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Fast Title Lenders > How to Take Pictures for an Online Title Loan

How to Take Pictures for an Online Title Loan

Unlike and in-person title loans, a title loan online does not require a store visit or an appraisal. This means the lender will not see the vehicle in person. The lender still must place a value on the vehicle by performing an appraisal. Taking good car pictures requires attention to detail, composition, and lighting.

Taking clear and accurate vehicle pictures
Taking clear and accurate pictures of the vehicle is a critical part of an online title loan.

So how do they do this without seeing the vehicle? The answer is by using a vehicle history report and vehicle pictures. The history report you have no control over.

Your vehicle’s history is what it is, you cannot change it (unless there is something incorrect reported).

The pictures you do have some control over. They are taken prior to applying and provided to the lender. The pictures serve as a method to communicate your vehicle’s condition.

Clear and detailed pictures do a much better job of portraying your vehicle’s condition than unclear and incomplete pictures.

Preparation for taking Pictures

This is an optional step but is recommended, especially if a higher valuation is needed to support your requested loan amount. Preparation is an important step for the title loan in general and so is preparation prior to taking pictures.

Pictures are required for completely online title loans with no inspection. One of the main benefits of these types of loans is that finding a title loan near you is much easier since you can apply and complete the process online.

Clean the Vehicle

A dirty vehicle does not photograph well. This includes both the interior and exterior. If you were going to sell your car online, what would you do prior to taking pictures to post online?

Cleaning the vehicle interior
Cleaning the vehicle interior can help the picture reflect condition more accurately.

Washing the car and cleaning out the inside is suggested to allow the pictures to accurately reflect to current condition of the vehicle.


Start with the exterior an wash and dry the car completely. Make sure to clean the wheels and tires. You can take it to a car wash if you are unable to do so.

It may even be worth going an extra step and waxing the vehicle if you haven’t done so recently. A regular waxing regiment will help the paint and clearcoat stay in good condition. If you’re new it is not difficult, here is a good resource for learning how to wax your car.

Cleaning the vehicle exterior
Cleaning the vehicle can help communicate the condition better.


Start by removing any trash or unnecessary item from the vehicle’s interior. Then vacuum the carpet and seats. For leather seats, use a leather cleaner and conditioner.

Then wipe down the dash and door panels with cleaner and conditioner. This helps not only improve the appearance of the vehicle but also protects against wear, especially from the sun.

Place for Pictures

Now that you have a clean vehicle you are ready to take pictures. You’ll want to find a shady location with plenty of light. Sometimes a driveway will work fine as long as the sun isn’t too bright.

Taking Pictures

Once you have the vehicle located where you want it and clean you are ready to take pictures. If you have a digital camera, great, you can use that. If not, you can use your smartphone as long as it takes decent pictures. Remember, the lender will use these to judge the condition of your vehicle so the clearer the better.

Where to find a vehicle VIN number - on the dash and drivers door sill
You can find the VIN in two places; a plate on the drivers side dash and a sticker on the drivers side door pillar.

Exterior Pictures

Start with the exterior. You can take a few different pictures of each side of the car and choose the ones that come out the best. Make sure to inlcude:

  1. Front
  2. Rear
  3. Drivers side
  4. Passenger side
  5. Under the hood
  6. VIN
  7. License Plate
  8. Tires and Wheels
Exterior vehicle pictures
Exterior pictures should include all sides.

Interior Pictures

Then move on to the interior. Remember the goal is to communicate the condition in as much detail as possible to someone who will not see the vehicle in person. Take a picture of:

  1. Front seats
  2. Dash
  3. Rear seats
  4. Trunk or Cargo Area
  5. Carpet


The mileage of the vehicle has a major affect on the value of the vehicle. To show the mileage a clear picture of the odometer is required. Make sure you can clearly read the miles in the picture taken.

Pictures for both digital and analog odometers.
Make sure you can clearly read the mileage, for both digital and analog odometers.

Choosing Pictures to Save

Once you have all of the required pictures taken, go through them and choose the best ones. These should be in focus, clear, and reflect your vehicle’s condition accurately.

Then, once you have the picture you want to use for your instant online title loan, save them in a specific file or folder to make it easier when applying. This is especially important for title loans without the vehicle present.

Next Steps

Having pictures is a good start to getting ready for an online title loan. Learn more about the other recommended preparation steps including finding the best title loan, choosing the amount, and calculating the repayment costs.


Car title loans online are becoming more widely used by borrowers. Understanding how to communicate condition of your vehicle to someone who will not see it in person is a key component of an auto title loan online.

Follow the simple tips in this post to ensure you have clear and accurate pictures to relay the condition of your vehicle to the lender when you’re ready to apply.