When it comes to purchasing a used vehicle, there are never any guarantees. You can do your due diligence and still wind up with a vehicle that has major issues. However, the more effort you put into getting the full picture on a vehicle, the better chance you have of not purchasing a lemon. In a previous article, we talked about all the best tips when purchasing a used vehicle. One of the key tips provided was to use the VIN to run a vehicle history report.
Today, we will dive into exactly how you can best utilize a vehicle history report to help you make an educated decision when purchasing a used car. While a vehicle history report won’t provide you with a guarantee against defects, it can go a long way in providing you with peace of mind about the facts regarding a car.
Read on to learn more about how you can use each section of the report to your advantage.
When you are purchasing a used vehicle, it is important to know as much as possible about the history of the vehicle. While, ideally, the person selling you the car will disclose all of this information, that is not always the case. Whether they are intentionally hiding information or the car has been passed through enough hands information has been lost, you might not always gain the full picture about what damages the car has previously suffered.
One important part of the vehicle history report will be a detailed account of any accidents the vehicle has been through. While not every accident will be reported to insurance companies or law enforcement, most major incidents will show up.
You may wonder, if a used vehicle was repaired after an accident and looks fine now, why does it matter what happened in the past? The answer is that not all damages are easy to detect and some damages may have an impact on the longevity of the vehicle as a whole.
For example, if you read on the report that the vehicle suffered from structural damages, the vehicle might never be the same. Structural damage can be costly to repair and is often hard to detect during a test drive. It can, however, lead to improper wear and tear on other parts of the vehicle.
Shy away from any vehicle that has an extensive accident report section.
Not all titles are the same when it comes to vehicles. If you have ever seen a car listing with the words “clean title” this is in reference to a title that has no liens on it and no preceding descriptors. You will also hear these titles referred to as “clear titles.”
Other titles that a vehicle might have include the following:
Finding out what title a vehicle has and what the history of the vehicle’s titles has been can be critical in steering you away from trouble cars. When you purchase a vehicle, you are likely doing so with the hope of utilizing that car on the roads. Steer clear of branded titles and look for a vehicle with a clean title for the least amount of hassle.
A vehicle history report can save you from accidentally purchasing a branded title that has been “washed’ or “laundered” illegally to make it appear it is clean.
Another useful section of your vehicle history report is the list of previous owners. The ownership section will outline anyone who has ever owned the vehicle, including where they were located and the year of their purchase. This section will also contain information about why the owners purchased the vehicle, whether it was for business, pleasure, law enforcement, or other activities.
It will also contain information about odometer readings reported by each owner, giving a clear picture about the vehicle’s mileage.
You may wonder, why should you care who has previously owned a vehicle? The answer is that while it might not matter who owned it, it does matter how many people have owned the vehicle and what their purpose for the vehicle was. For example, if a car was sold 10 times in two years, it might be a good indication that the vehicle is a dud. Or perhaps the vehicle was purchased at one point to be a rental car. Rental cars tend to be driven hard might not make the best used vehicle purchase.
Not only will you be able to piece together the history of what the car has been through via the ownership section, you will also have a clear indication of how many miles are on the car. On older vehicles, it is possible to roll back the odometer manually, a tactic used by those wishing to trick buyers into believing a high-mileage car is actually a low-mileage vehicle. By reading the vehicle history report, you can quickly catch this lie.
When it comes to buying a used car, make sure that you take advantage of our low cost, $6 vehicle history reports to ensure you are not purchasing from a scammer. You can also use our service to locate the best car parts for your new-used vehicle. Our auto parts network makes it easy to decide where to buy auto parts.
We help match you with the perfect parts for your specific vehicle, as well as allowing you to price shop from the comfort of your home. Check out our handy tool today to get started.