Getting a car history report before buying a used car is the most important rule in the second hand vehicle market.
A seller might just say the best things about the car because he or she wants you to buy it. Thus, knowing the full story of the used car is crucial.
We get it. Buying a used car is more affordable than getting a brand new set of wheels.
Unfortunately, you can easily get scammed when buying a used car. Add to that the various horror stories about secondhand cars with serious mechanical or financial issues.
What’s a VIN?
VIN stands for vehicle identification number. It is composed of 17 characters. It can tell you a lot about the used car that you’re eyeing.
Depending on the car manufacturer, the vehicle identification number can be found on the vehicle’s registration certificate, title, insurance card, or on the car itself (front door, dashboard, or engine).
Why is VIN Important?
The vehicle identification number is used to obtain a car history report. Without it, getting a vehicle history report is impossible.
The VIN helps you double-check everything the used car seller or agent claims. In short, it helps you from getting ripped off.
Why Get a Car History Report
Obtaining a car history report before buying a used car lets you know the following:
- Theft Record
If you’re purchasing a used car from a reputable dealership, you won’t have to worry about whether the vehicle is legally for sale. On the other hand, if you’re buying from a private seller or dealer, it is ideal to check whether the car is stolen or not.
- Accident History
Another crucial data a car history report tells you is the number and intensity of accidents the car had (or not). It can also tell you if the car was damaged due to those accidents.
- Previous Owners
A used car can have multiple former owners. If you want to know how many people used the car before you, a car history report is the key to knowing.
The more previous owners a car had, the higher its mileage might be. To confirm the car’s mileage, spending a few bucks on a history report is worth it.
- Maintenance Record
Many reports show how well the car has been taken care of. You can know how often the car received care, such as tire changes.
When a car model is up for recall, there’s something wrong with it. Thus getting a report helps you be aware of any danger you might put yourself into after buying a secondhand car.
- Financial Record
If you want to know whether the used car has an outstanding balance or not, a car history report is your best friend. After all, you might not want to settle the said balance by yourself.