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Is title clean, vehicle ok?

I am trying to purchase a used vehicle. Looked at an vehicle this morning, priced decent (low than kbb fair) and clean inside out, runs good. He told me it’s his sons and does not want it so selling. The title he showed me belonged to some woman and had original factory miles (like 50 something) and had signed on sellers part. the purchasers part was not filled completely (no mention of selling price). I googled the vin and it took me to some insurance website where it was listed for auction as loss due to fresh water. Looks like this guy is middle man or small time dealer. now the question is, will this show on car fax history? and is the title clean/clear? The original title is not yet transferred to the dealer so don’t know if the vehicle will get clean title. What you guys think, what is heppening here?

Run away, quick! Flood damage = major headaches. You’ve already identified enough problems that no further looking is needed.

What is happening here is that you were lied to. It was obviously not his son’s car, and that lie alone would be enough to make me walk away from the deal. The flood damage indicates you shouldn’t buy this car, but you shouldn’t buy ANY car from that dealership now that you know you’ve been lied to.

Thanks guys, its not a dealership i visited, it was listed as ‘owner’ sale an parked in someones garage. When he said we have to go to someone for paperwork, I smelled something. throwing the vin in google came up with this…

Anyway, if the vehicle is totaled by insurance will it not show on the title, that it is not clean? I am dumbfounded as to how to believe someone when he says title is clean? Thanks,

By definition, a totaled car does not have clean title.

Different states have different title requirements. Not all states issue salvage titles. There’s a process known as “title washing” wherein unscruupulous dealers move damaged cars to other states and get new “clean” titles for them.

You’ve met a crook. An especially dishonest one. Definitely do not do business with him, and you may even want to tip the vice squad off.

I ordered an carfax (autocheck) record and that too does not show any incident on this car, it even says that “No insurance loss title or probable total loss record” found. Does this mean the loss and eventual auction is still not recorded or carfax records are not entirely reliable?
It is registered in same state where it offered for sale tough.

Carfax can let you know when there has been a problem, but a clean Carfax report doesn’t necessarily mean the car is good. There might be problems that didn’t get reported to Carfax.

If the vehicle was water damaged, as you have found evidence, I would avoid it. Water damage can cause all kinds of never ending headaches, and the savings on the purchase price are not worth it. There are other used cars out there, so don’t get too hung up on this one.

Detguy, it means Carfax records are not entirely reliable. As a matter of fact, they’re not reliable at all. They often have incomplete data, incorrect data, and inaccurate data. Their is no “central database” of any kind for them to draw data from, data recording is not mandatory, many sources do not report anything to them, and their “data” is in no way audited or checked in any manner whatsoever. The only reason they get away with this is because they haven’t been checked into.

I had a friend who got a Carfax report once and under her VIN number they didn’t even have the correct model car! They had the make right, but that’s about it.