How To Check A Cars History
If you’re planning on purchasing a used car, you’ll want to get a history report on the vehicle. Unless you’re already familiar with this process, you might be asking yourself how to check a cars history. Checking your cars history may be easier than you think. In this post we will go over exactly what a history report is and where you can obtain one.
What Is A History Report?
A vehicle history report is a way to see any information such as previous owners, incidents, inspections, mileage accuracy and previous services that have been associated with the vehicle. They help you make informed decisions when it comes to buying a used car.
When Do You Need To Check Your Cars History?
You’ll want to get one whether you are buying or selling a used car. When buying, it’ll help you find hidden issues. For selling, it can help put potential buyers at ease when they see all of the information up front. You’ll also want to get one to see if you’re applicable for an Extended Warranty if you’re purchasing the vehicle.
What Does A History Report Consist Of?
There are quite a few important things that you can get from checking a cars history. It’s very important to check these reports so you know that you’re not being overcharged or taken advantage of.
- Accidents. If you find that the vehicle has multiple reports of accidents and damage, it can give you the chance to either decide on a different car or get the vehicle for a lower price. If the damages weren’t taken care of properly, the vehicle might not last you as long and may not work as well as you would like it to.
- Odometer rollbacks. Some private sellers or shady dealerships might try to take advantage of you by spinning the odometer back to make the car a higher value. This is a big reason to get a report if you’re unsure about the place or person you are purchasing from.
- Service Records. You will most likely find service records on a history report if the vehicle is at a dealership, rather than a private seller. This can show you the routine maintenance and repairs done on the vehicle to see if previous owner kept up to date on the cars maintenance.
Recalls. This will show you what recalls have been done or if they’ve been kept up to date. It will also inform you if there are any open recalls on the vehicle that need to be taken care of.
- Previous Owners. Checking the previous owners will be able to tell you if the vehicle was previously used at a taxi or if it were leased. It will show you every time the vehicle had a new owner.
- Salvage Title. If a vehicle has been in a serious accident, fire or flood and was declared a total loss by the insurance company, they will issue a salvage title. Salvage titles tend to make the resale value go down tremendously. It’s best to avoid purchasing a car that has one.
A vehicle history report or a VIN check from the National Insurance Crime Bureau will tell you if a car has been reported as stolen but not yet recovered. it can also tell you if it has been issued a salvage title.
How To Get A Vehicle History Report
There are a couple different ways you can get a history report on your car, a free way and a paid way. The first thing you need to do is get the VIN number. Which is usually found on the driver’s side dashboard near the windshield.
You can usually get a free look into a car’s history if you buy directly from a dealership. They tend to give the customer a free report if they are interested in purchasing the vehicle.
You can also use sites like Carfax, AutoCheck or VINData to get a history report. Expect to pay anywhere between $25 to $40 when using these websites. Don’t let the price deter you from getting one. You don’t want to be taken advantage of by a private seller.
Should I get A History Report Or An Inspection?
Both! It’s a great idea to get a history report before doing an inspection. You can give the report to the independent mechanic so they can focus on the previous repairs and see if they’ve been done properly. Doing this can prevent you from purchasing an unsafe or unreliable vehicle.
You aren’t required to get have your car’s history checked, but it is never a bad idea. It can prevent you from being scammed or taken advantage of when purchasing a used car. Especially if you don’t have much knowledge about these types of things.