What You Can Find in a Vehicle History

You have your heart set on a used car. It looks like it’s in great shape. You decide to check its vehicle history report and discover it’s actually a dud.

Even great looking cars can be hiding less-than-ideal pasts. Luckily, you found out beforehand.

Moral of the story: Don’t buy based only on what you think you see. Check the vehicle history report so you can make a truly informed buying decision.

Benefits of a Vehicle History Report
A vehicle history report provides information about a used car pegged to its unique vehicle identification number (VIN). If you’re buying from a dealership, you can probably be less concerned about the vehicle’s history. But if you’re making a deal with a private individual, get the report first.

Reading the Report

The report will include the following:

  • Owners and how they used the car (for example, if it was a taxi or business vehicle)
  • Accident reports
  • Title information and liens
  • Service history
  • Odometer readings

Red Flags on a Vehicle History Report

  • Numerous owners. If the car has had multiple owners over a short period, it may have problems that can’t be easily fixed.
  • Accidents that deployed airbags or caused structural damage. Small bang-ups won’t hurt a car beyond repair. However, more serious accidents can permanently damage a vehicle.
  • Salvage title. If a used car has a salvage title, an insurance company has said it shouldn’t be driven anymore. Still, someone tried to repair the car so it could drive again — even though it shouldn’t.
  • Liens. What if the current owner still owes money on the car? The sale of the car will have to happen in a specific way.

Do you have other questions about your vehicle? Reach out anytime.

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