Car History Report

History Report when you buy a used car, you don?t know what you?re getting. The car?s current driver might be a senior citizen who never takes it over 50 miles per hour but that doesn?t mean the car?s been looked after correctly. Perhaps the sensible driver you think you?re buying from consistently failed to put oil into the motor or water into the radiator. The point is that you don?t know what you?re getting unless you?re an expert on cars but if you get a car history report, at least you?ll buy with confidence.

History Report

To get a car history report you need to know the vehicle?s Vehicle Identification Number or VIN number. That?s normally displayed in the windshield or in on the driver’s side door jamb so you can take a note of it when you check out cars you?re interested in. You can get free reports so there?s no reason not to take this small precaution before buying a car, even if you?re buying it from a used car lot or someone you know.

Accident Damage

Vehicle history reports, which are sometimes referred to as Carfax reports, give details about all of the car?s past owners, its mileage and its title status but the car?s accident history is perhaps the most important information it offers. The report uses information gathered from state motor vehicle departments, repair shops, insurance companies and law enforcement agencies around the country. It shows if the airbags have been deployed and if there?s ever been structural damage to the car.

Title History

The title history can tell you a lot about a car, for example, if it spans several states over a short period of time, it might indicate a problem with the car that the owner?s tried to hide. It might not, but it pays to be careful. The other thing to look out for is a branded title. If a car is involved in an accident and it?s not economically viable to repair, the insurance company will declare it a total loss. It will be branded ?salvage? if it?s fixed up and re-titled. Being aware of that could save you money if you go ahead with the purchase.

Odometer Reading

The overall condition of the car and the price are more important than the miles it?s covered but if the report tells you the car?s covered more miles than the odometer does, you?re looking at a used car you should walk away from. When there?s a change in ownership or during major services, the odometer will be read and that information is fed into the report. Thankfully, rolling back the odometer is harder now than ever before but it?s still possible.

Other Things

The report will also show you if there are any recalls open against it, where the car was inspected and registered, how many owners the car?s had, and when and where it was sold but there are lots of things it doesn?t tell potential owners. You?ll need to use your own experience to gauge the car?s mechanical condition, and the names of previous owners aren?t listed so if the current seller?s telling you he bought it from a grandma who hardly ever used it, you?ll need to judge that for yourself.