How to Spot a Title-Washed Used Car

According to, Pennsylvania is one of the safest states from title-washed vehicles, but that doesn't mean it never happens here. About 1 in 1,200 used cars sold in PA has had its title washed.

What is title-washing, and why is it so dangerous?

Whenever a car has been declared a total loss due to extensive damage, or has been severely damaged by flooding—like Hurricane Harvey last week—it is issued a salvage or flood title to let all prospective buyers know the vehicle may have underlying damage, and may be unsafe.

Unethical sellers sometimes try to get a new, clean title issued for a car with a salvage title so they can make more money, typically by sending the cars to states with more relaxed regulations.

To spot one of these frauds, check the CarFax Vehicle History Report, where unusual title activity is flagged, and always work with a reputable dealership like Matt Burne Honda.

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