Vehicle history reports are much like home inspection reports. They both give you details about the two biggest investments you will probably make. Just like you’d want to know if the home you’re thinking of buying has bad wiring, a damaged foundation or leaky roof, it’s important to find out if the previously owned vehicle you’re considering has a history of problems, including being involved in one or more accidents.
The old adage, “when you buy a used car, you’re buying someone else’s problem” isn’t usually the case, but it helps to learn everything you can about a vehicle before driving it off the lot.
The Key to a Vehicle’s Past
There are a multitude of reporting sources on vehicle history reports, including insurance agencies, mechanics and vehicle registries, so mistakes do occasionally occur and important information can be left out. So, while a vehicle history report is important, it should only be the first step in deciding if you want to buy a previously owned vehicle. A test drive and an inspection are also good ideas.
Some of the information a vehicle history report provides includes:
- If a car’s been in a serious accident, flood or fire and was totaled by the insurance company
- Odometer rollbacks
- Number of owners and how the car was used
- Maintenance records
- Recall information
The information you receive depends on which type of report you order.
Free VIN Check
To get a free vehicle history report, you simply enter the car’s unique 17-digit vehicle identification number into the system. You’ll learn if the car was ever stolen and recovered and if there were any titling issues. VehicleHistory.com provides a more extensive report than the NICB does, though the NICB offers five free checks in a 24-hour period.
Free VIN checks are best for reporting major red flags, like a salvaged title. Paying for a history report, though, will provide you with more details.
Paid Vehicle History Report
Both AutoCheck and CARFAX provide detailed reports that can include an overall evaluation of a vehicle. You’ll also learn if the car has been registered in multiple states or recalled by the manufacturer. At around $40, the cost of a vehicle history report is relatively inexpensive, considering the headaches it can prevent!
Ready to Buy a New Vehicle?
At Valley Automall, we make it easy for you to head over to check a vehicle history report by simply clicking the “Show Me the CARFAX” link. Ready to get started on finding a great vehicle at a great price? Visit one of our 20 dealer showrooms today. You can also shop over 7,000 new and used vehicles from the comfort of your home! To learn more, contact us online or call us at 702-570-2257.