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Purchasing a Clean Title vehicle with past accidents

Hello everyone.

So first of all I would like to say that I’m new to this site. Now getting with my issue.

So yesterday I found a 2010 VW Jetta TDi with a 6 speed manual transmission and 60k miles on the odometer. Yesterday I decided to check it out and the car is in a immaculate state. The inside is good everything comes to ally has been kept extremely well. So I decided to do a Carfax and auto check report. It turns out the that vehicle had two car accidents. One occurred in mid 2011 which according to the reports were of moderate damage and none disabling, the second one kinda got me a bit on the safe zone as it happened in 2012 but the crash was disabling and required it to be towed. So about 8 years ago those two accidents happened.

I felt bummed because this car if you look at it is good! According to the seller all repairs were done by an approved VW repair shop. The vehicle had sustained damage on the right and left side of the front. So I decided to go more in depth I checked the title with an approved national data base checker and nothing came out, no salvage, no rebuilt, no total loss from insurance claims, title liens, bank liens all cleared. So I still had my doubts and went further I checked the title on my state DMV site and same thing no salvage title and it was active title.

So after all this I was curious as to why the vehicle was towed. So I checked my States accident report database, and I found the accident. The police report said that the driver had hit two vehicles in front of her at a stop light, and that the driver was under the suspicion of being under the influence of alcohol. So I don’t know if that may have been an attributing factor as to why the vehicle was towed.

So here I am with this dilema seems like the car runs good, I took it on a test drive and the vehicle had no vibration, no misalignment, no engine lights on the dashboard or any light. Should I still purchase this vehicle? What do you guys opinion?

First of all being towed means nothing . It could have been a precaution to not do more damage . The vehicle could be fine but there are many used vehicles that have not had repairs like this . frankly I would pass just because it is a 9 year old diesel VW that has been wrecked twice .


It doesn’t take much of an accident to disable a car. A torn fender or bumper obstructing a wheel is all it takes, or how about a busted radiator in a rear-end collision. You should have the car inspected by a qualified mechanic and willing to pay the $100 or so.

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Here are some pictures of the vehicle


The problems that may show up after major collision repair are the kinds that you can’t see . In other words you can have all the pictures you want but a shop will have to look under the vehicle for structural problems .


Should I take it to a local VW dealership?

Any good shop can do an inspection but it will cost you. And will the seller let you do this .
But it sounds like you have already made up your mind to buy it .

No I have not made up my mind just yet to be honest I like it allot. I had a 2009 vw Jetta before with 350k miles halfway through those miles I was in a car accident where I was rear ended really bad but the vehicles structural integrity was good.

It’s still a 10 year old used car. Being towed may or may not mean anything. The thing about collisions is that you never really know what has happened under there.

When my son wrecked his Camaro some years ago (not his fault) the car barely appeared to have any damage other than a slightly canted RF wheel and cracked windshield. Closer inspection showed the car was wiped clean out and not worth fixing. Subframe bent, floor pan buckled under the passenger side carpet, firewall wrinkled, and so on.
Even the headights, grille, and front valance looked good.

An experienced body man bought it for a fixer upper and threw in the towel a few weeks later; selling it off for parts only.

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You know I think after reading what you guys said I am going to avoid the vehicle. Yes it’s nice in my opinion. But I don’t want to risk some major breakdown or even worse an accident with a compromised frame that could lead to serious injury or damages. Besides that I forgot how expensive it is for to acquire parts for a VW. Another thing I just got a text from the seller and he stated that the title was an open title so that rang some serious alarm bells.


I think that is a good decision and it sounds like you might be dealing with a curb stoner via craigslist.


Yes you are right I saw it on Craigslist and OfferUp.
I’m veering away thank you guys. I needed some clarity and advice I think I would’ve made a very bad and expensive decision. I’m still looking for a inexpensive vehicle as I am in college at the moment. I found another vehicle I had a question about. Should I start a new thread?

Probably since it is a different vehicle but I think you should be able to do this by yourself now. You already know how to check Carfax type records and that you should have a vehicle inspected if possible .

I ran over a raccoon one night on the freeway and he broke the bottom of my radiator and the car had to be towed. Conversely I hit a deer with my Riv one night and I drove it home no problem but it was enough damage (due to the age) for a total. So yeah towing is not everything. In my insurance days though, a record like that would have landed her into a risk insurance pool. Two accidents in two years plus drinking, tsk tsk.

So you need to just have it inspected by a competent mechanic and also a body shop to insure that the work was done professionally. Replacing fenders, etc. is no big thing as long as the paint is quality and a good match. You may be able to use this though as a bargaining tool to get a break on the price though. I really can’t believe the dealer would not know about the history so they probably have some wiggle room.

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How many previous owners has this car had? Any proof of past maintenance? This is an interference engine with a rubber timing belt. No proof it was ever changed? Better budget another $1000 or so for that, or be prepared to negotiate the seller down on price for that. Personally, I would not buy, own, or accept as a gift any VW product, but it’s up to you…

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If I am paying a decent price for a used car, if I see ANY red flags, I pass. Sometimes it might be as simple as a suspicious repair record where the carfax says “Engine module checked”. Call me crazy but there are a lot of used cars out there.

The exception would be if I am really paying a low price (like scarp metal price) or if I ever wanted to buy a collector car. I think the latter is not going to happen as long as my wife and kids have access to my money :slight_smile:


It’s from a person who resales vehicles. He mentioned to me yesterday that the car was an open title. So that raised concerns, I also had rechecked the Carfax report and it only had a history until 2017.