Car Auction Dictionary

Glossary of Terms

Used car auction dictionary of terminology.

Any registered vehicle, trailer or semi-trailer, whether lost, stolen, abandoned or otherwise unclaimed, which has been abandoned on a public highway, public property or elsewhere within the state, including private property.
Accident or Vehicle Damage
Reported accidents or damage events are a result of vehicle collisions or other non-collision incidents such as vandalism or theft. Not all accidents or damage events are reported to AutoCheck. Certain accident or damage events are reported by the source to have resulted in minor, moderate or severe damage to the vehicle, or the events are calculated by AutoCheck to have resulted in minor, moderate or severe damage based on the information reported. It is recommended to have pre-owned vehicles inspected by a third party prior to purchase.
The vehicle has been reported as being assembled by a non-manufacturer. The vehicle may have been adjusted or built from a kit.
The transfer of a property claim, property right, or property interest from one person or entity to another.
Auction Announced as Broken Odometer
A wholesale Auto Auction has reported that the odometer is not functioning properly or no longer accurately records the distance that the car has traveled.
Auction Announced as Exceeds Mechanical Limits
A wholesale Auto Auction has reported that the actual mileage/kilometers is greater than the odometer allows to be recorded. This commonly occurs with vehicles that have five-digit odometers that have exceeded 99,999 miles.
Auction Announced as Exempt
A wholesale Auto Auction has reported the vehicle exempt from normal or mandatory odometer laws. See also: Excluded/Exempt
Auction Announced as Fleet/Lease
A wholesale Auto Auction has reported the vehicle as a fleet or leased vehicle. A vehicle provided by a company for an executive is an example of a fleet vehicle. Fleet and leased vehicles are often in good condition. Fleet companies can have vehicle care guidelines.
Auction Announced as Flood Damage
A wholesale Auto Auction has reported that a flood has damaged the vehicle. The vehicle was involved in a flood or may have endured water damage.
Auction Announced as Grey Market
A wholesale Auto Auction has reported that the vehicle was manufactured in another country and may not meet U.S. safety and/or environmental standards.
Auction Announced as Major Damage
Auction reports the vehicle as having major damage.
Auction Announced as Manufacturer Buyback/Lemon
A wholesale Auto Auction has reported that the manufacturer repurchased the vehicle or the vehicle may have ongoing mechanical or drivability problems.
Auction Announced as Municipal Use
A wholesale Auto Auction has reported that a federal, state or local government agency previously used the vehicle.
Auction Announced as Not Actual Miles
A wholesale Auto Auction has reported that the actual mileage is different than the odometer reading. See also: Not Actual Miles
Auction Announced as Odometer Rollback
A wholesale Auto Auction has reported a possible odometer roll-back. This means the odometer has been tampered with or adjusted.
Auction Announced as Odometer Rollover
A wholesale Auto Auction has reported a possible odometer roll-over. This commonly occurs with vehicles that have five-digit odometers that have exceeded 99,999 miles.
Auction Announced as Repaired/Replaced Odometer
A wholesale Auto Auction has reported that the odometer has been repaired or replaced.
Auction Announced as Repossessed
A wholesale Auto Auction has reported that the loan/lien holder has repossessed the vehicle.
Auction Announced as Structural/frame/unibody Damage
A wholesale Auto Auction has reported that the vehicle has frame damage, which can weaken the structure of the vehicle.
Auction Announced as True Mileage Unknown
A wholesale Auto Auction has reported that the vehicle's actual mileage is unknown.
Auto Auctions - Wholesale
AutoCheck gets data from auto auctions -- companies that act as vehicle clearinghouses and help you get the vehicle you want by providing retail dealers with cars and trucks that sell best at their store. A vehicle that has been through one or more auctions simply is being moved from one market to another, and does not reflect the overall condition of the vehicle.
AutoCheck Score
The AutoCheck Score is a numerical rating that allows you to quickly and easily evaluate all of the vehicle's history data in one convenient score. The AutoCheck Score helps you assess a vehicle's predicted reliability and compare it to similar cars in its class. The information helps to:
  • Compare vehicles of similar class and age based on a scale of 1 to 100
  • Predict the reliability that your car will be on the road in 5 years
  • Understand a vehicle's reliability as it pertains to vehicle age, number of owners, accidents and other factors
  • Lower the risk of buying a vehicle with undetected problems
Bond Released
Monetary bond that was required by a government agency was returned to the owner or importer.
The vehicle required posting of a bond in order to register or place a title on the vehicle. Bonds are sometimes required when there is no title for the vehicle. Bonds can be obtained through an insurance or bonding agent.
Brands or Branded
Words or symbols on the vehicle's official title issued by the state DMV that signify the vehicle's status or condition. Examples of brands include, junked, salvaged, lemon, rebuilt or reconstructed vehicles; flood, hail, or fire damaged vehicles; totaled vehicles; vehicles with odometers that have been rolled back or exceed mechanical limits; stolen or abandoned vehicles.
Broken Odometer
Odometer no longer records distance driven.
CARS (Cash for Clunkers) 2009
Vehicle reported by NHTSA to have been traded-in to be scrapped under CARS (Cash for Clunkers) program in 2009. Vehicle should not be available for retail sale.
Calculated Accidents
Experian receives reported accident/damage information from a number of sources. Sometimes more than one source reports the same incident, which may have different event dates, case numbers or event locations. Other events do not have a date reported and could have happened at any point in the vehicle's history. AutoCheck calculates the number of accidents or damage events, so a report might show two or more reported accident or damage records for the same event. Not all accidents or damage events are reported to AutoCheck. It is recommended to have pre-owned vehicles inspected by a third party prior to purchase.
Calculated Owners
Experian uses business rules logic to calculate the number of owners that a specific vehicle might have over time. With older vehicles, the calculation begins with the date of the first title/registration.
Canadian Renewal
Vehicle had a registration renewal event reported by Canadian DMV.
Certified or Certified Pre-Owned
Previously owned, usually late-model vehicles that have been examined and certified by the manufacturer or other authority. Factory certified pre-owned vehicles are typically under extended warranty, backed by the original vehicle manufacturer.
The vehicle "class" groups together similar models from different manufacturers. For example, "Mid-range cars - standard" includes the Ford Taurus and the Honda Accord. These vehicle classes are published annually by Automotive News.
The vehicle was registered and used for business purposes (such as a delivery truck, taxi or car rental).
Corrected Title
The State DMV has issued a corrected title for the vehicle. Corrected title is defined differently depending on the state. In some states, a corrected title will be issued for removing or adding an owner’s name due to divorce, death or marriage. In other states, details about the vehicle, such as incorrect odometer readings, can result in a corrected title being issued. A corrected title can also be issued when a lien is placed on the vehicle’s title.
These are state agencies such as Departments of Motor Vehicles and Bureaus of Motor Vehicles. They typically issue vehicle titles and registrations, and handle individual driver's licenses.
Damage Disclosure
This brand was issued because the vehicle's seller indicated the vehicle was damaged.
The vehicle has sustained significant damage to the body and/or mechanical components.
Dealer Plates
The vehicle has a license plate registered to an auto dealer.
Driver Education
The vehicle has been used for driver education classes to train individuals to develop driving skills.
Duplicate Title
The vehicle had a duplicate title issued by the DMV. A duplicate title is sometimes issued because the vehicle’s original title is missing.
Emission/Safety Inspection
An approved emission testing station has inspected the vehicle to measure the amount of pollutants the vehicle emits into the environment.
Exceeds Mechanical Limits
The actual mileage/kilometers are greater than the odometer allows to be recorded.
Excluded / Exempt
States may exempt the requirement to report mileage on the title (normal/mandatory odometer law) for the following reasons:
  1. Vehicle model year is 10 years or older
  2. Gross weight of vehicle over 16000 lbs.
  3. Vehicle is titled to the manufacturer
Failed Emission Inspection
The vehicle failed to pass a state emission inspection.
Failed Safety Inspection
The vehicle failed to pass a state safety inspection.
Federal and local agencies
AutoCheck gets data from agencies such as National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and local agencies like police departments.
Federal Government
The vehicle was part of a fleet registered and used by individuals in the United States federal government.
Fire Damage
The vehicle has sustained damage due to a fire, and a title brand has been issued by the state. This displays in the Title and ProblemCheck section of AutoCheck.
Fire Damage Incident
A fire damage incident has been reported by an independent source for the vehicle. This displays in the Vehicle Use and EventCheck section of AutoCheck.
Fleet, Rental and/or Lease Use
The vehicle has been reported as used as a fleet, rental and/or lease vehicle.
Government Use
The vehicle was used by a government agency.
Grey Market
The vehicle was imported into the country and may not meet U.S. safety and/or environmental standards.
Gross Weight Exemption
The vehicle has been exempted from the odometer law after exceeding a certain gross weight. See also: Excluded/Exempt
Hail Damage
The vehicle was damaged significantly by hail, and a state title brand was issued.
High-speed Crash Test Vehicle
Vehicle was subjected to a crash test at relatively high speeds and vehicle could have sustained significant damage.
Independent Inspection
The vehicle was inspected by an independent agency other than a state DMV.
Independent Inspection/Theft Deterrent Equipped
The vehicle has been inspected by an independent agency other than the state DMV and found to be equipped with an anti-theft device.
Insurance or Probable Total Loss
This vehicle was reported as an insurance or probable total loss due to an accident or theft.
The vehicle's parts have been salvaged for reuse and the remainder of the vehicle has been destroyed or scrapped. This vehicle has been declared a total loss, is not road worthy and should not be titled again for use on the road.
The definition of a lemon vehicle and lemon laws vary by state. In general, a lemon car is often a new vehicle that requires repeated repairs for the same defect without successful resolution. The defect may significantly impact the safety, value or reliability of the car. Lemon laws protect the rights of buyers of vehicles that don’t operate properly and require repeated repairs for the same problem(s). In some states lemon laws compel auto manufacturers to buy back or exchange the lemon vehicle.
Livery Use
The vehicle has been used "for hire" to transport people.
A loan/lien is the legal right to take and hold or sell the vehicle of a debtor as security or payment for a debt. Normally, a vehicle will have a lien due to a loan or unpaid repair bill against the vehicle. Check with the seller to ensure that the lien has been satisfied.
Local Government
The vehicle has been used by a local government agency.
Major Damage Incident
The vehicle has had a major damage incident reported by an independent source.
Manufacturer Buyback
The manufacturer has repurchased the vehicle. A buyback may occur because the vehicle couldn't be repaired after a reasonable number of attempts or within a reasonable length of time.
Mileage Discrepancy
There has been an error in a current or previous odometer reading.
Motor Change
The vehicle has had its original motor replaced.
Municipal Use
The vehicle was used or owned by a federal, state or local government agency.
NHTSA Crash Test Vehicle
The vehicle was used for NHTSA crash testing to measure the safety of the vehicle and its passengers.
Non Compliance
The vehicle does not meet governmental vehicle requirements revolving around safety and/or environmental standards.
Non Profit
The vehicle was registered to a "not for profit" entity.
Not Actual Miles
A state title brand indicating the actual mileage on the vehicle is reported to be different than the odometer reading.
Odometer Problem
The vehicle has odometer-related problems. These may include discrepancies such as not actual miles, a broken odometer, exceeding a vehicle's mechanical limits, a mileage discrepancy, or suspect miles.
Odometer Reading from Independent Source
The vehicle's odometer reading was provided by an independent source.
Odometer Rollback
The odometer mileage reported to the DMV on a given date was less than the mileage previously reported. This is an indication of an "Odometer Rollback."
Open Recall
A recall is considered "open" for a vehicle when it has not received the required service to correct the safety concern. The vehicle will need to be taken to a repair center that has been authorized by the manufacturer to correct any open recall conditions.
Passed Emission Inspection
The vehicle passed a required state emission inspection.
Passed Safety Inspection
The vehicle passed a required state safety inspection.
Police Use
The vehicle was reported as previously used by a police agency.
Previous Damage
The vehicle was previously reported as damaged.
Rebodied Vehicle
A rebodied vehicle is defined as a vehicle which has been assembled using a new body or new major component part, which must be identical to the body or major component part used on the original vehicle. A rebodied vehicle may not be a salvage, rebuilt, or junked vehicle.
The vehicle was a salvaged vehicle that was refurbished with new or used parts. An affidavit of repair from the rebuilder or individual making the repairs, stating what repairs were made to the vehicle and that the vehicle is now rebuilt and road operable, may be required to obtain a rebuilt/rebuildable title. These vehicles must also pass a state safety inspection before being allowed back on the road.
A safety recall can be independently conducted by a manufacturer or ordered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In either case, the manufacturer must file a public report containing a description of the issue, the vehicles involved, and other information including a description of the solution. The manufacturer is obligated to provide a free remedy for vehicles involved in a safety recall.
Repair or renovation has restored the vehicle.
Reconstructed vehicles lose all identity as to make and model and do not carry the original make, year, and VIN. They usually have been reconstructed from various vehicles.
Vehicle was reported as scrapped or major components removed by a recycling facility.
The vehicle had a registration renewal event reported by a state DMV. A vehicle registration allows a driver to operate a motor vehicle.
A vehicle that has been constructed specifically by a licensed remanufacturer and consists of any used or reconditioned integral parts, including, but not limited to, frame, engine, transmission, axles, brakes, or suspension. This does not generally include repaired or restored vehicles, or those modified by replacing or adding parts or accessories.
Reported at Auto Auction
The vehicle's odometer reading has been reported from an Auto Auction.
Safety Inspection
A state safety office has inspected the vehicle. A state safety inspection may include a check of: brakes, steering, tires, lights, engine, transmission, electrical and other systems.
Salvage Auction
An auction has reported the vehicle as a salvaged vehicle. The extent of damage is unknown, and the vehicle may or may not be severely damaged.
Salvage Correction from DMV
The state has corrected a title that was previously branded as "salvage."
A salvage vehicle is a vehicle that has been wrecked or damaged beyond repair; declared a total loss by the insurer; or declared a total loss by reason of theft. When an insurance company as a result of a total loss settlement acquires a vehicle, the insurance company must apply for a Salvage Certificate. If the owner retains possession of a salvage vehicle, the owner must obtain a Salvage Certificate before receiving a total loss statement from the insurance company.
The vehicle has been reclaimed for its metal content.
Service Contract Issued
An independent service contract company has issued a service contract on the vehicle.
Special Constructed
The vehicle was altered from the manufacturer's original design.
State Government
A state government has used the vehicle.
Storm Area Registration/Title
Storm registration/title refers to information reported to us that a vehicle was registered or titled prior to the storm event in a FEMA designated storm damaged area. Storm events can include hurricanes, floods and other natural disasters. While a vehicle may have been reported as titled or registered in an affected area, it may not have been damaged by the storm, or it may have been moved to safety during the storm. We recommend a thorough professional inspection of the vehicle to confirm no storm damage.
Suspect Miles
The state or other authorized officials have identified that the vehicle's mileage is suspect due to odometer tampering or other incidents.
Taxi Use
The vehicle is or was used as a taxi.
The vehicle was stolen from its legal owner. A single theft can be reported to AutoCheck by different sources including state agencies, DMV’s and insurance companies.
Theft Insurance Claim
An insurance claim was filed because the vehicle was stolen.
Theft Recovered
The vehicle was previously reported as stolen and has been recovered.
The vehicle had a title event reported by the state DMV. A title is official proof of ownership. A title is used to transfer a vehicle to another owner.
Unknown Odometer Reading
The odometer reading on the vehicle is unknown.
The vehicle is not repairable.
Vehicle Age
The age of the vehicle as calculated from the VIN.
Vehicle Imported From Canada to US
The vehicle has been imported from Canada to the United States.
Vehicle in Dealer Inventory
The vehicle is or has been in a dealer's inventory.
Vehicle Service Performed
The vehicle has been reported to have a service or repair performed.
Vehicle Titled or Registered to an Insurance Company
This vehicle was titled or registered to an insurance company.
Water Damage
A vehicle that has been damaged by water or in a flood. Any vehicle title issued to an insurance company due to payment of a claim for flood damage sustained. If issued to a licensed rebuilder, who possesses or acquires a vehicle that is designated as, or for which there is evidence or information of, a "flood vehicle" has been provided, the vehicle is considered a salvage vehicle and designated as such on an Application for Salvage Certificate in an insurance company or licensee's name.

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Sevensoft and Ryan D. Marshall