What Does it Mean When a Vehicle is a Buy Back?
For a vehicle to qualify as a buyback it must be repurchased by the same manufacturer that originally sold it. There are three main reasons why a manufacturer would buy back a vehicle.
- There were issues within the vehicle that were unresolved and subsequently reported by the vehicle purchaser.
- The customer is dissatisfied with the vehicle and wants to return it, claiming it's defective (even if it isn't.)
- The manufacturer can not get a certain repair part within a reasonable time and the customer wants the car to be repurchased.
If the vehicle has no defects, the car is inspected and given a manufacturer buyback title and sold as a buyback vehicle. If the car is defective it is repaired by the manufacturer and also sold as a buyback vehicle. There are several factors that influence whether a vehicle becomes a buyback, and a couple of common misconceptions surrounding these cars.
What is a Manufacturer Buyback Vehicle?
A car becomes a manufacturer buyback due to defects in the vehicle the manufacturer was not aware of, so they buy these vehicles back from the consumer. Buyback vehicles are usually given a form of branded title known as a manufacturer buyback title; these let the consumers who are considering buying the car know that it was repurchased by a manufacturer. These buyback titles let car buyers know the vehicle may have some defects and they should exercise extra caution before purchasing.
Manufacturers will also buyback vehicles if the customer complains extensively or puts up a big fight over a return. More unscrupulous car buyers will sometimes purchase a vehicle and realize they cannot make the payments, and look for ways to get back as much of their money as possible. Getting a manufacturer to repurchase the car is often one of the best ways to do this, as you will get far more of the purchase price than you would selling the vehicle on your own.
Are Buyback Vehicles Safe?
While the word "defects" may give some people pause, the point of a manufacturer buyback is to repair the vehicle so it can be resold. Some of these vehicles did not have any issues anyway, and were purchased as a courtesy to satisfy an unruly customer.
Even if there are issues with the vehicle, a car manufacturer has a lot more to lose by selling you a defective car than a private citizen would. Manufacturers are also legally required to repair any issues the vehicle has before they can get a manufacturer buyback title for the vehicle.
That being said, you should be a bit more strict in your fact finding when it comes to a buyback vehicle. Make sure to insist on a test drive and comprehensive vehicle inspection before purchase. Listen for unusual noises, non functioning systems, or any other form of damage that may indicate the car hasn't been fully repaired.
There are thousands of dealerships for each manufacturer in the United States, and not all of them are held to the same standard. As always with car buying, being vigilant can save you time and money. If you believe a vehicle isn't being properly represented or you see signs that the sale may be a part of a scam, don't hesitate to back out and find another way to purchase your car. There are always more dealerships or private citizens to purchase from and your instincts could prevent you from being victimized.
Should I Purchase a Buyback Vehicle?
Despite the risk of defects, purchasing a buyback vehicle can often be a wise financial decision. There is a good chance that the vehicle never had any issues to begin with, and the original buyer simply exploited the manufacturer's goodwill to get out of an unaffordable car loan. These people will also often utilize their state's Lemon laws to force a manufacturer to purchase the car. Either way, you are getting a vehicle that has no defects for a much more affordable price.
If the car does end up having defects, that shouldn't worry you either. The legal requirements regarding vehicle buybacks mean any car with a manufacturer buyback title has to be repaired and pass certain inspection guidelines to be sold. While you should still do your research, a buyback vehicle is almost always safe to drive.
Manufacturer Buyback Vehicle Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Manufacturer Buyback Vehicle?
A manufacturer buyback vehicle is a car that has been bought by a manufacturer back from a car buyer due to defects or dissatisfaction. They then fix the car if it needs repairs and sell the vehicle for a lower price.
How Does A Manufacturer Buyback Work?
For a manufacturer buyback, the vehicle has to first be sold to a consumer. The consumer will then either find a defect with the vehicle or conjure one as an excuse to have the vehicle repurchased by the manufacturer. The manufacturer will then assess to see if they intend to repurchase the vehicle; most of the time, this is the option they will choose. Manufacturers rarely want an irate customer, as that can result in negative sentiment online and in the community where the dealership resides.
Once they've chosen to buy the car back, they will have the car rigorously inspected. If the vehicle passes inspection without incident (usually due to the original buyer lying about the issue) the manufacturer will apply for a branded title and sell the car as a buyback. If the vehicle does have issues, the manufacturer will repair the car and then go through the title application process. The vehicle is then put up for sale at a reduced price and sold to a new customer.
Why Would a Manufacturer Buy a Vehicle Back?
There are three main reasons why a manufacturer would buy a vehicle back:
- The manufacturer is showing goodwill to a customer who has expressed dissatisfaction with their vehicle purchase. Even if these customers have no evidence of any tangible issues within the car, manufacturers will still buy the car back to keep the customer happy and avoid damaging their brand reputation.
- There is a legitimate issue or defect within the car that the manufacturer was either not aware of or could not be fixed. The customer can take the vehicle back in for inspection, citing the defect. Once the issue is found, the manufacturer will purchase the vehicle to sell as a buyback.
- If there is an issue with the vehicle the customer wants to fix, dealerships will have to order the parts for repair. Sometimes these parts can take weeks, or in the case of supply chain issues even months, to arrive at the dealership. If the customer does not like the timeline presented by the manufacturer, they can request they buy the car back.
How Much Does a Manufacturer Buyback Vehicle Cost?
It's up to each manufacturer to determine how much they will reduce the cost of a vehicle they buy back. Buyback vehicle cost will usually be defined by how much of the car needs to be repaired; if the defective part is a central component to the car's function, the vehicle may only see a slight reduction in price. Labor costs also play a factor in the repricing of the vehicle, and higher end manufacturers may need to compensate their technicians with higher salaries.
While there is no real overall average, consumers have reported the discount for a buyback vehicle being as much as 30-40% or as little as a couple hundred dollars. Talk to your local dealership to see what pieces they offer, and don't be afraid to shop around once you have a quote.
What is a Manufacturer Buyback Title?
A manufacturer buyback title is a form of branded car title that shows a consumer whether a vehicle has been repurchased by a manufacturer. This allows the car buyer to make a more informed purchase decision and decide whether the vehicle functions properly. It's always best to show a little hesitancy when purchasing a car with a buyback title; make sure to test drive the vehicle and get it fully inspected before purchase.
What is a Vehicle Buy Back Program?
A vehicle buy back program is an initiative created by dealerships to encourage car owners to trade in or sell their vehicles to a dealership. They also help convince new car buyers that their purchase is a safe investment, as the buyback program offers them an easy way to return the vehicle if they are dissatisfied.
What is the California Vehicle Buy Back Program?
The California vehicle buy back program is a way for citizens of California to retire their vehicles if they no longer have a need for them. They usually offer between $1000 and $1500 to participants, and the vehicles must pass several requirements including a smog check, tamper check, and engine check. The vehicles almost must have current registration and the title must be in the participant's name.
What is a Manufacturer Buyback Car's Value?
A manufacturer buyback car's value is determined by the manufacturer and dealership and can range based on their specific process of inspection and repair.
Where Can I Get More Information
About Manufacturer Buyback Vehicles?
Finding out whether a vehicle has a manufacturer buyback title is an important step in researching a car purchase. There are a variety of other details you'll want to know before considering buying a car, and you'll want to take the time to do proper due diligence before making a financial decision. The best way to get more information about a vehicle is by using a vehicle research tool.
These tools can help you find out essential facts and figures pertaining to your car, like the car's VIN and license plate number. That way you can use what you've found to conduct a comprehensive car history report and determine whether the car is right for you. By taking the time to prepare yourself before a purchase, you can avoid overpaying for a vehicle or being the victim of a scam.
FREE Vehicle Search
- Problem Checks
- Title Records
- InfoPay, Inc. (dba GoodCar) is an Approved NMVTIS Data Provider