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The Differences Between Kit Cars, Assembled Cars, and Replica Cars

The question comes up frequently: what is the difference between a kit car, assembled car, and a replica car?

Kit car

A kit car is a vehicle that is manufactured as parts in an assembled kit from a company. You may still need to purchase other parts such as the frame and chassis. After purchasing the kit car, you assemble it yourself, then present the new vehicle to the DMV for a new VIN and title. Typically, the VIN is not provided when purchasing a kit car.

A kit car is an umbrella term for assembled and replica cars.

Assembled car

An assembled vehicle is a type of kit car that has a body that does not resemble any particular year, make, or model. These vehicles are completely customized, think along the lines of the “Batmobile”. An assembled car that was manufactured without a kit from a company is still considered to be a kit car due to the nature of its assembly.

An assembled vehicle must meet all safety and emissions standards of the year that it was manufactured. All of the safety and emissions features that go into a new car will be required in this vehicle (anti-lock brakes, airbags, etc.)

Replica car

A replica car is another type of kit car that has a body that is built to resemble and be a reproduction of a specific year, model, and make. These kits may include original parts, but can also be built with new or reconditioned parts.

Replica cars, unlike assembled cars, do not have to meet current safety and emissions standards. Replica cars must only meet the safety and emissions standards of the year the original vehicle was manufactured. However, this may pose an issue when it comes time for title and registration depending on your state.

Remember, even if you made your car without a kit, it’s still considered to be a kit car, if manufactured by you. When titling and registering kit cars, make sure to accurately label your particular type of kit car.

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