and is the value of the vehicle compromised by the past odometer exempt report?

Clearwater Fla

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09/04/2014 - 10:57 AM
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Due to federal law any vehicle 10 years old or older will be "Exempt From Odometer Reporting." Most cars of exempt status age are sold that way by dealer auctions. However if buying an exempt qualifying vehicle that is Actual Mileage on the title, it might be possible to register it as Actual Miles in most states. You would need an Odometer Statement from the seller stating it is the actual mileage of that vehicle. Once a title is exempted it can no longer be registered as actual miles.

Actual Mileage would be a big plus in determining value on a classic car or collectible auto going through the chutes at Barret Jackson or other high-line auction. But for an old Jeep, i doubt it would hurt the value. The older a vehicle gets its value is determined by it's condition. Low miles and a verifiable 1 owner might add some value, but not a whole lot.

As for the duplicate titles that does seem excessive to have that many duplicate title applications filed. Without seeing the CarFax report it's tough to make a determination if any monkey business occurred. Such an example would be, someone hocked the title at a pawn shop or title loan business, then defaulted and applied for a lost title. Most of the aforementioned businesses do not apply liens right away, they just hold the title and hand it back when the loan is repaid. If the person defaulted a lien could be filed against that vehicle.

Did you run the VIN through the NICB Database?

Don't forget to have the vehicle inspected if you decide to purchase.

Best Wishes, Doc.

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