How much does a missing title affect the value?

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giantpune

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I'm looking at purchasing another 73 car. It looks like the options are pretty average. Fastback, AC, 351C/Auto, power steering, power brakes, basic interior, no tach, no console, no center gauges. So not anything extra rare like a shelby or boss 429, just a basic driver car.

The car is located in my state and currently registered and insured. Here in GA, for anything over like 20yr old, we dont need a title when buying/selling/registering.
The seller is saying something along the lines of the last person who it was titled to is deceased and they will have to go through some hoops with a death certificate and whatnot to try and get the title. They never went through the trouble to get the title because they didn't need it. I don't know how long it will take for them to get it or if they will be successful.

What is the consensus for how much not having the title affects the value of this car? It probably wont inconvenience me when I go to register it. I probably would take a hit from the next buyer if I ever went to sell it.
 
People in states with the same rule as GA, not too much. But here in Florida where they make it impossible to title that car without going through several obstacle courses multiple times, reduces the value to a parts car. That's my experience and opinion only.
 
Without a proper paper trail, that car technically may still belong to the owners estate and could be claimed at some point by the heirs. Research "Title jumping", illegal in all 50 states.
 
Here in Idaho you can't title or register your vehicle unless you have a signed title from the previous owner. I'm sure there are many, if not most, states that have the same rules. I've bought cars with lost titles before, but not without making the owner apply for and get a valid title before I put out any money. It's usually taken about 6 weeks, in my situations.
 
I'm looking at purchasing another 73 car. It looks like the options are pretty average. Fastback, AC, 351C/Auto, power steering, power brakes, basic interior, no tach, no console, no center gauges. So not anything extra rare like a shelby or boss 429, just a basic driver car.

The car is located in my state and currently registered and insured. Here in GA, for anything over like 20yr old, we dont need a title when buying/selling/registering.
The seller is saying something along the lines of the last person who it was titled to is deceased and they will have to go through some hoops with a death certificate and whatnot to try and get the title. They never went through the trouble to get the title because they didn't need it. I don't know how long it will take for them to get it or if they will be successful.

What is the consensus for how much not having the title affects the value of this car? It probably wont inconvenience me when I go to register it. I probably would take a hit from the next buyer if I ever went to sell it.
If GA is a Bill of Sale state and the car is currently registered and insured in that state, who is it registered to? Is it still the deceased person? If not, who is it currently registered to?
 
If GA is a Bill of Sale state and the car is currently registered and insured in that state, who is it registered to? Is it still the deceased person? If not, who is it currently registered to?
The seller bought it from the widow's family a year ago. They have a copy of the title thats still in the deceased's name. When they bought it from the widow, they just did a bill of sale and have had it registered in their name like that for a year.

the seller is going to go back and check with the widow to see if she will help with getting the death certificate and whatever other paperwork GA requires to transfer a title. She may or may not be willing to put up with all the government paperwork to help me out. She really doesn't have much motivation to help out, unless maybe I offer her some money.

I'm not really worried about the seller or a previous owner trying to pull a fast one on me. Buying and selling old cars in GA without a title is a very common thing. The DMV scans a copy of the bill of sale every time the car changes hands and is registered to a new owner. There is a paper trail showing ownership.

My real concern is how much this hurts the value of the car. Its perfectly fine for me to register and drive it. And if I never sell it, there is no downside to not having the title. If I do go to sell it, that's when the issue comes up. How much will it limit my pool of buyers and how much less will I get for it?
 
That sounds normal for any old car in a Bill of Sale state.
If someone out of state buys it, they are supposed to be able to apply for a title and registration in their state. Other states are obligated to honor the Bill of Sale states paperwork and should issue a new title in that state.
As far as I know....so take that for what it is worth, plus inflation!

Think about it, not having a Georgia title would impact the value of ANY old car sold to someone out state, right? If that were true, there would be a rush of people looking to get restored classics at bargain prices in GA! But that's not happening is it?

I think the difference is most states are not Bill of Sale states. As such, you cannot register a car without a title. In GA, you can, the Bill of Sale and registration act as a title and the state has a history of the car.

There is a process, I don't think you are in a bad spot. This is not like other states where a car has not been registered for years and title was lost.
 
I am in Georgia…I THINK since you registered it as your via bill of sale, which is perfectly legal and allowed in Georgia, you can now go apply for a title and title it in your name. It seems like you have enough documentation….call The tag office and ask. Was easy to title mine, I bought from a NC resident that did have his title, but it was an old NJ a address. The DMV didn’t sweat it, and said the car was so old it was off the tax value map….so they charged a flat rate sales tax of $10. Even though bill of sale said $10,000 purchase price!!!! I think entire tag, title registration fees were $32.
 
I am in Georgia…I THINK since you registered it as your via bill of sale, which is perfectly legal and allowed in Georgia, you can now go apply for a title and title it in your name. It seems like you have enough documentation….call The tag office and ask. Was easy to title mine, I bought from a NC resident that did have his title, but it was an old NJ a address. The DMV didn’t sweat it, and said the car was so old it was off the tax value map….so they charged a flat rate sales tax of $10. Even though bill of sale said $10,000 purchase price!!!! I think entire tag, title registration fees were $32.
I think that would be the process for getting a bonded title in GA. They say they won't do that for a car older than 1985.

I wonder what they would do if I transferred it to my sister in SC, where they do issue titles, and then she signed that and transferred the car back to me. Would GA give me a title? :D
 
Must be nice to live in those states. In PA you would be screwed. No title it’s pretty much junk here. Hell a junk yard won’t even take a car for scrap if you don’t have a title.
 
Must be nice to live in those states. In PA you would be screwed. No title it’s pretty much junk here. Hell a junk yard won’t even take a car for scrap if you don’t have a title.
But that is the beauty of it.....you have a car with no title?...sell it to giantpune with a Bill of Sale. He registers it as his car in GA and then sells it back to you with a GA registration and Bill of Sale that your DMV uses to issue you a new title in your state.
That's all that those title services do. It's a paperwork shuffle.
Just make sure the vin is clean in your state.
 
But that is the beauty of it.....you have a car with no title?...sell it to giantpune with a Bill of Sale. He registers it as his car in GA and then sells it back to you with a GA registration and Bill of Sale that your DMV uses to issue you a new title in your state.
That's all that those title services do. It's a paperwork shuffle.
Just make sure the vin is clean in your state.
After discussing it, I would say that yes, not having a title does lower the value of the car, even in GA where the title is not required. Mostly for the fact that it detracts potential buyers. Not everybody knows all the ins and outs of buying and selling with a bill of sale. More people are comfortable if there is a title. More potential buyers means the car is worth more.

As for how much more its worth, I guess there is a path to getting a new title by shuffling the car through 2 state DMVs and paying the sales tax and registration twice. If you picked DMVs where they are more relaxed, you can get lucky and end up paying the $10 like @RIBS. I dont know how bad it is in other states. Worst case in GA would be about $500 if you caught the person at the DMV in a bad mood and not wanting to cut you a break. So it could maybe be $1k at the worst, plus your time at the DMV.
 
Yep, all of that is true. The title services used to be under $200, but I've heard that they are higher and in some cases charge according to the value of the car.
Just have to figure out the balance point of cost, hassle, desire. What percentage is comfortable?
I wouldn't necessarily write off a potential purchase because of it, but I would be more wary of scams. Whatever documentation of the cars history you can assemble is very helpful to buyers. It's the gaps that you have to worry about. That's one of the areas used by con artists with fake rare cars.
 
So I did go and end up getting this car yesterday. I picked up it with just a bill of sale to keep anybody else from coming in and snagging it out from under me. Seller agreed to knock off $500 for now. He will continue to work on getting the title squared away. When that comes through, I'll pay him the rest of the money.

This morning, I called up my insurance company with the VIN and put insurance on it. Then I went into the tag office. 10 minutes and $20 later, it is registered in my name.
 
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