Rebuilt car

I found a rebuilt 2014 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 v6 , manual transmission with almost 36,000 miles for $10,600, I found a close match clean title car for $7,000 more. The place that is selling it is a repair shop, none of their inventory is older than 2013 and everything else
seems to be rebuilt as well. I did ask about what happened to it and got a quick but short reply of the left front wheel and control arm was replaced. Which I believe there is more to it than just that , if anything it’s probably where the damage started and if that’s actually what happened. Although they did offer to show pictures before it was repaired and that could paint a better picture of what happened. I would still ask to see all paperwork they have on it and have another place go over it completely checking both the mechanical and body.
What are some uncommon things to ask/check for when dealing with a rebuilt car that is also being sold by the people who fixed it ?
If everything checked out with the car however unlikely, would it be worth trying to offer them a lower price then what they are asking ?

I have stayed away of rebuilt cars. Friends who have luck buying them, buy them damaged from the insurance auction and fix it themselves.

When a car has a rebuilt title, it means the cost of fixing the damage was more than 70% of what the car was worth. So, don’t buy the stories that would tell you the car has bumper damage/etc.

Also, usually for the repair shop to make profit off of this car, they have to cut some corners in the repair, ie lower quality parts/etc.

Now, there is always a bit of scam going on where the body shop would buff the repair bill to the insurance, buy the car cheap and fix and sell it. But you have to really consider yourself lucky to get a good one.

Could be OK, could be a disaster, only a careful examination by an expert can tell. And even if it’s good, I’d pay no more than 50% of the value if it had a clean title. And check with your insurance before you buy, they may not want to insure it.


I have purchased several wrecked cars years ago but they had clean titles, and I controlled the repair process. However, I used to be a body man, and I knew lots of people in all facets of the business.

Each state has it’s own rules for registering a rebuilt car. Do your reseach before you buy. Don’t rely on the seller. Can you get collision and comp coverage? Ask your insurance company.

Pictures of pre repair are of little help. Many wrecks have estimates written by experienced adjustors/bodymen, and need sustantial additions once they are opened up. Post repair inspections may not reveal all problems. Google has lots of examples of cars being totalled by poor repairs. It is always expensive to correct mistakes, ommissions and poorly done work. Co Part has lots of “repaired” cars which look good in photos, but were totalled by substandard work.

This car will never be worth as much as its unwrecked twin. It will be harder to resell or trade in. Do you research, and good luck.

I worked with a guy who did this as a hobby. A hobby that made money. He “clipped” cars. Took a front hit car and welded it to a rear-hit car. Used the factory seams and weld locations as much as possible. For A-pillars, they’d cut mid-way and inset a sleeve and rosette and seam weld them together. He was very up-front with customers and didn’t hide anything they did. Sold the cars for about 60% of regular resale value. They were fine cars that provided good value to the buyers.

But get it carefully checked before buying!

I do have some collision repair knowledge and experience mainly light body work and paint but I’m no expert and not with newer cars. This is the first time I’ve actually considered buying a rebuilt car. I have the cars vin so I can check with my insurance company. Also if I did buy this, over time I would be upgrading things with aftermarket/performance parts.

I’m mainly looking at it because I’ve seen used car dealers where they have a lot full of cars that look like they were pulled from a junk yard and then there are the big dealerships that buy cars with 100k+ miles for cheap then they mark it up. I don’t trust stories like when they said only a wheel and control arm was fixed, I do see a starting point of where to check for more damage. A picture might tell a better story then the people selling the car, like force of impact and direction, damage to the area around the wheel and an idea of stress put on everything the wheel was connected to. I do expect a worse case scenario that it is a flood damaged vehicle, frame damage, electrical problems and that is also what I know the least about or what to look for. The cars at this repair place look good enough to test drive and have it inspected more closely by others. Even then there is still a risk and future/unforeseen problems, just like everything else through. Another reason to try offering a lower price if it looks good. I have no problems walking away if things don’t check out.

If the car drives straight and doesn’t smell of mildew (or show evidence of submersion) it could be a perfect platform if you want to do this. A simple tape measure check of he right and left wheelbase can give you a hint of the condition. More than about 3/8 inch difference is a concern. Follow the car while it drives down the road, does it dog-track? This car would have 4-wheel alignment so it could be corrected if the unit body isn’t racked. Do you see fresh black undercoating in certain areas underneath? That tells you where major work has been done. If it’s applied really thick, it may be a coverup. Good Luck!

each person has a comfort level on salvage value. some say 50% and some say 60%. if you find a properly repaired car and seller wants a higher percentage than you have to negotiate. he may come down. maybe not. now, what is the future of this car? drive it for 2yrs and sell it even lower to next guy who may or may not have the same concerns you did?

My cousin did that. He had an Alfa Romeo Spyder that ran poorly but everything else was great. He bought a wrecked Spyder with a good drive train. He swapped in the good drive train and had a cherry Alfa Spyder. He continued to do this with other brands and eventually made a business out of it. He and a colleague restored Porsches and had clients anywhere east of the Mississippi. Apparently there are lots of doctors that are willing to pay way too much for restored air cooled Porsches.

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Oh YES there are. Air cooled cars were “cheap” at $20K or so for nice ones until lately. Now finding one for under $40K is nearly impossible.

But then there never was such a thing as a “cheap” Porsche! Cars or parts, you are gonna pay a high price!

I’m sure that’s why he chose Porsches. He rebuilt a 356SC and sold it his sister for the parts price. That was about 10 years ago. Good to be her, huh?

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What about the 914?

Thanks for the replies, I plan to go look a it tomorrow, checked with my insurance company, gave them the vin the repair place listed on their site and they said I could get it insured. It is around the 60% of the KBB value, if everything checks out with me and whoever I take it to get inspected, I would ideally like to try and negotiate from their $10,600 plus TTL to $9,000- $9,500 out the door or lower if possible.

The 914 never had the cache the 911 did. That said, they only built them for a few years into the early 70’s. The 6 cylinder cars are worth $50K as a driver and as much as $114K and going up for concours cars. The VW 4 cylinder cars are worth $28K at best.

Now if you have one of the 24 or so GT cars, that can be worth as much as $270K in show condition.

I had a 914 2L and it was incredibly fun to drive. The faster I went, the better stuck to the road it felt. It wasn’t quick, but that was true for anything from the mid-1970s.

a genisis with mods sounds like a 370z with mods. every person has a preference for what they like. i think a 914 is ugly. they had the budget 912 cars but at least they had the desirable 911 body. i think porsche started with a frame/chassis and said how can we make a functional body to cover this? and ended up with the 914

Only about 3360 914-6’s were ever built and probably 4000 of them still exist! :rofl:

I’ve known a number of folks that owned 914-4’s converted to 914-6’s. Since it FITS, you install a SIX!

A roller skate of a car sold as a VW-Porsche and lacking a Porsche badge in the US models but sold as a Porsche.

I thought the 914 was unibody . . .