Vehicle History Report
A vehicle history report is documentation we have on hand for each used car for sale. As automobile brokers we use this reporting in various ways. For example, when showing a car to a potential buyer this information is made readily available for review. However, it is often quickly glanced over and promptly given back. Seriously going through a vehicle history report should be a vital task for anyone seriously looking to buy a used automobile for sale.
What Is A Vehicle History Report
A vehicle history report, sometimes called a VIN check or car check provides varying information such as the individual Vehicle Identification Number, current title and year when vehicle first sold. There are various reports available to choose from. A good vehicle history report will be a car’s unique timeline that summarizes valuable data like mechanical maintenance, miles driven and or sustained damage.
We zone in on these areas from a VIN check to try and piece together a car’s overall account to determine if the vehicle is a sound investment. Some of the key areas we have to consider are:
Title – Clean titles are always ideal, but cars with rebuilt, salvage or lien titles are carefully examined.
Repairs – Regularly maintained, spotty record and or what was fixed can indicate overall vehicle health.
Mileage – Recorded miles reveals wear and tear factors in determining a car’s general value.
Accidents – We look for possible damage signs like from water or from a collision to assess worth.
Emission Inspections – Vehicle must or be able to pass the smog certification process to be purchased.
On top of all of this, we know to take into account that reporting data from a car check may possibly be missing information, is withheld or that something was incorrectly entered. If we do buy from a customer trying to sell their car, we in turn have this info available for our potential buyer so that they can draw their own conclusions about the vehicle for sale.
Where Can I Get A Car Check
The Internet will yield many results for a car check to select from. Often, the words Free Car History Report may be in the title of the search result. It is tempting to visit a website that offers such a free car check and begin to enter in information on the vehicle. However, most of these types of car reporting websites produce scant reports with little information on the vehicle to present anything of real value. But, a more comprehensive vehicle history report will be available for purchase by just clicking another link on their website.
It would be best to just select reporting from a company that have built respected reputations for providing information of value to the car buyer and seller. Here are several car check companies that specialize and produce useful information:
The first on the market and most widely known in the car reporting industry is Carfax. Detailed information such as repair records, accidents and changes in ownership are provided. Started in 1984 where these reports were first created to try and fight against odometer fraud and were sent via fax, Carfax today can produce comprehensive individual vehicle reporting on the car wherever it was owned in the United States and Canada. However, their information is the highest priced. A single vehicle history report from Carfax is $39.99, but order five and get them for $59.99
Founded by the credit reporting agency, Experian, AutoCheck provides an individual report at $24.99 and 25 reports for $49.99 (as long as you can use the reports within a three week period). One will also find important decision making details as recorded accidents, changes in title as well as odometer. But what differentiates AutoCheck from its competition is that their car history report also provides a numerical score based on the vehicle history and in comparison to similar cars.
At $9.99 a report, VinAudit is an extremely affordable car check report that provides essential info like title condition, lien, theft and vehicle specs. Founded by a former software engineer at Google, Inc., the mission of VinAudit is to minimize car reporting fraud by providing straightforward and essential information on a vehicle for sale.
Less expensive than Carfax, AutoCheck and VinAudit is InstaVin. This locally based vehicle history reporting company is headquartered in San Diego and provides a quick VIN Check Report at just $7. An interested car buyer also gets critical information on title, possible liens or incidences of vehicle theft as well as how often it has been put up for sale.
Always Get A Vehicle History Report
Currently, there are used cars still put up for sale daily to unsuspecting buyers without disclosing if the vehicle has been in an accident, stolen, salvaged or other important issue that can affect a car’s true overall worth . That’s scary. In 2012, California enacted a used auto salvage title law to try and minimize this type of deceit. The U.S. Department of Justice estimated this law would attempt to help consumers statewide alone in saving between $4.3 billion and $11.7 billion yearly on making fraudulent purchases.
A vehicle history report while not absolute in detailing every issue that occurred is critical documentation for anyone buying a car. For something that costs relatively little to assess a car’s history on the open road and allow the potential buyer to determine existing or potential pitfalls, these reports provide a piece of mind far greater than the money spent.
It is not difficult for the used car buyer beginning their search and read what is on the report:
– Carefully examine how often the car was serviced (or not). Try and determine if there was any type of regularity such as oil changes or scheduled maintenance.
– Use the miles as referencing points as to when anything occurred with the vehicle or if an inconsistency arises.
– The title status or reports of damage will be apparent.
A timeline will begin to unfold and an overall sense in your best interest will soon be generated.
When looking at a used car for sale always try and get one from the seller (they should have this in their best interest as well). If one is not readily available and are interested in the car for sale, independently purchase a vehicle history report to get answers.