If you’re buying a used car, you naturally want to know as much as possible about the history of that car. Has it been in an accident? Is that the original paint job? These are just a few of the questions you might have, so a car history report is important. The key piece of information you’ll need when researching a car’s history is the VIN number, or vehicle identification number. Once you have that, then you can begin your research. Here are some sites that will help you along.
This site offers a free VIN decoder. Just find the VIN number, type it in, and the site will generate a report about the vehicle. There is a lot of vehicle history contained in a car VIN number, and they'll unlock it for you. The basic VIN report is free!
Vehicle History App
Now you can get your vehicle history right from your iPhone or iPod touch. Check out this app and see how you can get a VIN number decoder right on your phone. That can be very useful, particularly for dealers at auctions! Also, if you’re a consumer, it’s also a great way to figure out right away if you’re dealing with an honest dealer.
This is becoming one of the more popular resources for information on vehicles. You’ve probably seen they’re commercials, as they’re trying to become the new standard.
Decoding your VIN
This site covers auto insurance tips, but this page offers a nice summary of how to find your VIN and how to use it to get the information you need.
This site has tons of info on cars, so it’s a great place to conduct research when you’re beginning a search for a used car. Naturally you can do a VIN number search as well.
Once you get a vehicle history report, there are many things to look out for. First, see if the car has had multiple owners. There’s a big difference between a car that’s been owned only by a nice, older couple and a car that has been passed on several times to new owners. One of them was bound to be the kind of person who doesn’t take care of their car. Location is also important. Some parts of the country are much harder on autos than others. You also want to make sure the report matches the car. Vehicle fraud is common, so you need to see if the report is consistent with what you’re seeing. One of the most important issues is prior accidents, so look for that in the report, but also examine the car closely.