A clean car title is one that is free of levies and liens from creditors and other parties. Cars with clean titles leave no room for doubt as to who is the legal owner, and no one else can make a legal claim of ownership on the car.
A buyer can run a vehicle history report before purchasing a vehicle to find out if the title is clean, if the odometer settings are off, if the vehicle has sustained damage from a flood and if the vehicle has ever been declared a lemon. While running a vehicle history report can uncover an abundance of information, there are some details and incidents that may remain hidden if they were never reported.
A seller can also run a vehicle history report before putting a vehicle up for sale in order to help move it faster. A prospective buyer who is wary of purchasing a vehicle with a lien or bad history might be more comfortable making an offer if he can see a recent copy of the vehicle history report. Even with a recent report, the prospective buyer may still opt to run a check on the vehicle himself to ensure the title is clean.