Buying a car without a title?

Discussion in 'Camaro Questions' started by 93z, Jun 7, 2020.

  1. 93z

    93z Member

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    I came across a guy posting to various groups on FB that has had some cars that have piqued my interest. I contacted him and found a car I was ready to buy, and when I asked about the title he stated he could get a title on any old car. For context, this guy appears to have a lot of acreage with a couple hundred rotting old muscle cars. He’s made numerous posts on fb selling cars, some he mentions have a title, others he doesn’t. He seems to do quite a bit of business on fb as he posts cars every week.

    Now the scenario is, upon questioning him, he stated it would take 3-4 weeks to get a title for the car. I asked if he could go ahead and get the title for the car, I’d even front the money to do so, and when he had the title I’d come and close the deal. He stated “no, because I’m running this through my dealers license.” In other words, I was to come get the car, hand over the cash, then expect the title mailed to me in 3-4 weeks. Now, I’m 99.9% certain this is a fools gambit. However, I’m wondering if there is some bit of information I’m missing regarding purchase of an old car that would mke this standard practice. The way I see it, I’m most likely buying a car, never getting the title, completely unable to ever get the title in my name, and essentially left with a car I can never legally drive and register. I asked the seller to explain this process to me and he never messaged back. (Writing on the wall...) with all that said I see the guy apparently selling cars daily through Fb so I’m wondering if anyone with experience can enlighten me on the process that makes buying a car like this a safe purchase?
     
  2. McCune

    McCune Veteran Member

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    I deal with 20 acres of cars on a daily basis, titles haven't been a issue to some but most want one and I don't blame them. The state you are in can make a difference. If the car is old and not been in the system for decades then there probably is no info on that VIN. Just apply for a new title. If the car was stolen and reported at some time then it should come up as stolen with a VIN inspection.
     
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  3. dave@ztech

    dave@ztech Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    Also, depending on the state, if he is running this through his DEALER license , and he sells you a car that you can NOT get a title on , he has to refund the purchase price.
     
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  4. BigBlock73

    BigBlock73 Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    Many years ago I purchased a VW Bug that had changed hands a few times without a title.
    I found you can get title insurance and register and title the car.
    With the title insurance,if the previous titled owner of the car put a claim on the car the insurance would pay them.I think it was the book value.
    IIRC this cost $200

    Call you insurance company and ask
     
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  5. ol' grouch

    ol' grouch Veteran Member

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    What state is he in? Indiana, you MUST deliver the title when you deliver the car. Dealers have a little lee way, but not much. Obviously, a new car will have an MSO. Kentucky on the other hand, didn't have titles until 1984. A car that has been owned since before that by a family probably won't have a title.
     
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  6. badazz81z28

    badazz81z28 Veteran Member

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    This question pops up quite often...check the laws for the state the car is purchased in. Some states don’t require nor issue a title for cars that are so old. However there is still a verification process. Like when I bought a car in GA it was sold by the registered owner who had it registered in GA and I got a bill of sale. I had no issues registering it in AK having the GA registration, a police tag report and the bill of sale...and they issued me a title. A car sold on a state that requires a title and the car doesn’t have one can be problematic if the person selling the car isn’t the registered owner. Do your research carefully....a lot of these junk car finds are “acquired” in which the seller never legally owned them.
     
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  7. 93z

    93z Member

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    Thanks for the info guys. The seller is in SD and I contacted their title office and was told he has to have a title to sell the vehicle. But I was still curious, if this was true, how was he able to continually sell vehicles? I live in WY, and the title process here requires me to do a VIN search, at which point I’m required to contact the previously registered owner and have them sign over the title to me. If no registered owner pops up, I gathered I would be unable to receive a title in WY. It’s interesting some states seem to have no issues with titles and others it seems near impossible to get one.
     
  8. Gary S

    Gary S Administrator Lifetime Gold Member

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    Your guy can sell vehicles without titles, but if SD requires a title, those vehicles will have problems ever getting licensed. If you want a parts vehicle to scrap, buy from him. If you want to restore it and license it for driving, follow the rules and demand a title up front. Without a title in your name, the last owner can always pop up and claim the vehicle.
    You can deal with the hassle now before you buy, or you can deal with the hassle for years after you buy. Your choice.
     
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  9. badazz81z28

    badazz81z28 Veteran Member

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    It is interesting to see differing laws by state, but of course the case for a lot of things. I will never buy a car from someone who doesn’t own it. Nothing like trying to track down the last registered owner and risk they want it back after you spent the cash for it. These cars are everywhere, I would keep looking.
     
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  10. 93z

    93z Member

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    I had already resigned to continuing the search but curiousity kept at me and having minimal experience purchasing old cars I figured it would be best to see others experience for future scenarios that may pop up with similar circumstances. I appreciate all the insight shared here, thanks again.
     

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