Importing cars from the US made easy: Introducing the Title Check feature in the carVertical report

Evaldas Zabitis

Evaldas Zabitis

Used car buyers can find great deals in the United States, but since most vehicles imported from there are damaged, it’s essential to know how severe the damage is. That’s where car titles come in handy – salvage, flood, fire, and other records make the title “branded,” and carVertical history reports can reveal brands for you.

Let's look deeper into car titles and see how our new Title Check feature can ease your purchase.

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What are car titles and branded titles?

Car title designs
Source: carVertical

A certificate of title (car title) is like a vehicle’s ID in the United States. It’s a document that proves ownership of the car and displays its vehicle identification number (VIN), car make and model, owner’s name, odometer reading, and other essential information. Only a state’s DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) can issue a car title.

When a vehicle experiences damages or other significant events, its title may receive a “brand” that lasts for the car’s lifetime. Brand types vary depending on the event, and some of the most common brands are:

  • Salvage
  • Flood
  • Hail
  • Fire
  • Prior taxi or police
  • Odometer discrepancy

Each brand warns about specific dangers. For instance, Salvage vehicles were damaged to the point where the repair costs exceeded a jurisdiction-defined percentage of the vehicle's retail value. Hail-damaged vehicles usually have dents and cracks. Prior taxi and police cars may have a high mileage, torn seats, a worn steering wheel, and more mechanical issues.

Titles without brands earn the label "clean" because the car has had no brand-worthy events or has undergone the necessary process to clear the title.

Needless to say, information about car title brands is crucial when buying a vehicle from the US.

carVertical Title check feature: what is it and how does it work?

Alongside other important information, carVertical reports can inform you:

  • Whether the car has a branded title
  • The type of brand or brands it has (yes, a vehicle can have more than one).

This information can help you uncover various issues before buying a car from the USA.

Title brands in carVertical report
Title brands in carVertical report

A car title check may even reveal information that can be hard to learn otherwise. For example, an odometer rollback is one of the most common scams in the used car market, but if the history of mileage records isn’t available, you can easily become a victim.

Fortunately, when odometer discrepancies or issues are detected in the US, the car receives one of the odometer-related titles, such as Not Actual, Altered, Tampering, Replaced, etc., warning you that the numbers on the odometer may not reflect the reality.

Odometer brands in carVertical report
Odometer brands in carVertical report

Moreover, even though all cars in the U.S. must have titles, sellers often say they’re lost or destroyed. Therefore, checking online may be the only way to know if the title is branded.

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The new Title check feature in carVertical history report lets you learn a lot of information when buying a used vehicle from the United States. Information about potential problems and weak spots can help you to inspect the car properly and make a better decision.

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Evaldas Zabitis

Article by

Evaldas Zabitis

Evaldas has been writing since middle school and has had a passion for cars for as long as he can remember. Right after getting his driver’s license, he spent all of his savings on shoddy cars so he could spend time fixing, driving, and selling them. Evaldas is always interested in automotive technical innovations and is an active participant in automotive community discussions.